‘Leading figure’ in IS recruitment videos jailed for life in US

A man who helped Islamic State by narrating recruitment videos has been sentenced to life in prison in the US.

Saudi-born Mohammed Khalifa was described by the US Department of Justice as a “leading figure” in the terrorist group’s English language media unit.

Prosecutors said the unit produced videos such as the ones showing the beheadings of British aid workers and journalists, including Britons Alan Henning and David Haines and US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

A statement from the US Department of Justice said Khalifa, who grew up in Toronto and left Canada in 2013, had provided the narration and translation for about 15 videos created and distributed by IS.

It continued: “The productions narrated by Khalifa include two of the most influential and exceptionally violent ISIS propaganda videos, Flames of War: Fighting Has Just Begun and Flames of War II: Until the Final Hour.


“The videos depict glamorized portrayals of ISIS and its fighters as well as scenes of violence, including depictions of unarmed prisoners being executed, footage of ISIS attacks and fighting and depictions of ISIS attacks in the United States.”

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Khalifa, 38, was captured in January 2019 by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, following a firefight in Syria where he was throwing grenades.

He was transferred to FBI custody in October last year and pleaded guilty in December to providing material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, resulting in death, the department said.

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