In recent months, Rachid Kassim has been one of the main targets of joint forces anti-terrorist services. The 29-year-old ISIS butcher was reportedly killed in a coalition strike in the Mosul region of Iraq. The CIA is in the process if verifying.
Kassim is suspected of being the sponsor of several attacks in France
To join the ranks of the Islamic State group in 2012, Kassim made a specialty, via the Telegram application, to spot new recruits to convince them to carry out attacks. Since last summer, his name has appeared in most files concerning the attacks committed or foiled in France since the summer.
Rachid Kassim is a French citizen who French authorities have connected Kassim to numerous thwarted or successful terrorist attacks in France. In July 2016, Kassim appeared in an ISIS propaganda video in which he beheaded an ISIS captive, threatened French President François Hollande, and called for attacks against French citizens.
Kassim is a failed rapper whose first CD was about ‘The struggle of Palestine under Israel’ which include songs such as “I’m a terrorist” and “Rap attack.” In 2012, Kassim traveled with his wife and three children to Syria via Egypt in order to fight alongside extremist groups.*
Kassim had reportedly incited many to violence using platforms such as Facebook and Telegram (an encrypted messaging service.) Kassim’s Facebook and Telegram accounts reportedly increased in popularity after Kassim traveled to Syria in 2012. During that time, Kassim began to operate a “group chat” on Telegram, which has allowed him to communicate with extremists internationally.
According to French authorities, Kassim had influenced numerous French assailants or attempted assailants. Among these individuals was Larossi Abballa, a member of Kassim’s Telegram group chat who on June 13, 2016, slaughtered a French police officer and his wife while their toddler watched.
While in the victims’ house, Abballa broadcast his pledge of allegiance to ISIS via Facebook LIVE.
Investigators believe Kassim also communicated with Abdel-Malik Petitjean and Adel Kermiche, two French citizens who murdered an elderly priest in Normandy on behalf of ISIS on July 26, 2016. Both men were reportedly members of Kassim’s group chat, and investigators believe Kassim introduced Petitjean and Kermiche and instructed them to murder the priest.
Officials also connected Kassim to three French women arrested in September 2016 for leaving a car filled with explosives next to the Notre Dame Cathedral. After their arrest, Kassim shamed his male followers on Telegram, reportedly asking, “Where are the brothers?…You have to understand, if women are taking actions it’s clearly because too few men are acting.”
Kassim is also believed have communicated with French teenagers via Telegram, where he urged them to carry out terrorist attacks in France.
Wikipedia France contributed to this article.