'Fighter, martyr or volunteer'? The form that would-be jihadists filled out for ISIS

From standard questions such as emergency contact and date of birth, to choice between fighter, martyr or volunteer, ISIS paperwork offers glimpse of how Calgary men entered the fight.

Reveals details of 3 Calgary men who left to join ISIS ranks

Calgarian Salman Ashrafi filed this paperwork with ISIS, indicating he wanted to be a martyr.

There are the standard human resource questions: name, emergency contact, profession, date of birth. But eventually the ISIS form takes a turn, asking whether you're interested in being a "martyr," "fighter" or "volunteer."

Further still, an area to determine your level of obedience. And just above the notes section: "Day and place of killing."

The forms appear to be from the General Administration of Borders, a department within ISIS responsible for foreign recruits.

CBC News and other media first reported on the documents in 2016.

They provide a glimpse into how people join the organization, including some of the men from Calgary who radicalized together while attending a downtown mosque.

Converts and students

The men included:

  • Damian Clairmont, a 22-year-old convert to Islam.
  • Salman Ashrafi, a former downtown oil-and-gas worker.
  • Farah Mohamed Shirdon, a former student at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.

Calgary began dominating headlines as Canada's jihadist hotspot, with most of the action centred around the 8th and 8th mosque — whose name originates in its location at 835 8th Ave. SW.

The mosque is closing on March 31, with its imam expressing relief about leaving a place that became synonymous with radicalization to start anew.

Calgarian Farah Shirdon picked 'fighter' on form

One of the men, Farah Mohamed Shirdon, who was captured on video burning his Canadian passport and threatening the country, listed his nickname as "Abu Osama Al-Kanadi" (The Canadian) and said he was interested in being a "fighter" but also noted he had not "done jihad before." 

Farah Mohamed Shirdon, who also lived in Calgary, filed this paperwork saying he left his passport for safekeeping. He was later shown burning it while threatening Canada in an ISIS video.

His profession noted he was a student. Shirdon attended the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary before leaving the country.

He crossed into Syria, his form says, at Tel Abyad on the recommendation of one Abu Abdullah Al-Britani (a British fighter) on March 19, 2014, a year and six months after Clairmont, Ashrafi and others left Calgary to fight in Syria and Iraq. 

Ironically, Shirdon listed his passport as the one item he left for safekeeping.

Borhot, the unknown Calgarian

Another Calgary man, Hussain Borhot, listed his profession as "plumber" prior to joining the fight and noted his level of "Shariah" — the legal code of Islam, based on the Qur'an — was basic.

He too chose "fighter" as his job title and noted he had not previously performed jihad. He was listed as married.

Hussein Borhot's identity is unknown, but his paperwork indicates the man who lived in Calgary worked as a plumber.

Items he left for safekeeping include his passport, driver's licence and a "Canadian gift."

What sets him apart is the fact it's not clear who exactly he is or whether he has returned to Calgary.


The third man from Calgary who showed up in the ISIS documents was Ashrafi, a graduate from the University of Lethbridge and a close friend of Clairmont. 

In November 2013, eight days after joining ISIS, Ashrafi drove a bomb-laden car into an Iraqi military base outside Baghdad killing dozens.

Definitive proof of his role in the suicide mission only surfaced months later when coalition forces killed one of the top ISIS commanders in Baghdad and seized 160 USB keys from his compound.

Unlike Shirdon and Borhot, he indicated on his form that he wanted to be a martyr.

  • See the full page of the ISIS form from Farah Mohamed Shirdon below