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Danish jihadist 'possibly' in Isis beheading video

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Danish jihadist 'possibly' in Isis beheading video
A family-released photo shows Peter Kassig in front of a truck somewhere along the Syrian border between late 2012 and autumn 2013. AFP Photo/ Kassig Family handout
09:11 CET+01:00
A report that a Dane may have “possibly” been among the militants shown beheading Syrian soldiers in the latest propaganda video from Isis has caused confusion within Denmark.
The news agency AFP reported on Monday that “known foreign fighters, including at least one Frenchman and possibly a Briton, an Australian and a Dane” appeared in a graphic 16-minute Isis video released over the weekend that showed the beheading of at least 18 Syrian soldiers and the severed head of American aid worker Peter Kassig. 
 
But a well-respected Danish Middle East expert has suggested that a common mix-up may be behind the report. 
 
Naser Khader, a former MP and current senior fellow at the Washington DC-based Hudson Institute, told Jyllands-Posten that he has spoken with AFP’s source, Aymenn al-Tamimi, and received different information. 
 
“He is sure that a Frenchman, a Brit and an Australian were involved and he said that there could have been a Dutch citizen as well. ‘Dutch’ has possibly become ‘Danish’,” Khader told Jyllands-Posten
 
“He didn’t say there was a Dane involved, although you cannot rule it out,” he added. 
 
 
Neither the domestic intelligence agency PET or the Foreign Ministry have commented on the report that a Dane was involved. 
 
Khader said that even if this report turns out to be untrue, it may be just a matter of time until a Dane is definitively involved in an Isis propaganda video. 
 
“It has been proven that they choose different nationalities – primarily Western – in order to recruit even more. It’s to send a signal that ‘we are like you, come and fight with us’,” he said. 
 
French authorities confirmed on Monday that a French national can be seen among the Isis militants who beheaded at least 18 Syrian soldiers in a gruesome video.
 
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve identified the man as 22-year-old Maxime Hauchar from Normandy in northwestern France, adding that the suspect "left for Syria in August 2013 after a short stay in Mauritania in 2012".
 
The Islamist group's video shows the beheading of at least 18 Syrian soldiers and the severed head of 26-year-old Kassig, who was abducted in Syria on October 1st, 2013. US President Barack Obama confirmed Kassig's death on Sunday, calling it "an act of pure evil".
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