London, Asharq Al-Awsat—A London-born rapper who joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and who tweeted a controversial image of himself holding the decapitated head of a Syrian soldier, had been under “psychological pressure” after his father’s arrest.
Abdel-Majid Abdel-Bary, 23, posted his picture on the social networking site along with the caption: “Chillin’ with my homie or what’s left of him.”
He left his parents’ home in Maida Vale in London last year to travel to Syria to join ISIS, a terror group that has declared the establishment of an Islamic caliphate over vast swathes of land it controls between Syria and Iraq.
The former rapper is the son of Adel Abdul-Bary, an Egyptian refugee who was extradited from London to the US in 2012 on terrorism charges.
Asharq Al-Awsat spoke to the Egyptian Islamist Dr. Hani Al-Sibai, Director of the Al Maqrizi Center in London, who said Abdul-Bary and his five brothers had come under enormous psychological pressure following the arrest of their father in 1999 and his long detention in Britain’s Belmarsh Prison.
Sibai said: “Young British Muslims are now afraid of mosques, and are cautious of Imams who ask them about what is going on in Muslim countries because they believe mosques are under surveillance from British security.”
The turmoil in Syria and Iraq has raised fears of more young British Muslims being involved in terror-related activities. The British government believes more than 300 of its citizens have returned from Syria, while 500 are still there fighting.
Earlier this week a shocking image of a seven-year-old boy holding the severed head of a Syrian soldier was posted on Twitter. The boy is believed to be the son of an Australian ex-terror convict who brought his sons with him to fight with radical groups in Syria.