Thursday, April 10, 2014


Former Arsenal, Chelsea and Portsmouth player Lassana Diara (right) has been forced to deny rumours circulating on Twitter that he is a jihadist fighting in Syria

Former France international, Lassana Diarra has been forced to formally deny claims that he had become an Islamic warrior fighting in Syria.

Diarra who played formerly for Arsenal, Chelsea and Portsmouth, said he had never set foot in the war-torn country.

Eric Dupond-Moretti, a lawyer for the France international, said Paris-born Diarra 'denies in the most formal, the most categoric, the most absolute fashion that he has gone to Syria'.

A lawyer for the French national says he has never even set foot in Syria and currently plays football in Russia
Diarra is now playing for Lokomotiv Moscow in Russia. Dupond-Moretti said: 'He has never set foot in Syria. It's absurd. He is not a jihadist, he is a footballer with Lokomotiv Moscow.'

There were social media rumours that Diarra had gone to Syria, where a civil war is now into a fourth year and has cost more than 150,000 lives.
Mr Dupond-Moretti said Diarra was expected to turn out for his Russian team in a league game on Sunday.

After winning the FA Cup with Pompey in 2008, Diarra joined Real Madrid and was a member of the squad that won the Spanish championship in 2010.

Hundreds of young Muslim Frenchmen are currently fighting jihad in Syria, mainly for Al Qaeda forces.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has warned that all those who return home will create a huge security risk.

Earlier this year two teenage French boys ran away from school to travel to Syria to join the war there, before being arrested in Turkey.

The footage, which appeared at the weekend and is apparently shot in Syria, shows the man calling on Muslims in the West to travel to the war-torn region and fight with radical militants.

                            In a video posted on an extremist website on Saturday a man claimed to be of a former Arsenal footballer now fighting in Syria, sparking Twiter rumours that it was the defensive midfielder

The man, whose face is hidden by a balaclava and is seen clutching a AK47 rifle, is identified as Abu Isa al-Andalus.

According to, the site that posted the video, the man moved to London from his native country to play for Arsenal after growing up alongside a world-famous footballer.

It claims the man was radicalised in the capital two years ago before 'leaving everything' to join the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

                                  The man's face is covered during the video, in which he clutches an AK47 assault rifle

He later adds: 'We have conquered many cities and we are now implementing the Sharia. We have areas where the kaffirs (non-Muslims) are paying us the tax.

'If we stay in the kaffir countries we have to pay (taxes) to them. Do you want to be humiliated by this? Think about it.

'If you have family in these (Western) countries it's a must for you to put your children in the kaffir schools. "Who is going to teach your children?" It's going to maybe be a gay, maybe a drug dealer, maybe a paedophile.

'It's very important for you to protect your children. Allah says they are the worst of creatures.'

The Russian-based website does not confirm the man's previous identity on the page, which shows two videos each roughly four-minutes long.

Text next to the video reads: 'He... played for Arsenal in London, and [then] left football, money and the European way of life to make the path of Allah.'

Senior security officials have said that at least 250 British-based 'extremist tourists' have gone to Syria to train and fight.

Director General of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT) Charles Farr said earlier this year that the war in the country now presents 'the biggest challenge' since the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

Mr Farr said: 'Syria is different from any other counter-terrorism challenge that we have faced since 9/11, because of the number of terrorist groups now engaged in the fighting, their size and scale, the number of people from this country who are joining them, ease of travel, availability of weapons and the intensity of the conflict.'

Source: DailyMail

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