top of page

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: ISIS-K’S PROPAGANDA IN THE WEST: ALLEGED CANADIAN OPERATIVE’S INFLUENCE ONLINE

Megan Khalife, Gabriel Helupka

Jennifer Loy, Chief Editor

April 30, 2024


ISIS-K Flag[1]


A writer claiming Canadian residency and using the alias Sulaiman Dawood Al-Kanadie is allegedly an active contributor to the Islamic State of Khorasan (ISIS-K)’s propaganda through Voice of Khurasan (VoK), ISIS-K’s online print series.[2] Al-Kanadie translates to “the Canadian” in Arabic, which several high-profile Canadian ISIS members previously used. He allegedly authored a June 2023 publication criticizing Muslims in the West for not committing themselves to “fighting in an armed conflict on behalf of ISIS,” while advocating for jihadist activities. Al-Kanadie chastises Canadian Muslim men for being more likely to “put on skinny jeans” or “fill their faces with food at a ‘Free Syria’ or ‘Free Palestine’ fundraiser.”[3] In July 2023, Al-Kanadie appeared in a publication demanding a jihadist invasion of Israel while in an August 2023 piece he claims the West are oppressing Muslims, burning Qurans, and occupying Muslims lands in Palestine. Experts have expressed their concerns regarding the emergence of an ISIS-K operative, given the group’s violent history and potential for radicalization in Canada. Intelligence agencies like the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are monitoring Al-Kanadie and likemind individuals, expecting continued ISIS-K activities and potential inspired attacks similar to the Moscow attack.[4] 


Al-Kanadie’s piece titled “The Zionist Plague” appeared on the VoK’s 27th issue.[5][6] Al-Kanadie began with a narration about a future conflict between the Muslims and the Jews and provided context regarding the Balfour Declaration of 1917, highlighting its catalyst role for the Nakba and leading to the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. He proceeded to criticize “so-called Muslim nations and leaders” as they “sit back and condemn the Zionists actions.”[7] He also called for the “complete invasion into Tel-Aviv by the mujahidin and supporting forces, to dethrone the leadership, to slay the dragon per say.”[8] Al-Kanadie accused Islamic groups fighting for nationalism of being ineffective and prioritizing political agendas over Islamic principles. He said these Islamic groups only care about “filling their bellies and making videos of their groups being dressed up in the best of military gear.”[9] 


At the end of the article, Al-Kanadie outlined the conspiracy theory about Zionist expansion plans into the Middle East, known as the Yinon Plan. He denounced the plan as “long term goals of the Zionist filth” and emphasized that “this is and always will be about ISLAM [sic], not FREE PALESTINE [sic].”[10] Throughout the piece, he encouraged like minded individuals to rise up since “its time for real war, its time to start strategically picking targets of the Zio-Crusadarist governments one by one to weaken them, this is more aligned with today's warfare instead of shock and awe campaigns.”[11] Al-Kanadie suggested that the Israeli military and police are not skilled in ground combat and rely heavily on air power and technologies like the Iron Dome for defense, arguing that a strategic and focused approach to weaken Israel and Western governments would defeat the Zionists.


Al-Kanadie allegedly maintains an inactive Facebook page, suggesting he is from Toronto and lives in Laval, Quebec Province.[12] His VoK publications and likeness appear to spread through word of mouth on social media, including X and Telegram. On June 25, 2023, an X user shared a screenshot of an alleged piece Al-Kanadie authored in VoK’s 26th edition, titled, ”Opinion: Self Destruction.”[13] On July 31, 2023, the same X user shared Al-Kanadie’s “The Zionist Plague” piece, garnering hundreds of views.[14] A Counterterrorism Group (CTG) investigation led to the discovery of a possible VoK-affiliated Telegram channel created on April 14, 2024, and his name being mentioned in a pashto-language channel known as “Who are the Khawarij?”[15] Mentions of Al-Kanadie on Telegram came back inconclusive on a large-scale, only appearing in the aforementioned channel.

           

Al-Kanadie’s storytelling abilities likely enhance persuasion of Canadian audiences into reasoning with ISIS-K propaganda, increasing the group’s Western recruitment reach. His proficient English capabilities and use of simple language very likely foster trust among his audiences, likely perceiving Al-Kanadie as a credible messenger on current geopolitical and armed conflict events. He almost certainly employs rhetorical devices and vivid imagery in his writings to evoke strong emotional responses, very likely to support the narrative he aims at his religious target audience. This perception of Al-Kanadie likely results in sympathetic readers adopting similar ideological viewpoints, increasing the potential for Al-Kanadie’s writings to inspire ISIS-K motivated terrorist attacks in 2024 based on his calls to action.


Al-Kanadie’s writings very likely promote jihad as a legitimate and necessary means to counter perceived violence against Muslims, likely encouraging lone actors to engage in his teachings and further deepening existing religious divisions. A core goal of Al-Kanadie’s writings is likely aiming to enhance Muslims’ urgency awareness regarding Jihad and its importance in strengthening the Ummah[16] and protecting Muslims. Al-Kanadie very likely leverages the sense of urgency to engage in jihad through his confrontational tone, likely prioritizing adherence to Islamic principles and the Ummah against Zionists and the Yinon Plan.  

 

[1] “Islamic State – Khurasan Province” by Islamic State Licensed Under Public Domain

[2] Mysterious writer behind ISIS-K propaganda calls himself 'the Canadian,' CBC News, March 2024,

[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid

[5] CTG Threat Hunter via Voice of Khurasan

[6] Zionism is a self-determination movement for establishing Jewish statehood in their ancestral lands that include Israel and parts of Palestine. (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Zionism)

[7] CTG Threat Hunter via Voice of Khurasan

[8] Ibid

[9] Ibid

[10] Ibid

[11] Ibid

[12] CTG Threat Hunter via Facebook

[13] cozyduke_apt29, X, July 31, 2023,

[14] cozyduke_apt29, X, July 31, 2023,

[15] CTG Threat Hunter via Telegram

[16] Translates to “nation” in Arabic. Ummah is a concept of nation and shared community that unites all muslim believers. (https://brown.edu/Departments/Joukowsky_Institute/courses/afterpharaohs2010/13415.html) 

Opmerkingen


bottom of page