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Swedish Islamist convert in Isis viral video row

The Local · 3 Feb 2015, 16:48

Published: 03 Feb 2015 11:08 GMT+01:00
Updated: 03 Feb 2015 16:48 GMT+01:00

Michael Nikolai Skråmo, who also calls himself Abo Ibrahim Al Swedi, appears in the propaganda video wearing desert camouflage and clutching an assault rifle, and proceeds to give practical and motivational encouragement to would-be jihadis. 
 
“My brothers, ‘hijra’ (migration) and ‘jihad’ are so simple. It only costs a few thousand ‘lapp’ [Swedish kronor],” he says in Swedish. “Do you not wish in in your heart to fight and show God what you have to offer him? The door to jihad is standing there waiting for you. It’s the fastest way to Jannah [Paradise]." 
 
Skråmo, who has two Norwegian parents but was born and grew up near Gothenburg in Sweden is understood to have moved to Raqqah, the capital of the fledgling Islamic State in Syria, back in September with his wife and two children, hoping to fight alongside Islamic State soldiers.
 
According to Sweden's Expressen newspaper, he converted to Islam in 2005, after which he travelled widely in the Islamic world, learning Arabic and studying the religion.
 
Per Gudmundson, a Swedish blogger for the Svenska Dagbladet paper claims that Skråmo became a well-known radical preacher at the Multicultural Youth Centre at a Gothenburg mosque, and was an open supporter of the American-Yemeni al-Qaeda ideologue Anwar al-Awlaki before he was killed in a missile strike in 2011. 
 
Mohammed El Alti, Head of Information at Gothenburg mosque told The Local it was "unclear" whether Skråmo had worshipped at the city's mosque, and strongly criticised the content of the video, which had secured almost 5000 hits on Vimeo by Tuesday morning.
 
"I don't know this man...but the video is the usual thing we hear from these people who go and become terrorists. These are people who have not really been following Islam properly and they get recruited by Isis, and this may have happened to him."
 
He added: "If it turns out he was converted to Islam in Gothenburg mosque then we are really sorry about that link."
 
 
Gothenburg mosque does not currently offer a formal course for those wishing to become muslims, although it does hold lectures and seminars for those who are curious about the religion.
 
"There is no conversion call but we are trying to fix that and to improve our work so we can offer for instance a course on Islam for beginners," said El Alti, who said that providing a more formal education for Muslim converts should help the mosque keep track of new adopters of the religion and ensure that they understand the core principles of Islam.
 
 
Michael Nikolai Skråmo speaks in both Arabic and Swedish in his video.
 
Story continues below…
“My brothers and sisters,” he says. “What’s going on in the world is a war against Islam. You know it and I know it.” 
 
At the end of the video, Skråmo becomes more emotional.
 
"I want you to be here with me. I want us to hang out in Jannah. My wonderful brothers, take this decision, trust in Allah, sacrificing your money and your life for Allah, and you will receive the highest from Allah ".
 
The video follows similar calls from other Islamist converts across Europe. Last month a German jihadist was featured in a Facebook video warning that Germans should “brace themselves” for future terrorist attacks.
 

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The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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