As the civil war in Syria rages on, more and more militant Islamists from around the world are gathering mainly in the northern parts of the country to fight the regime of Bashar al-Assad. German intelligence agencies estimate the number of German jihadists in Syria around 200, at least ten of whom died in their fight against the government forces.
By the end of November 2013 a video message allegedly released by sources near to one of the most dangerous jihadist groups, the so called “Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria” (ISIS) appeared on social media websites. It featured a young German speaking man armed with an AK-47 on his shoulder, who called upon German Muslims to “join the caravan of Jihad”. In the video he describes his own way from his conversion to Islam four years ago, to his emigration to Syria in order to “make the word of God the highest”, that is to fight the government of al-Assad and to establish a state based on the Sharia. The identity of the young German calling himself “Abu Usama” in reference to notorious terrorist Usama bin Ladin, was revealed a few days later. According to the German newspaper „Die Welt“ the young jihadist is 26 year old Philip B. from Dinslaken, a town in North Rhein-Westphalia. The former pizza delivery driver and some fellow Islamists which he knew from school traveled to Syria by car and joined ISIS. In the following I’d like to highlight some parts of the German jihadist’s video statement.