Alberta oil worker unwittingly featured in ISIS propaganda

Alberta oil worker unwittingly featured in ISIS propaganda

It's the last place Will Hammond expected to see his picture.

The Alberta oilfield worker was alarmed to learn his image is being used in a propaganda video for ISIS.

"It was shocking," he said.

Hammond, 35, is a field engineer with Calgary-based Burns McDonnell. But before moving to Alberta, he served a year in Iraq and 16 months in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army.

Hammond discovered that a nine-year-old magazine photo of him was featured in a recruitment video for the terrorist group, when the clip was posted by a friend on Facebook.

"You can see a lot of similarities between that recruitment video and a western-style military recruitment video, " said Hammond. "I've heard and read a lot about ISIS's ability to recruit online, but to see it firsthand is pretty shocking."

The video titled "No Respite" was posted online by the terror group in late November.

In the four-minute animated video, a narrator boasts about the growing stature of the Islamic State, describes U.S. presidents as "liars" and "fornicators," and taunts American soldiers about high rates of suicide in the military.

"You may have the numbers and the weapons, but your soldiers lack the will and resolve, still scarred from their defeats in Afghanistan and Iraq, they return dead or suicidal," reads the ISIS narrator.

Hammond's image was lifted from a Time magazine article from 2006.

Taken at the base of a hill in Afghanistan, the photograph shows two soldiers with bandaged heads, sitting on the open bed of a military pickup truck. Hammond is pictured on the far right, holding a rifle.

"Obviously I'm not happy to be portrayed in enemy propaganda," he said. "It's disappointing, but I can certainly see why they used it. And quite frankly they did a good job of putting it in the video."

Hammond said it's disturbing and fascinating to see what he describes as a high-quality production.

"I can see a young, disenfranchised Muslim, who is disenfranchised with American culture, seeing that video and taking that as a call to arms because they feel that it's an ideal and noble cause when really they're just a bunch of criminals, perpetrating violence."

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