Scotland

Appeal for Aberdeen Isis jihadist Abdul Rakib Amin to come home

Abdul Rakib Amin Image copyright Hemedia
Image caption Abdul Rakib Amin was described by a fellow pupil as a "normal guy"

Leaders at an Aberdeen mosque have appealed for a man who appeared in a recruitment video for the Islamic militant group Isis to come home to his family.

BBC Scotland has confirmed his name is Abdul Rakib Amin, and he is known to his friends as Rakib, but also seems to go under other names.

He is believed to be aged 25.

It is understood he attended Sunnybank Primary and St Machar Academy in Aberdeen.

Fellow pupil Naz Hussain said: "I just knew him as a nice guy, a normal lad that was up for playing football.

"He was outgoing. He got into trouble now and then but nothing major. He was just a normal guy.

"The Bangladeshi community in Aberdeen are really great people. They are really hard-working and I just don't want this to damage them.

"This is just one individual that's maybe lost touch a little bit."

'Everyone's shocked'

He added: "Everyone's just shocked really. It's just such a weird thing to happen in a city like Aberdeen."

The mosque imam, Ibrahim Alwawi, rejected the idea that Rakib could have been radicalised at the mosque in Aberdeen.

He said they would welcome him back there, but not if he had been radicalised.

Image copyright Not specified
Image caption Abdul Rakib Amin was schooled in Aberdeen

The 13-minute video, There Is No Life Without Jihad, emerged on Friday, posted by accounts linked to Isis.

Two of the six fighters shown in the film urging Muslims to join a holy war have been identified as Nasser Muthana and Reyaad Khan from Cardiff.

The news has stunned people in Aberdeen.

Muslim leaders across the country have called for continued dialogue between local communities and the police.

'Better way'

Dr Salah Beltagui from the Muslim Council of Scotland said: "We have issued a statement saying going to Syria or Iraq is not helping.

"You are making things worse for your family here in Scotland.

"There should be a better way of helping people in Iraq and Syria."

Dr Beltagui said he was not aware of other men leaving Scotland to fight with Isis and other terror groups.

Image copyright other
Image caption Abdul Rakib Amin, left, is believed to be among hundreds fighting in the conflict in Syria

He said: "These men who have gone out there were not recruited through open channels.

"They have been recruited through the internet.

"This (type of recruitment) has been going on for three years, so there is nothing new there.

"It is a pity we haven't done anything earlier."

Scottish government minister for external affairs Humza Yousaf said he "does not doubt the enormity of the challenge" in tackling radicalisation at home and abroad.

'Great relationship'

He said: "Police Scotland have been working with the Muslim community in Scotland for 10 years.

"It is important that close co-operation of intelligence services continues.

"There is close co-operation in the UK but also across boundaries and across borders."

Mr Yousaf added: "The Muslim community and the police have a great relationship in Scotland.

"When I go to Friday prayers in the mosque, very often there will be a police officer there talking to young people.

"Having that close relationship is imperative because intelligence is incredibly important in a situation like this.

"I have said in the past, the best way to tackle extremist ideology is by empowering moderate ideology.

"The vast, vast majority of Muslims and Muslim preachers and scholars in Scotland are moderate.

"To give them a voice whilst doing the important work the police are doing is the two-prong strategy to keep the people of Scotland safe."

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