DUBAI — In a new recruiting video released by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant ( ISIL), five Islamist fighters identified as Australian and British nationals have called on Muslims to join the wars in Syria and Iraq.
The online footage, "There Is No Life Without Jihad," showed the five militants sitting in a rural area and holding rifles with al-Qaida's black flag flying behind them. ISIL is an offshoot of the organization.
The fighters called on Muslims to join ISIL in jihad, or holy war, and to support the Islamic law known as sharia. A song in the background urged "the lions of God to travel to the land of Sham (Syria) and the Euphrates (Iraq)."
"We are a state who is implementing the sharia in both Iraq and Sham (Syria), and look at the soldiers -- we understand no borders,'' one fighter said in English. A caption said he was Abu Muthanna al-Yemeni from Britain.
“We have participated in battles in Sham, and we will go to Iraq in a few days, and we will fight there, Allah permitting, and come back, and we will even go to Jordan and Lebanon, with no problems,'' he said, adding that the best land for jihad was Syria.
The other militants were identified as Abu Bara' al-Hindi and Abu Dujana al-Hindi, also from Britain, and Abu Yahya al-Shami and Abu Nour al-Iraqi, both from Australia. A caption said Abu Yahya had been killed fighting in Syria.
A magnet for militants
ISIL, which is also fighting in neighboring Syria, includes thousands of foreign fighters and has become a magnet for jihadi volunteers from Europe and North Africa, Western intelligence agencies say.
Earlier this month, nine European countries endorsed plans to step up intelligence-sharing and to take down radical websites. Their goal is to stop European citizens from going to fight in Syria and bringing violence back home.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday that Sunni Islamist insurgents fighting in Iraq were planning to attack Britain and that "ungoverned spaces'' where militants thrived had to be shut down.