MADRID (Reuters) - An Islamic State fighter has become the unlikely target of Spanish social media ridicule after threatening Spain that more attacks will follow the assaults in Catalonia that killed 15 people.
Twitter users responded to an Islamic State video, released on Wednesday, by turning the young Spanish-speaking jihadist in to a meme that was among the social media site’s most popular “trending topics” on Thursday and Friday.
In one, the bearded jihadist becomes a Youtube blogger asking for viewers to like, and subscribe to, his channel. In another, he raps along to a reggaeton track dubbed the “official ISIS remix.”
"When you see me, I know you're trembling," the fighter raps in a version of Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny's hit "Tu No Metes Cabra" ("You Don't Scare Me"). (here)
In the original video, the fighter said Islamic State would avenge Muslims killed in the 15th-century Spanish Inquisition and rebuild “Al Andalus,” the medieval Muslim territory which occupied most of modern Spain and Portugal.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks on Aug. 17 and 18, in which jihadists in a van mowed crowds down on Barcelona’s most famous avenue and then later assaulted the Catalan seaside resort of Cambrils.
Spanish media, citing police sources, have identified the fighter as 22-year-old Muhammad Yasin Ahram Perez, born in the southern Spanish city of Cordoba, who moved to Syria to join Islamic State in 2014 with his mother and brothers.
One popular meme with the fighter, known as “El Cordobes”, referred to a Spanish on-line backlash last year against British chef Jamie Oliver for attempting to remake the classic Spanish rice dish, paella, by adding mussels and chorizo.
“An authentic paella is made WITHOUT seafood,” the fighter is quoted saying in the tweet’s caption.
(Story refiles to amend spelling in penultimate paragraph.)
Reporting by Emily Lupton; Editing by Angus Berwick and Richard Balmforth