British Rapper-Turned-ISIS Fighter Arrested In Spain
A former British rapper Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, who left the UK to fight for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group (ISIL, also known as ISIS), has been arrested by the Spanish police.
Abdel Bary was caught on Monday alongside two other men in an apartment in Almería, a port city in southeastern Spain, AP reports.
According to the media release from Spain’s National Police, Abdel Bary is “one of the most sought terrorists in Europe, both because of his criminal trajectory in the ranks of Daesh (Islamic State) and because of the high danger that he represented.”
Following the Monday arrest, Abdel Bary and the two other men were interrogated on Tuesday and were scheduled to appear before a National Court judge in Madrid on Wednesday, according to a spokesman for the court that usually handles terror-related case. The spokesman who was not authorized to be named in media reports.
Police said the operation was the result of “international cooperation” between agents specialized in fighting terrorism who suspected that the Egyptian suspect might be travelling through Spain as he tried to return home from the Mideast.
Abdel Bary grew up in London to become a rapper known as Lyricist Jinn and L Jinny. Music videos still available online show him performing raps with references to drug use, violence and his family’s experience as asylum-seekers in Britain. He was also part of a rap group known as “The Black Triangle”.
On 1 July 2013, he announced that he was giving up his musical aspirations for Islam. “I have left everything for the sake of Allah”, he posted on social media.
In early August 2014, he posted a photograph of himself holding a man’s severed head allegedly taken in Raqqa, Syria, the stronghold of ISIL and declared capital for the ISIL self-proclaimed Islamic State. The caption read: “Chillin’ with my homie or what’s left of him.”
He was later stripped of his UK citizenship because of his links to ISIS.
The former rapper is the son of an Egyptian operative of al-Qaeda who was convicted for events related to the 1998 bombings at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people. The father was convicted in New York and sentenced in 2015 to a 25-year prison term.