Farah Mohamed Shirdon, a Calgarian fighting overseas with the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, was seen in the video burning his Canadian passport and threatening to destroy Iraq’s oppressors.
The Department of Foreign Affairs says it is aware of reports that a Canadian was killed in Iraq and is following the situation closely.
A man claiming to be Shirdon’s brother has been tweeting online — asking jihadi contacts for information on how Shirdon died.
Shirdon, who had been enrolled in the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology until at least 2012, came from a prominent and well-educated Somali family.
His father’s brother, Abdi Farah Shirdon, was a former prime minister of Somalia who has survived numerous attempts on his life by al-Shabab militants fighting for an Islamic state in Somalia under the banner of al-Qaeda.
Shirdon’s mother and sister currently live in Calgary and are deeply involved in the religious life of their community.
Attempts by CBC News to reach Shirdon’s family have so far been unsuccessful.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird told reporters following a news conference in London, Ont., he was aware of the reports but could not speak to the specific facts of the case.
“It’s a sad reality that, from time to time, a small number of Canadians — radicalized — participate in these type of activities,” Baird added.
The Department of Foreign Affairs is advising Canadians “against all non-essential travel to Iraq due to the dangerous and unpredictable security situation.”