In a video posted to YouTube on Wednesday, a balaclava-clad man claiming to be Abu Abdullah al Britani — a British fighter who is believed to have joined Islamist militants in Syria — shares his conviction that Allah helped fighters along as they prepared an attack on a government checkpoint in an unidentified Syrian location.
During a 22-hour fight with government forces, he claimed in the video, God "sent" a thunderstorm with strong lightning — "a miracle," as he and the other fighters saw it, forcing their enemy to retreat.
"Allah sent his calmness on us, by sending us rain," he said. "He saved us."
“These are the miracles that you see when you come to the land of jihad,” said Abdullah. “Allah sends his angels upon angels upon angels to aid the believers in battle.”
Contacted via Twitter, al Britani did not immediately respond to VICE News’ requests for comment.
“The talk of battlefield miracles is a common theme in jihadist material,” Shiraz Maher, a researcher at the International Center for the Study of Radicalization told VICE News. “Abdullah Azzam, who led the Arab-Afghan fighters in the 1980s, even published a book dedicated to the so-called miracles in Afghanistan. We've seen lots of foreign fighters in Syria attest to miracles there too.”
In an earlier video, posted to YouTube in April and since removed, al Britani had described the lives of fighters in Syria, rebutting claims that they were fighting a "five-star jihad," the Telegraph reported.
But this was not the first time al Britani waxed lyrical about angels.
He had also been tweeting about thunderstorms and lightning that — apparently — were not necessarily the result of divine intervention.
Al Britani frequently takes to Twitter to recruit foreign fighters — with a mix of religious references, British slang, and catchy hashtags.
"I'm sure we have more lions roaming around in the UK," he wrote in May. "Get yourself over here!"
Follow Alice Speri on Twitter: @alicesperi