One of ISIS’s leading media figures Mohammed Khalifa has been sentenced to life imprisonment in the US for producing propaganda and executing two Syrian soldiers, as reported by the Department of Justice of US in early 2014.
Mohammed Khalifa, aka Abu Ridwan Al-Kanadi, was born in Saudi Arabia, lived in Canada, and studied computing in Toronto.
Watching online videos during the Arab Spring, and particularly the lectures of al-Qaeda, eventually drew Khalifa to Syria in 2013.
In the spring of 2013, he joined ISIS, swearing allegiance to the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2014.
During this time, he started to act as a lead translator in ISIS’s propaganda production, and became the English-speaking narrator on multiple violent ISIS videos.
Starting in 2016, Khalifa directed the translation, production and dissemination of propaganda released under various ISIS media brands in order to reach Western audiences.
In total fifteen videos of violent scenes: ISIS attacks in the US, execution of unarmed people and the “fascinating” depiction of ISIS members, were translated and narrated by Khalifa.
Khalifa started to fight for ISIS in the field, and during an attack on a Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) position in Abu Badran, Syria, in January 2019, he ended up alone with three grenades and an AK-47. When he ran out of ammunition he surrendered to the SDF, and he was transferred to the custody of the FBI in 2021.
Brought to the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Khalifa pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support or resources to ISIS.