USA, ISIS member, Canadian citizen of Saudi origin sentenced to life imprisonment


USA, ISIS member, Canadian citizen of Saudi origin sentenced to life imprisonment

Yesterday, a court in the American state of Virginia sentenced a Canadian citizen of Saudi origin, Muhammad Khalifa, to life imprisonment for the crime of supporting the terrorist organization ISIS. The 39-year-old terrorist was said to be a key member of ISIS's propaganda wing and was also involved in making many violent videos.

According to the indictment of the US Department of Justice, Khalifa, who grew up in Toronto, Canada, left Canada in 2013 and joined the extremist group ISIS in Syria. Due to his proficiency in Arabic and English languages, he began to play an important role in the group's propaganda cell. ISIS's propaganda wing was particularly active in producing videos of foreign hostages, including American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. Both of them were beheaded in 2014.

Two videos, produced in 2014 and 2017, included Khalifa's English-language voice-over, in which he was also seen beheading Syrian soldiers. The US Department of Justice presented the two videos in court and described them as unusually violent. The videos, which were produced based on the attacks in France and Belgium with the aim of recruiting more people to ISIS, were allegedly narrated by Khalifa in his own voice. These videos encourage others to participate in similar violent acts.

Mohammad Khalifa was captured by US-allied Kurdish forces in a joint operation in January 2019. While imprisoned in Syria, he also gave an interview to CBC, a leading Canadian media organization, in which he expressed no remorse for what he had done. He said he wanted to return to Canada with his wife and three children on the condition that he would not be prosecuted there. He was handed over to the FBI in October before pleading guilty in December 2021.

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