Place of Birth: Portugal;
Nero Saraiva is a a Portuguese national who became a permanent resident in the UK, who joined the Islamic State terrorist group. He was behind a recruitment network of Portuguese jihadists which helped to recruit young British men and deliver them to the battlefield in Syria.
He travelled to Syria in 2012 where he continued to organise a recruitment operation using friends who stayed behind in Europe and money raised in London through fraud.
Saraiva and his team advised recruits on which flights to book to get to Syria, the appropriate clothes to wear when travelling and even arranged for intermediaries to meet them once they arrived in Syria.
Nero Saraiva attended Islamic State commander’s “call to arms” in Syria during the early days of the terror group.
The network targeted young men in Lisbon and London, including one “petty criminal” who was arrested during the riots in 2011. The network is thought to have helped “several” militants to reach Syria during 2013.
Although the importance of the Portuguese cell within the Islamic State is well known, their role recruiting British men and evidence of sophisticated tactics they used can only now be revealed.
Saraiva, also known as Abu Yaqub al-Andalusi, was captured after escaping the Islamic State’s “Caliphate” during the final battle for Baghouz last spring.
He is considered by counter-terrorism officials to be a “high value” detainee because of his suspected links to the kidnapping of the British photojournalist John Cantlie.
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