Canadian ISIS member is former B.C. university student

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Canadian and onetime British Columbia resident Collin Gordon is confirmed to have joined the militant group ISIS in Syria.

Gordon and his brother, Gregory, hail from Calgary. The brothers recently “converted to Islam and became known to members of Calgary’s Muslim community as Abdul Malik and Khalid,” according to the CBC.

Global News describes Collin Gordon as a “popular former student at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.”

Gordon was also a student athlete. The Canadian Press adds that Collin Gordon previously “played volleyball for the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology,” then “joined the WolfPack men’s volleyball team at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops in 2008.” Gordon dropped out of school in 2009.

Spencer Reed, former schoolmate of Gordon’s from TRU told Kamloops This Week he and other team alumni are “flabbergasted” to learn the path Gordon has recently taken.

Reed to the publication he remembers Gordon as a “well known” and “mellow dude” who “marched to his own beat” and “just sort of went about his own business.” Gordon also reportedly was known on campus for throwing parties, and being involved in a broad spectrum of social activities.

TRU has declined to comment on Gordon, citing privacy issues.

Upon his return to Calgary, Gordon and his brother shared an apartment in 2011-2012 with two active Islamic militants, Salman Ashrafi and Damian Clairmont. Ashrafi “was identified as a suicide bomber in an ISIS operation in Iraq last November that took the lives of 46 people,” notes CBC. “Clairmont was killed fighting in Syria earlier this year.”

The Gordon brothers are thought to have disappeared from Calgary in 2012, around the time Ashrafi and Clairmont are thought to have dispatched to Syria.

At one time, Collin Gordon’s social media presence “painted a picture of a fun-loving but thoughtful young man who loved basketball, electronic music and weekends,” reports the Calgary Herald. However, more recently his posts showed a clear shift to the subject of Islamic radicalism, and also acknowledged the media coverage of his departure from Canada.

The CBC reports:

Collin embraced the terror group, posting on Facebook earlier this year pictures of what appears to be a compound belonging to Rayat Al-Tawheed — or “Banner of God” — a militant group in Syria linked to ISIS that distributes English-language recruiting materials.

Among his recent Tweets, Gordon gave his reaction to the video of U.S. journalist James Foley’s beheading at the hands of his ISIS captors.

 

Featured image: Collin Gordon/Facebook

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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