Aaron Yoon, third “Canadian” jihadi, found and identified in North Africa

by 1389 on April 3, 2013

in 1389 (blog admin), al-Qaeda, Algeria, Canada, Islamic terrorism

3rd “Canadian” jihadi in Algeria identified. Sadly, not dead


Published on Apr 3, 2013 by SDAMatt2a

A special CBC News investigation has uncovered the identity of a third member of a group of former London, Ont., high school friends now at the centre of a horrifying tale of young Canadians getting mixed up with al-Qaeda and international militants.

CBC News has learned that Aaron Yoon, now about 24, is likely the only survivor among this perverse band of brothers, two of whom died while staging a bloody attack on an Algerian oil refinery three months ago.

International intelligence sources say Yoon, a Canadian of Korean descent, flew to North Africa with three others, but wound up in jail before the al-Qaeda attack in January that killed 37 refinery workers in Algeria.

Two of Yoon’s former London schoolmates, Xris Katsiroubas and Ali Medlej, were among several dozen al-Qaeda-linked militants involved in the attack.

Sources say the two probably blew themselves up at the end of the four-day siege, but only one could be identified through DNA tests.

There is no evidence Yoon ever intended to participate in the attack, even if he had not been incarcerated, and his brother says Aaron has had no contact with the others in over a year.

A fourth member of the London group appears to have disappeared.

All of this apparently came as a shock to Yoon’s family still living in London.

Yoon’s brother, reached by CBC News at the family home, said he had no idea Aaron had been jailed, and in fact spoke to him by phone a few weeks ago.

International intelligence sources say Aaron Yoon, a Canadian of Korean descent, flew to North Africa with three others, but wound up in jail before the al-Qaeda attack in January that killed 37 refinery workers in Algeria. (CBC)

At the time, Yoon seemed free to travel, the brother said.

It is still a mystery exactly how a Korean-Canadian high school kid wound up in league with classmates bound for death in a faraway desert.

Yoon grew up on the third floor of a three-storey apartment building.

Like the others in the ill-fated brotherhood, he went to London South Secondary School where, acquaintances say, he was a good student.

He was raised a Catholic.

A year before his graduation, however, Yoon converted to Islam like his pal Katsiroubas, and together with Medlej, they were given space in the school to perform their prayers and other rituals of their new faith.

Not long after he left school, he also left home and moved in with Medlej.

Yoon appears to have been on the radar of police and intelligence agencies in Canada.

In June of last year, barely six months before the attack on the Algeria refinery, RCMP were in London asking questions about Yoon and his two chums, Katsiroubas and Medlej.

Ahmed Elturk, who runs programs for Muslim youth in London, recalls being interviewed by the RCMP who were most interested in the whereabouts of Medlej.

“They were trying to find information if I had an idea where he would be, or if I knew anyone who had an idea where he might be,” Elturk told CBC News.

He recalls the RCMP officer showing him photographs of Medlej and a Korean-Canadian.

The Department of Foreign Affairs, asked to comment on whether Yoon, a Canadian citizen, is being held in a foreign jail, replied, “we can’t comment on national security matters.”

Blazing Cat Fur has an update (April 6, 2013): Aaron Yoon Proving Muslim Converts Among Stupidest People On Earth.

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