A jihadi from Britain, who went on to fight for Islamic State in Syria, was caught on camera by an undercover reporter for trying to lure an underage girl to become his wife and join him in the terror-inflicted region. In unsettling messages, the man, who identified himself with the alias, Abu Antar, was seen offering step-by-step instructions to his 15-year-old bride-to-be on how she could escape from her family and travel to the Middle East. Antar groomed the minor for more than a week through video exchanges over the internet before finally telling her, when he picks her up, he is going to be picking her up as his wife.
However, unfortunately for Antar, the veil-wearing underage girl he spoke to from Ragga, Syria, happened to be an undercover reporter for a Canadian news network that went on to expose Antar earlier this year without being able to establish his true identity.
Last month though, The Mail carried out an investigation to reveal that the jihadi, whose real name happens to be Ahmed Canter, in fact hails from London. After being born in Somalia, Canter moved to Britain with his family when he was only six months old, eventually being brought up in a suburb of West London. Before leaving for Ragga, Canter lived in an apartment with his mother, three brothers and sister.
Canter’s family members, who earlier said he works as an accountant, claim to be shocked with the latest revelation and are now trying to distance themselves from his actions, saying they would cooperate with police officials whenever necessary.
The Mail, which acquired all the video footages and exchanges that had taken place between Canter and the undercover reporter, revealed how the jihadi ordered the girl to marry him in a ceremony over the internet, before boasting of 20 other jihadis that he had already smuggled to Syria.
The reporter, who went undercover for Global News Network, had set up a fake Twitter account, pretending to be a 15-year-old girl, to gauge just how much attention she gets from jihadis in Syria. Within hours, she had been bombarded with messages, one of which belonged to Canter. They decided to communicate with each other on Kik, an encrypted messaging service, where Canter asked her to marry him almost immediately, before the two moved on to engage in long video calls over Skype.
During their exchanges, Canter discussed with the minor what flights she could take from her home in Edmonton to reach him in Syria and also helped her concoct a backup story that would help her get away from her near and dear ones.
He said, “Can you hear me, yeah? Here’s what you do. You say you gonna have a weekend sleepover, where you basically start from Friday evening…then you get on a flight to Calgary. When you get to the flight on Calgary, you fly to Germany, to Frankfurt, then you go to Istanbul. The flight you look for is the shortest flying time. The moment you land in Turkey, I’ll have everything ready. But, ah, my biggest concern is you getting out to Istanbul without your parents going crazy, you know.”
He also told his would-be-bride to carry only Western clothes in order to avoid suspicion.
“You need to travel completely Western, and don’t buy any abayas [Islamic long dress] and all this kind of thing in the bag,” he said.
Canter informed the girl that his men would be waiting for her arrival in Istanbul, from where they would drive her to the country’s border and then into Syria, so she could finally meet him.
Upon being asked what all she was expected to carry with her, Canter said, “Can you bring some cash with you? It’s good to have extra cash to fall back on in case, you know, anything goes wrong. If you’re up for it, I’ll buy a handgun for your protection. The women here carry handguns; they carry the [suicide] belt. You always have enemies.”
Canter went on to pressure the reporter to participate in a nikah (Islamic wedding ceremony) over Skype, fearing that she would otherwise be married off to another jihadi upon entering the caliphate.
The undercover reporter then ended all contact with Canter as their exchanges were eventually broadcast in a documentary titled ‘The Wives of ISIS’. After this incident, messages across social media pointed towards the possibility that Canter had managed to lure another Muslim girl, possibly from Tunisia, into Syria and marry her. When The Mail tried to contact Canter and his wife via Twitter on May 24, the couple changed their account details immediately and blocked the concerned reporter.
When The Mail contacted him on Kik and asked why he had attempted to lure a minor to Syria, an infuriated Canter responded, “Die in your rage, ya kafir [infidel]. I would love to put the knife on your throat. Tracking you down son. It’s a matter of time [before] I get to you.”
While his older brother admitted that Canter had in fact travelled to Syria with 28 other friends from Britain last year, he said he had no knowledge of Canter having an alias. However, three of his school friends and two of his neighbors identified Canter in the video messages, saying they were also aware that he had changed his name to Abu Antar from Ahmed Canter on his Facebook page last year.
Since the expose, Canter’s family has said, “We are hard-working, law-abiding citizens. We distance ourselves from the actions of Ahmed Canter and IS and their activities. The Canter family do not in any way support the political or ideological aims or objectives of IS. We are not aware of his [Canter’s] current whereabouts or whether he is in Syria or not. In addition we have not viewed any documentary on IS and cannot confirm that the person named Abu Antar is in fact Ahmed Canter.”
Photo Credits: Daily Mail