Ahmad Musa Jibril fled his home in the Michigan city following the attack in London, which left eight dead, “so quickly that he left his sandals on the deck”. The Daily Mail reported the preacher’s mother and sister have also “vanished” from their residence in Dearborn, deemed the “Arab capital of North America”.
Material put out by Jibril is a well-known inspiration to Islamic State fighters. Whilst the 46-year-old has never been jailed for terrorism offences, a 2005 sentence for fraud revealed him as a Salafist fanatic who “glorified Islamic extremism” and tried to take credit for a 1995 al Qaeda bombing which killed four Americans.
A friend who had reported London attacker Khuram Butt to anti-terror police said the 27-year-old killer “used to listen to a lot of Musa Jibril”.
He added: “I have heard some of this stuff and it’s very radical. I am surprised this stuff is still on YouTube and is easily accessible.”
Following the San Bernardino terror attack in California in 2015, Breitbart News reported that a study by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) found that 60 per cent of surveyed foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria followed Jibril on Twitter. The Arab-American Islamist has 46,000 Twitter followers.
Prosecutors in the 2005 case detailed how Jibril ran his website and preached Salafism in his front room. The case revealed the FBI had seized a ‘family album’ from the property in which he was dressed as a jihadi fighter.
“The album includes photos of Ahmad Jebril as a teenager dressed as a mujihid or holy warrior; photos of very young children apparently holding real firearms; ‘playing’ at holding each other hostage and aiming the weapons at each other’s heads,” prosecutors said.
Neighbours of Jibril, who has not been seen for days, spoke of their concern over the preacher’s whereabouts being unknown.
“He is still loose,” a man who lives two doors down from Jibril told Sky News. “Of course I worry. We have kids to worry about.”
Residents of the preacher’s Dearborn neighbourhood reported regular visits from the police, with authorities also having concerns about his extremist views.
A neighbour who said he had spoken to officers about Jibril said he did not know if anything had ever come of it.
“It’s up to authorities to do something if he is dangerous,” he said.
“People said he was with ISIS, in prison … he was scary,” said a mother living across from Jibril’s house told Sky News.