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Canadian captured in Syria admits to role in gruesome ISIS execution videos

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A Canadian captured in northern Syria last month has admitted he helped produce ISIS propaganda videos that showed prisoners digging their own graves and being executed, according to a local source.

Global News

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Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed, who was detained by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces on Jan. 13, acknowledged his role in the ISIS videos Flames of War and Flames of War 2, the Rojava Information Centre said.

“Our sources in YPG confirmed that he is the narrator of both FoW [Flames of War] videos,” the group said. The YPG is the Kurdish militia that dominates the SDF alliance fighting ISIS.

The group said he had acknowledged writing the scripts but that it could not yet confirm it’s his voice heard reading them in the videos, although that now seems likely.

WATCH: Canadian ISIS fighter talks about his capture






Shortly after Mohammed was caught in the last patch of ISIS territory, Global News reported he seemed to be the long-sought Canadian narrator of the videos and many of the terror group’s other releases.

His alleged admission came as the government is under pressure to take back and prosecute captured Canadian ISIS members, and the RCMP is struggling to collect enough evidence to charge them.

The U.S. State Department has asked countries to repatriate and put captured ISIS members on trial. A lobby group for the families of those in detention, Families Against Violent Extremism, said 29 Canadians were being held in Kurdish camps and prisons, and two more were still attempting to surrender.

They include women who had married ISIS foreign fighters, and their children, but also several self-admitted foreign terrorist fighters from Toronto and Montreal like Mohammed.


READ MORE:
Narrator of ISIS execution video is Canadian, says captured Mississauga ISIS member

In the English-language Flames of War video, the narrator praised jihadist foreign fighters who had come to Syria from around the world and said they were “chosen by Allah.”

During a scene that showed the mass execution of prisoners lying face-down, he said ISIS was “harsh against the kuffar [non-believers]. This harshness never wavered and was a constant trait of the brothers.”

The 55-minute video ended with a row of kneeling prisoners being shot in the back of the head and tumbling forward into the mass grave they have just dug with shovels.

The same narrator’s voice can be heard in the 2017 video Flames of War 2, which similarly showed prisoners digging their own graves and ends with their execution. The same voice appears to have claimed responsibility for the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130.

WATCH: U.S. urging allies to bring home foreign ISIS fighters






But his identity remained a mystery until a captured Canadian ISIS fighter, Muhammad Ali, identified him to Global News last October as an Ontario man who went by Abu Ridwan.

Ali said he believed Abu Ridwan was still alive.

Last month, as Kurdish fighters closed in on the last area of ISIS-held territory, they detained Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed, who told his captors he was a former student at Toronto’s Ryerson University who had joined ISIS in 2013.

A childhood friend subsequently told Canadian terrorism researcher Prof. Amarnath Amarasingam that Mohammed was “Abu Ridwan” and the voice heard in ISIS propaganda.


READ MORE:
Canadian women fleeing ISIS territory surrender to U.S.-backed forces in Syria

The RCMP has been investigating Mohammed, who surrendered following a firefight, but he has not been charged. It’s unclear what weight his admission to his captors could have as evidence in court.

The Canadian open source intelligence group iBrabo has located the site of the mass execution shown at the end of the first Flames of War video and suggested the RCMP treat it as a crime scene for evidence purposes.

A former senior Canadian Security Intelligence Service official, Andrew Ellis, said in a 2016 speech at the Royal Canadian Military Institute that “many” Canadians were active in the ISIS propaganda wing.

“I would argue that that may be equally as dangerous, maybe more, than someone who is joining the military wing. A lot of these young Western adherents to Daesh are put on the frontlines and die very quickly.

“Someone who is working in the propaganda wing can hurt us over and over and over again,” he said.

Stewart.Bell@globalnews.ca

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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Anglais

A stunning Water Lantern Festival is coming to Montreal

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What might just be the most magical night ever is coming up for Montreal this year.

The Water Lantern Festival has announced that it will be gracing Mississauga with thousands of floating lanterns later this year, as part of a celebration that spans the entire world.

According to the festival’s official website, the event is a celebration of life with proceeds going towards charities and non-profit organizations within the area.

“Water Lantern Festival brings together individuals from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to join in one emotional and memorable night. At the Water Lantern Festival, we cherish these moments and will do our best to help you have a memorable experience that you’ll never forget as you witness the beauty of thousands of lanterns reflecting upon the water,” the website states.

The festival takes place throughout multiple cities around the world, with the Canadian cities of Quebec, Regina, Vancouver, Hamilton, Calgary, Ottawa, Mississauga, and, of course, Montreal taking part.

For the Calgary event, a date has been confirmed and tickets are already rolling out. Montreal shan’t be far behind, and you can click the Notify Me tab on the event’s site to be kept in the loop.

Expect an evening filled with food trucks, music, lantern designing and finally, a magical launch of the lanterns into the water as the sun goes down.

For our pals over in Calgary, their event includes a floating lantern, a commemorative drawstring bag, a marker, and a wristband. Expect something similar, if not the same, when more details float through about Montreal’s event.

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Euthanasia order on hold for Montreal dog that attacked children

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A pit bull dog that attacked four children and two adults in August 2018 in Montreal North will not be euthanized in the immediate future.

The euthanasia order has been temporarily suspended pending the appeal of a Quebec Superior Court decision.

On Tuesday, Judge Lukasz Granosik rejected a request to halt the euthanasia order issued by the Montreal North borough, which declared the animal a “dangerous dog.”

The City of Montreal has not changed its mind. This is only a delay before it proceeds with euthanizing the dog, a source told the Canadian Press.

Shotta, the one-year-old dog, was in the care of its owner’s acquaintance in August 2018. The dog attacked four children and two adults, causing serious injuries in separate incidents on the same day.

After the attacks, the dog was taken from the home and entrusted to the SPCA.

WATCH: Dog found dead in Angrignon Park

The Road to Home Rescue Support, an American shelter, asked the court if it could take in the dog. Christa Frineau, the dog’s owner, had also asked that Shotta not be euthanized.

Granosik refused to grant the request.

—With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise

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Anglais

9 Things To Do In Montreal This Friday, Saturday & Sunday

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Today’s sunny skies have me itching to make weekend plans. I absolutely cannot wait to make the most of this warmer weather. This might be the time to inflate my bike tires and dust off my running shoes…

Whether you want to brush up on your cooking skills, let loose, or fill your stomach with amazing food, there’s an event out there for you. Read on for 9 fun things you can do with friends or a fling this weekend.

TL;DR Read on for 9 fun things you can do in Montreal this weekend.

Let Yourself Go At Dress Up

Where: 185 Avenue Van Horne, Montréal.

When: Friday, March 29, 9:00 p.m.

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