UPDATED: ISIS jihadist says he is a former Ryerson student

Abu_Turaab_Post

The 24-year old from Mississauga, Ont. left the country to join ISIS. Abu Turaab/Twitter  via The National Post

An ISIS fighter, who goes by the name Abu Turaab, says he is a former Ryerson student.

The National Post reported his real name is Mohammed Ali and revealed he is a 24-year-old from Mississauga, Ont. who left the country to join ISIS, also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, eight months ago.

On his @AbuTuraaab Twitter profile, which was suspended by Twitter on Nov. 17, Ali had set his location as the “Islamic State.” He had tweeted several times a day and posted violent and anti-Western messages.

Related: Former Rye student continues to promote jihadist ideology online

Before the account was suspended The Ryersonian tweeted at Ali to seek confirmation that he attended Ryerson. Ali “favourited” the tweet but did not reply.

Stewart Bell, The National Post’s national security issues and foreign affairs reporter, captured a screenshot last week of Ali’s response to a question on ask.fm, in which he says he went to Ryerson University. Readers can see the exchange below.

His ask.fm account, where he also answered questions about the ideology of ISIS, has since been suspended.

On his most recent Twitter account he, used expressions like “homeboy” or “bro” when referring to other ISIS fighters on the account. In a recent tweet, Ali made a connection between the killing of non-Muslims to “securing a place in Jannah (heaven).”

The Post also reported Twitter suspended a previous account opened by Ali. It has been widely reported that the social media company has been suspending accounts associated with ISIS.

Ali’s responses to other anonymously asked ask.fm questions were still on his Twitter profile. He recently revealed that he is married and said that he had to leave Canada because it is the “land of disbelief.”  He also tweeted that he has since handed over his passport to ISIS.

The National Post also reported that Ali told his parents he was flying to Turkey for two weeks but when he arrived in Istanbul he crossed the border to Syria.

Ryerson president Sheldon Levy says he hasn’t been approached by police or any other security agencies about Ali or any current or former students connected to terrorist activities.

“I’ve never heard from the police of security on any of these issues, so all of that is new to me,” he said. “The police have not asked the university for any information that I know of.”

Mubin Shaikh, who was an undercover counterterrorist agent for Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), said he wasn’t aware of Ali until he saw reports of him in the press. But he said there have been instances of young men “immersing themselves in online propaganda. It’s very likely that was the same thing that got this guy to have headed over.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Sgt. Greg Cox, a spokesman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said that he couldn’t confirm or deny any potential information about Ali.

A screenshot from Ali’s ask.fm where he confirms he went to Ryerson University. (Courtesy Stewart Bell)

With files from Ryan McKenna.

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