Abu Rumaysah

Siddhartha Dhar, a.k.a. Abu Rumaysah, was a prominent British jihadist and ISIS propagandist believed to operate out of Raqqa, Syria.Richard Spencer, “Anjem Choudary’s prime supporter says ‘Jihadi John’ justified in beheading captives,” Telegraph (London), March 4, 2015, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/11449598/Anjem-Choudarys-prime-supporter-says-Jihadi-John-justified-in-beheading-captives.html. He reportedly traveled to ISIS-controlled territory in September 2014.Richard Spencer, “Anjem Choudary’s prime supporter says ‘Jihadi John’ justified in beheading captives,” Telegraph (London), March 4, 2015, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/11449598/Anjem-Choudarys-prime-supporter-says-Jihadi-John-justified-in-beheading-captives.html. Rumaysah reportedly authored the 46-page manifesto “A Brief Guide to the Islamic State,” an e-book released in early May 2015 aimed at recruiting Western foreign fighters.Heather Saul, “ISIS ‘tourist guide’: British jihadist Abu Ramaysah publishes e-book comparing self-declared caliphate to ‘plush holiday resort,’” Independent (London), May 19, 2015, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-tourist-guide-british-jihadist-abu-rumaysah-publishes-ebook-comparing-selfdeclared-caliphate-to-plush-holiday-resort-10260868.html. In the e-book, Rumaysah described the ‘caliphate’ in vivid terms, as akin to a “plush holiday resort” with an “exquisite Mediterranean climate.”Heather Saul, “ISIS ‘tourist guide’: British jihadist Abu Ramaysah publishes e-book comparing self-declared caliphate to ‘plush holiday resort,’” Independent (London), May 19, 2015, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-tourist-guide-british-jihadist-abu-rumaysah-publishes-ebook-comparing-selfdeclared-caliphate-to-plush-holiday-resort-10260868.html. Rumaysah became known as Jihadi Sid after appearing in a 2016 ISIS execution video. He was allegedly killed in 2017.Tom Well, “‘JIHADI SID’ KILLED ‘Jihadi Sid’, the British former bouncy castle salesman turned ISIS fiend, is believed to have been killed in drone strike, officials say,” Sun (London), October 19, 2018, https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7538880/jihadi-sid-killed-drone-strike/.

The cover of Rumaysah’s “e-book.” Image source: Independent

Rumaysah is a Hindu convert to Islam.Richard Spencer, “Anjem Choudary’s prime supporter says ‘Jihadi John’ justified in beheading captives,” Telegraph (London), March 4, 2015, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/11449598/Anjem-Choudarys-prime-supporter-says-Jihadi-John-justified-in-beheading-captives.html. Before fleeing to ISIS-controlled territory in Syria, Rumaysah was an associate of the extremist British Islamist preacher and convicted ISIS supporter Anjem Choudary and Mohammed Mizanur Rahman.Richard Spencer, “Anjem Choudary’s prime supporter says ‘Jihadi John’ justified in beheading captives,” Telegraph (London), March 4, 2015, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/11449598/Anjem-Choudarys-prime-supporter-says-Jihadi-John-justified-in-beheading-captives.html; “Anjem Choudary and Mohammed Rahman convicted of inviting support for Daesh,” Crown Prosecution Service, August 16, 2016, http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/latest_news/anjem_choudary_and_mohammed_rahman_convicted_of_inviting_support_for_daesh/; Omar Wahid, “Freed and back on London's streets: Hate preacher who inspired ISIS executioner is released after serving just half of his jail sentence,” Daily Mail (London), November 10, 2018, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6375975/Hate-preacher-inspired-ISIS-executioner-released-serving-just-half-jail-sentence.html. Rahman and Rumaysah were reportedly childhood friends. Rahman allegedly converted Rumaysah to Islam and then radicalized him through the now-defunct British Islamist network led by Choudary and Rahman, al-Muhajiroun.Omar Wahid, “Freed and back on London's streets: Hate preacher who inspired ISIS executioner is released after serving just half of his jail sentence,” Daily Mail (London), November 10, 2018, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6375975/Hate-preacher-inspired-ISIS-executioner-released-serving-just-half-jail-sentence.html. Rumaysah was also believed to be in contact with Michael Adebolajo, one of the men who murdered British soldier Fusilier Lee Rigby in May 2013.Richard Spencer, “Anjem Choudary’s prime supporter says ‘Jihadi John’ justified in beheading captives,” Telegraph (London), March 4, 2015, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/11449598/Anjem-Choudarys-prime-supporter-says-Jihadi-John-justified-in-beheading-captives.html. Rumaysah was arrested alongside Choudary in September 2014 for encouraging terrorism and promoting al-Muhajiroun.Richard Spencer, “Anjem Choudary’s prime supporter says ‘Jihadi John’ justified in beheading captives,” Telegraph (London), March 4, 2015, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/11449598/Anjem-Choudarys-prime-supporter-says-Jihadi-John-justified-in-beheading-captives.html. Rumaysah received bail after forfeiting his passport but was able to travel to Syria via Paris and Turkey.Richard Spencer, “Anjem Choudary’s prime supporter says ‘Jihadi John’ justified in beheading captives,” Telegraph (London), March 4, 2015, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/11449598/Anjem-Choudarys-prime-supporter-says-Jihadi-John-justified-in-beheading-captives.html. By the time he left for Syria, British authorities had reportedly arrested Rumaysah a total of six times.“Isil jihadist Siddhartha Dhar interviewed in new Channel 4 documentary 'The Jihadis Next Door',” Telegraph (London), January 19, 2016, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/12106995/Isil-jihadist-Siddhartha-Dhar-interviewed-in-new-Channel-4-documentary-The-Jihadis-Next-Door.html.

Following ISIS’s June 2014 declaration of the caliphate, Rumaysah reportedly encouraged Choudary to support ISIS on social media. Both men were arrested shortly thereafter.Jamie Grierson, Vikram Dodd, and Jason Rodrigues, “Anjem Choudary convicted of supporting Islamic State,” Guardian (London), August 16, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/aug/16/anjem-choudary-convicted-of-supporting-islamic-state. Choudary was convicted of supporting ISIS in June 2016.“Anjem Choudary and Mohammed Rahman convicted of inviting support for Daesh,” Crown Prosecution Service, August 16, 2016, http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/latest_news/anjem_choudary_and_mohammed_rahman_convicted_of_inviting_support_for_daesh/. In January 2016, Rumaysah appeared in an ISIS propaganda video in which he called British Prime Minister David Cameron an imbecile and then executed five prisoners accused of spying for the United Kingdom. It was after this video that British media labeled him Jihadi Sid.“Islamic State video suspect thought to be Briton Siddhartha Dhar,” BBC News, January 5, 2016, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-35228558; Tom Well, “‘JIHADI SID’ KILLED ‘Jihadi Sid’, the British former bouncy castle salesman turned ISIS fiend, is believed to have been killed in drone strike, officials say,” Sun (London), October 19, 2018, https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7538880/jihadi-sid-killed-drone-strike/.

Rumaysah, his wife, and their five children were allegedly killed in Syria in 2017. British officials could not confirm his death.Tom Well, “‘JIHADI SID’ KILLED ‘Jihadi Sid’, the British former bouncy castle salesman turned ISIS fiend, is believed to have been killed in drone strike, officials say,” Sun (London), October 19, 2018, https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7538880/jihadi-sid-killed-drone-strike/.

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