Preachers of Hate: How Tariq Abdelhaleem spreads bigotry from the comfort of Canada

Salafi preacher Tariq Abdelhaleem. (Supplied photo)
Updated 06 August 2019

Preachers of Hate: How Tariq Abdelhaleem spreads bigotry from the comfort of Canada

  • Extremist offers religious justifications for suicide bombings and cannot decide whether he prefers Al-Qaeda or Daesh
  • Cairo-born Abdulhaleem was an early proponent of violent extremism

DUBAI: The Salafi preacher Dr. Tariq Abdelhaleem, 70, justifies suicide bombings, advocates terror attacks and calls for global armed Islamist revolution.

That he does this while living a privileged life in Canada, protected by free-speech laws, makes him not just a bigot, but a hypocrite.

And it is why he is the subject today of Preachers of Hate, the Arab News series that analyzes militant extremists and their malign influence on those who follow them.

 

In Abdelhaleem’s case, those followers number in the millions, to whom he spreads his bile on YouTube, Twitter and his own website.

 

Abdulhaleem commands a mass audience by taking advantage of the freedoms granted by his adopted country, where he has lived since the 1980s, Dr. Hani Nasira, an expert on ideological movements, told Arab News.

“His bet is on a global armed Islamist revolution. He also calls for individual jihadist attacks and offers religious justification for suicide bombings,” Nasira said.

Opinion

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Born in Cairo, Abdulhaleem was an early proponent of violent extremism. After settling in Canada he founded the Dar Al-Arqam Institution and began teaching a course in Sharia. He also edited Ummat Al-Islam, a periodical that appears in both Arabic and English, for several years in Toronto.

Abdelhaleem has endorsed Al-Qaeda, and struggled to choose between them and Daesh. “The establishment of Daesh … has revived in the hearts of many Muslims a dream that was hard to achieve, but now seems em and Daescloser,” he said.

 

 


Philippine military says Abu Sayyaf leader still alive

A soldier stands guard in Marawi City. The Philippines has faced several terror threats in the past years. (Reuters/File)
Updated 11 July 2020

Philippine military says Abu Sayyaf leader still alive

  • Sawadjaan, who heads the ASG faction affiliated with Daesh, has been tagged as the mastermind behind the suicide attacks on Sulu Island last year

MANILA: The Philippine military on Friday said that one of the senior leaders of the extremist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Mindanao is still alive.

Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief Lt. Gen. Cirilo Sobejana told foreign media that Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan was still “very active,” as he responded to questions about reports that Sawadjaan had died from gunshot wounds sustained during an encounter Monday with Army Scout Rangers on Sulu Island.
Westmincom spokesman Maj. Arvin Encinas told Arab News that Sawadjaan was still alive but seriously injured in the firefight that left five other Abu Sayyaf fighters dead.
Earlier reports quoted police as saying that Sawadjaan had succumbed to the wounds sustained during the 30-minute shootout with the military in the hinterlands of Patikul, Sulu. He was also reportedly buried by his followers and nephew, Mundi Sawadjaan.
Sawadjaan, who heads the ASG faction affiliated with Daesh, has been tagged as the mastermind behind the suicide attacks on Sulu Island last year.
The first attack on the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo town in Jan. 2019 killed 23 people, including an Indonesian couple who carried out the bombing, and wounded 109 others.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan is still ‘very active,’ said Lt. Gen. Cirilo Sobejana while responding to questions about reports that Sawadjaan had died from gunshot wounds sustained during an encounter Monday with Army Scout Rangers on Sulu island.

• Sawadjaan has been tagged as the mastermind behind the suicide attacks on Sulu island last year.

The second bombing, which targeted an army counterterrorism unit brigade in Indanan town, killed eight people and injured 22. It was also the first officially confirmed case of a suicide bombing carried out by a Filipino, identified as Norman Lasuca, in the Philippines.
Responding to a question on the engagement between Daesh and Islamist militant groups in Mindanao such as the ASG, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and the Daulah Islamiyah, Sobejana said there used to be a high intensity of engagement between local militant groups and Daesh.
“But this time, this has been reduced due to the killing of Abu Talha, one of the conduits,” Sobejana said, referring to Talha Jumsah’ alias Abu Talha, a Daesh-trained bomb expert who also served as a conduit for the global terror network and the ASG. Abu Talha was killed in a military operation in November last year.
“What is left right now is Hatib Hadjan Sawadjaan. While he is still very active, he is quite old,” Sobejana said.
Sawadjaan also oversaw the kidnapping of Arab News’ Asia bureau chief, Baker Atyani, in 2012 when he was working as a correspondent for Al-Arabiya.
The US has included Sawadjaan in its list of global terrorists. He was also tagged as the acting emir of Daesh in the Philippines.