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Oxford Street shoppers get call to join ISIS

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Joining ISIS and travelling to Mesopotamian killing fields may not be on top of the summer plans for those who shop on Oxford Street, but someone though there was no harm in trying. Dozens of pro-Isis leaflets were distributed in London’s Oxford Street on Tuesday, urging Muslims to pledge allegiance to the jihadi group and travel to Syria and Iraq, accroding to a report in the Financial Times.
“Images of a group of individuals distributing the crudely printed leaflets in the busiest shopping area in Europe and its surrounding streets were posted by users of Twitter, including many by British Muslims angry at the extremist claims made on the leaflets,” the report said
The Financial Times was unable to contact any of those handing out the materials and preaching. “The leaflets were headed “Khilafah established” – a thinly veiled reference to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as Isis, which in June declared itself to be a caliphate, a political entity believed by some radical Sunnis to be the legitimate inheritor of spiritual and temporal authority of the Prophet Mohammed,” the report said.
“The spread of such pro-Isis material across Europe has been a growing concern for intelligence chiefs, who believe the security threat posed by Isis-linked jihadis is one of the gravest facing the west. More than 3,000 Europeans, including more than 500 Britons, have travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight in radical Sunni extremist groups, including Isis. At least one successful terror attack in Europe – shootings at a Belgian Jewish museum in May – has been linked to the conflict,” the FT report said.
“Our concern has always been for the potential for the conflict [in Syria and Iraq] to escalate – and for Isis to become more prominent in it and for people to go out there and join up with it as a result,” said one Whitehall security officia told the FT. “These leaflets are a symbol of that.”
“The distribution of the leaflets in Oxford Street – under paper printouts of the shahada, the Muslim statement of faith commonly adopted by jihadis groups on a black banner as their symbol – is one of the most visible pro-Isis demonstrations in Europe to date.
Others this year have included radicals broadcasting pro-Isis messages through loudspeakers in Oslo and a small demonstration in the Netherlands. A black jihadi banner appeared briefly above the entrance to an east London housing estate last week but was quickly removed by the local council, the report said.
“To have such a group openly promoting Isis – a terror organisation known for its brutality – in London, in one of its busiest areas, is shocking,” said Ghaffar Hussain, managing director of the Quilliam Foundation, a UK anti-extremism think-tank, told the newspaper.
The leaflets do not refer directly to Isis or its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi but carried the following message: “the Muslims with the help of Allah have announced the re-establishment of the Khilafah and appointed an imam as a Khaleef.”

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