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Jordanian IS Suicide Bomber Said Recruited In Ukraine

  • Joanna Paraszczuk

By a chilling coincidence, the young medical student-turned-suicide bomber hailed from Al-Karak, a province southwest of the Jordanian capital, Amman, that was also the home of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh (pictured,in photograph), who was burned alive by IS militants in February.

By a chilling coincidence, the young medical student-turned-suicide bomber hailed from Al-Karak, a province southwest of the Jordanian capital, Amman, that was also the home of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh (pictured,in photograph), who was burned alive by IS militants in February.

A Jordanian lawmaker's son who joined the Islamic State (IS) militant group and blew himself up in Iraq was recruited while at medical school in Ukraine, his relatives have said.

Posts on pro-IS social-media accounts said late last week that Mohammad Dalaeen, 23, had killed himself in a suicide attack against Iraqi forces in Al-Jaraishi, an area north of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province.

Reports soon emerged that Mohammad Dalaeen -- who went by the nom de guerre Abu al-Bara al-Urdani ("the Jordanian") -- was the son of Jordanian lawmaker Mazen Dalaeen.

By a chilling coincidence, the young medical student-turned-suicide bomber hailed from Al-Karak, a province southwest of the Jordanian capital, Amman, that was also the home of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh, who was burned alive by IS militants in February.

Dalaeen was even from the same tribe as Kasasbeh, according to Al-Jazeera, who spoke to Dalaeen's father.

From Medical Student To Suicide Bomber

Mohammad Dalaeen had been studying medicine in Kharkiv, a large city in eastern Ukraine, before he joined IS.

A promising student, Dalaeen suddenly dropped out during his third year of school and went to Turkey with his Ukrainian wife in June of this year, intending to travel on to Iraq to join IS, Dalaeen's father told Al-Jazeera.

Dalaeen's father said that his son had been radicalized and recruited in Kharkiv by an Azerbaijani couple, known as Ibrahim and Sumayah, who live in Kharkiv.

A relative of the Dalaeen family told The Jordan Times on October 3 that Dalaeen's Ukrainian wife was a religious Muslim who had worn a full face veil.

The relative said Dalaeen's father had traveled to Ukraine in mid-June to see his son after becoming aware that he had begun to express extreme religious views. But he was unable to find Dalaeen, who had already left for Turkey with his wife.

Dalaeen last contacted his family on August 20, when he sent his mother a message explaining that he was in Mosul and getting ready to carry out a suicide attack, the relative said.

Prior to that, Dalaeen's father had tried three times to bring his son back to Jordan, but the young man refused, saying that he had made the right choice by joining IS.

Ukraine is a popular destination for Jordanian students, including medical students. Kharkiv has its own Jordanian community, the president of which, Raqi Rawashdeh, told Al-Jazeera that Dalaeen had become religious only in the last few months.

Around 3,400 Jordanians are enrolled in Ukrainian universities and over 2,900 Jordanian practicing doctors have graduated from schools in Ukraine, the Ukrainian ambassador to Jordan said in June, around the time that Dalaeen went to join IS in Iraq.

However, there have been reports of some tensions between the Jordanian community and locals.

In June, around 40 masked assailants seriously injured four Jordanian medical students in an attack, in Kharkiv in June, media reports said.

About This Blog

"Under The Black Flag" provides news, opinion, and analysis about the impact of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group in Syria, Iraq, and beyond. It focuses not only on the fight against terrorist groups in the Middle East, but also on the implications for the region and the world. The blog's primary author, James Miller, closely covered the first three years of the Arab Spring, with a focus on Syria, and is now the managing editor of The Interpreter, where he covers Russia's foreign and domestic policy and the Kremlin's wars in Syria and Ukraine. Follow him on Twitter: @Millermena

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