Ahmed Halane

Ahmed Halane is a Denmark-based extremist and suspected propagandist for ISIS.Duncan Crawford, “Manchester terror suspect ‘living freely in Denmark,’” BBC Newsbeat, May 20, 2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/32405092/manchester-terror-suspect-living-freely-in-denmark. In 2013, Halane reportedly fled to Somalia to join al-Shabab,Duncan Crawford, “Manchester terror suspect ‘living freely in Denmark,’” BBC Newsbeat, May 20, 2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/32405092/manchester-terror-suspect-living-freely-in-denmark. moving to Syria and joining ISIS later that year.Kimiko De Freytas-Tamura, “Double Blow for Parents of Jihadists: Losing Children, Then Their Community,” New York Times, December 27, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/28/world/double-blow-for-parents-of-jihadists-losing-children-then-their-community.html?_r=0. It is unknown how he transitioned from Somalia to Syria to Denmark. Authorities believe he is responsible for radicalizing his younger sisters, twins Salma and Zahra, who fled to Syria at age 16 in July 2014 to become jihadist brides.Richard Wheatstone, “Brother of twin schoolgirls who fled Chorlton to join him in Syria urged to come home with sisters,” Manchester Evening News, July 10, 2014, http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/watch-brother-twin-schoolgirls-who-7405593.

In December 2013, Salma Halane was caught downloading images of Syrian jihadi fighters at Connell Sixth Form College in Beswick. She told a teacher she was looking for her brother.Yakub Qureshi, “‘Jihadi bride’ Salma Halane accessed Isis picture on college computer SIX MONTHS before she disappeared in Syria,” Manchester Evening News, March 10, 2015, http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/jihadi-bride-salma-halane-isis-8811263. According to a source close to the family, Halane inspired his sisters but did not explicitly encourage them to go to Syria.Duncan Crawford, “Manchester terror suspect ‘living freely in Denmark,’” BBC Newsbeat, May 20, 2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/32405092/manchester-terror-suspect-living-freely-in-denmark. The girls married ISIS fighters, both of whom were later killed.Duncan Crawford, “Manchester terror suspect ‘living freely in Denmark,’” BBC Newsbeat, May 20, 2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/32405092/manchester-terror-suspect-living-freely-in-denmark.

The United Kingdom has reportedly banned Halane. He now lives in Aarhus, Denmark, and can travel freely across the continental EU.Duncan Crawford, “Manchester terror suspect ‘living freely in Denmark,’” BBC Newsbeat, May 20, 2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/32405092/manchester-terror-suspect-living-freely-in-denmark.

Halane was born in Denmark and moved to Manchester, England with his family at the age of nine.Paul Britton, “Brother of ‘jihadi bride’ twin sisters from Chorlton who fled for ISIS in Syria reported to be in Denmark,” Manchester Evening News, May 21, 2015, http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/brother-jihadi-bride-twin-sisters-9307415. Throughout his childhood he won numerous Quran recitation contests across the United Kingdom and Dubai.Martin Robinson, “‘I started memorising the Koran when I was five’: Older brother of missing jihadi sisters reveals his devout religious beliefs in videos filmed before he fled to Syria to fight for ISIS,” Daily Mail, July 11, 2014, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2688572/Older-brother-missing-jihadi-sisters-filmed-just-fled-Syria.html. As a teenager, Halane led prayers at the Al Furqan Mosque in Moss Side, Manchester. According to Dr. Abdelaziz Belattar, co-organizer of the Muslim Association of Britain’s Quran competition, Halane studied Islam in Denmark and planned to continue at an Egyptian university.Martin Robinson, “‘I started memorising the Koran when I was five’: Older brother of missing jihadi sisters reveals his devout religious beliefs in videos filmed before he fled to Syria to fight for ISIS,” Daily Mail, July 11, 2014, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2688572/Older-brother-missing-jihadi-sisters-filmed-just-fled-Syria.html.

Halane was reportedly radicalized watching online videos of extremist preachers such as Anwar al-Awlaki.Duncan Crawford, “Manchester terror suspect ‘living freely in Denmark,’” BBC Newsbeat, May 20, 2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/32405092/manchester-terror-suspect-living-freely-in-denmark. One person who knew Halane called him an “inciter” who was “brainwashed by listening to deviant men.”Duncan Crawford, “Manchester terror suspect ‘living freely in Denmark,’” BBC Newsbeat, May 20, 2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/32405092/manchester-terror-suspect-living-freely-in-denmark. This anonymous source told the BBC that Halane “calls to ideologies which result in the killing of innocent people.” The source further called Halane “two-faced,” and said he reveals his extremism only to young people.Duncan Crawford, “Manchester terror suspect ‘living freely in Denmark,’” BBC Newsbeat, May 20, 2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/32405092/manchester-terror-suspect-living-freely-in-denmark.

In May 2015, Halane began attending Grimhoj mosque, which has been accused of encouraging young people to become foreign fighters in Syria.Duncan Crawford, “Manchester terror suspect ‘living freely in Denmark,’” BBC Newsbeat, May 20, 2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/32405092/manchester-terror-suspect-living-freely-in-denmark. Authorities identified 22 fighters in Syria who had attended the mosque.Duncan Crawford, “Manchester terror suspect ‘living freely in Denmark,’” BBC Newsbeat, May 20, 2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/32405092/manchester-terror-suspect-living-freely-in-denmark. The mosque’s leaders say they now work with local authorities to de-radicalize returning foreign fighters and reintegrate them into society.Duncan Crawford, “Manchester terror suspect ‘living freely in Denmark,’” BBC Newsbeat, May 20, 2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/32405092/manchester-terror-suspect-living-freely-in-denmark.

 
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