Calgary brothers killed while fighting for ISIS
Published Wednesday, December 24, 2014 5:06PM MST Last Updated Wednesday, December 24, 2014 6:42PM MST
Clashes in the Syrian town of Dabiq have claimed the lives of two former Calgarians who relocated to the Middle East to join ISIS.
Brothers Collin and Gregory Gordon are the latest Calgarians to have been killed in battle. Of the five Calgarians reported to have joined ISIS, four are dead including Damian Clairmont and Salman Ashrafi.
The death of Calgarian Farah Mohamed Shirdon was reported earlier this year, but retracted following the surfacing of a threatening video in which Shirdron was interviewed .
An ISIS supporter took to Twitter on December 22 to announce the deaths of the Gordons and a British-ISIS member by imploring ‘Allah to accept his brothers’. The tweet was circulated by members of the press in the U.K.
On Christmas Eve, sources close to the Gordon brothers confirmed the news of their passing to CTV.
Canada's public safety minister Steven Blaney declined comment on the deaths. Spokesperson Jason Tamming released the following statement on the ministry’s behalf:
"While we cannot speak about specific cases, our Government is firmly committed to fighting terrorist groups who could pose a threat to Canadians. That is why we made it a criminal offence to go overseas to engage in terrorism and why we took action to strip the citizenship of those convicted of terrorist offences.”
"We will always stand up for the Canadian values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law against these abhorrent terrorists.”
"We will not be deterred by threats from ISIL or those that would travel overseas to join them."
The Calgary-raised brothers reportedly converted to Islam in August of 2014 and began attending a downtown Calgary mosque. The Gordons became radicalized and left Canada to join the forces of ISIS.
In September, Collin Gordon responded to CTV Calgary’s attempts to contact the former Calgarian. In his final response, dated September 7, Gordon affirmed his Muslim faith. When asked what he would tell Calgary about Islam, he said ‘If they read the Quran that should be enough’.
Collin Gordon’s social media accounts have been removed.
Calgary imam Sayed Soharwardy says the radicals that twist Islam and recruit youth remain active in the local community and across the country.
“Their agenda is to create havoc, they're agenda is to create hate and violence amongst human beings and between Muslims especially,” said Soharwardy. “So these two young boys, athletic, from a good family with good and bright futures were exploited by these brainwashers.”
The British Press reports that the number of Westerners killed while fighting for ISIS continues to grow since the introduction of coalition airstrikes and ground force attacks on disputed lands.