Australian Pro-ISIS Preacher Tells Story About Prisoner Who 'Tricked' His U.S. Interrogators, Encourages Prisoners Not To Reveal Identity Of Accomplices, Promotes Twitter Campaign By UK-Based Pro-ISIS Preacher

February 28, 2022
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Pro-Islamic State (ISIS) Australian preacher Wissam Haddad, aka Abu Ousayd Al-Islami, has expanded his online presence, sharing content on platforms such as Telegram, Instagram, SoundCloud, and YouTube, in addition to his website[1].

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In December 2021, Haddad's Instagram account was suspended, but it appears that it is now active again[2].

The radical preacher, considered a central figure in the Australian Salafi-jihadi network[3], has also been promoting Twitter storms initiated by pro-ISIS British preacher Anjem Choudary, which call for the release of radical clerics detained on terrorism charges, such as Ahmed Al-Assir and Omar Bakri Mohammed[4].


On November 29, 2021, Haddad posted on his Telegram channel a video[5] in which he praised a prisoner, a Saudi national, who he said was interrogated by U.S. officers in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison yet refused to reveal the names of his associates.

The video, with subtitles in broken English, opens with Haddad stating that he was watching a video about "a Saudi brother I think... [who] was locked up in Abu Gharib prison in Iraq... and there he was being questioned by the Americans [who] want to know information." Haddad explained that the interrogators wanted to know who the prisoner's associates were.

He continued: "They're saying to him we want to know who's your shaykh[6] [leading figure], tell us who your shaykh is."

Haddad noted that the prisoner refused to provide answers: "Na nah I don't want to tell you who my... my shaykh is. You might go take him [,] you might do something to him [,] you might harm him."

He went on to say that the prisoner finally told his interrogators that his associate's name was "Ahmed... he has a son called Salih and a son called Abdullah... he is from Iraq... Baghdad."

Haddad asserted that U.S. interrogators were trying to mislead the Saudi man when they told him they had captured his "shaykh": "We captured your shaykh and your shaykh has been known to carry out or order acts of terror and terrorism and so on," said the interrogator, according to Haddad, who then stated that the prisoner was shocked and accused the interrogators of betraying him.

Boasting about how the Saudi prisoner misinformed his interrogators, Haddad explained that the name he gave them was that of Ahmad bin Hanbal, an Islamic scholar who died 1,200 years ago and was buried in Baghdad[7].

Haddad concluded by arguing that the lesson from the story is that Muslim detainees should rely on Allah to inspire them with ways in which to maneuver and should not give in to interrogation tactics, stating: "Allah... gave [the prisoner] this steadfastness... he didn't fold and start giving names and [details of] everything and everyone."


[2] Instagram.

[5] Telegram, November 29, 2021.

[6] The man who oversees his recruitment or mission.

[7] Ahmad bin Hanbal, a ninth-century Islamic scholar and the founder of the Hanbali school of Orthodox Sunni jurisprudence, which is practiced by many jihadists.

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