Danish jihadist poses with severed heads

Justin Cremer
Justin Cremer - [email protected]

A 25-year-old from the Copenhagen suburbs posted photos of himself, fully-armed, posing near severed heads in Syria. A Scandinavian terror expert tells The Local it is the first time a Dane has been seen in such a gruesome situation.


A Danish jihadist posted photos online showing him posing with severed heads in Syria. 
The photos were posted to the now-deleted Facebook account of a 25-year-old man from the Copenhagen suburb of Ishøj who was known as Mohammad before changing his name to Jacob.
The photos allegedly circulated amongst the man’s acquaintances in Ishøj before being making their way to Radio24syv. 
The radio station obtained nine photos that show the man with a thick beard, a head scarf, and a weapon belt that holds a gun and grenades. He is wearing all black and bearing the logo of militant organisation Isis.
In one of the photos, he is pointing at a severed head, while in others he is posing near a fence that has several severed heads displayed in spikes. 
Radio24syv showed the photos to Magnus Ranstorp, a terrorism expert at the Swedish National Defence College, who judged them to be legitimate. 
Speaking to The Local, Ranstorp said it was the first instance that he was aware of in which a Dane was involved in such a macabre situation and simply viewing the photos made him “feel sick”.
"In the photo, he is wearing a sash with an Isis logo, he has a hand grenade, an automatic weapon and a sidearm. It's almost like posing near a wild animal shot in Kenya – it's that same sort of trophy shot. He's even smiling as well," Ranstorp said. 
Ranstorp said he could recognise the scene in the photos as being a public square near Raqqa where Isis militants display their victims. He said the same scene could be seen in another recent photo showing a Swedish woman similarly posing near impaled heads. He said the display of heads and dismembered bodies is "a psychological warfare tactic".
"When you are dealing with an honour-based society, this is the worst thing you can do to somebody. This is not only a tremendously barbaric way to die, it is also a way to further dishonour their victims even after death," Ranstorp told The Local. 
Ranstorp said he did not believe that the Dane in the photo was involved in the killings, but in some of the photos the blood of the victims was still fresh. 
According to the City of Copenhagen’s information, the 25-year-old disappeared from Ishøj in September of last year. Family members have confirmed that he went to Syria and joined up with Isis. 
The emergence of the disturbing photos is the latest in a series of incidents that point to Isis gaining a foothold in Denmark. A recent report from The Economist calculated that when measured by total population, Denmark has sent the second-highest number of foreign fighters to Syria, behind only Belgium. The Center for Terror Analysis estimated in June that at least 100 individuals have left Denmark to fight in Syria and at least 15 of them have died. 
In recent weeks, an Aarhus mosque has declared its support for Isis while Copenhagen Police arrested three individuals for selling stickers in support of the group. Another Danish militant who fought in Syria alongside Isis has warned that "Denmark should prepare itself" for the conflict in Syria and Iraq to come home.
Denmark has joined the United States and eight other Nato countries in a 'core coalition' against the jihadist militants and Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard was in Saudi Arabia and Iran over the weekend to gain those countries' support for the effort. 


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