In My View - Aberdeen IS fighter dead

I wasn’t sure I could bring myself to write this week’s ramblings about this subject, but here goes nothing....

I knew Abdul Rakib Amin, the ‘young IS fighter who grew up in Aberdeen’, as the media have been calling him.

When I first heard an Aberdeen man was in an IS recruitment video I didn’t think anything of it until I received a message from a pal who said ‘have you heard about Rakib?’

I had had a very busy day at the Leader office and suddenly everything became clear.

A man who I’d grown up with, hung about with a few times socially growing up and played on the same rugby team for a few years was making national headlines.

I find it hard to think of him as this terrorist, as I know many of his old school friends from the city do.

They remember playing with him and growing up with him.

Finding out he was in this video and finding out on Monday that he was killed in Syria in a drone strike would have been difficult to hear.

Comments on social media celebrating his death were also hard to read.

This isn’t a ‘wasn’t he a great guy’ column. Rakib was no saint.

He was argumentative in school, he was disruptive and used to find it hilarious to quote Ali G to teachers and quip ‘is it cuz I is black’ whenever they would give him into trouble.

I was once in a heavily one-sided fight with Rakib after he claimed that I kicked the ball at him in the school playground.

I got my arse kicked that day, but I didn’t have any trouble with him after that.

I don’t mean to scoot over this fight with an IS fighter but in reality I took quite full blows and stayed on my feet.

Maybe he respected that or maybe he simply didn’t care. He got suspended, I was sent home after it and had very few bruises.

As I mentioned earlier I played for the same rugby team as Rakib and my granddad often gave him a lift to training (although I never did tell them that he was the guy that kicked my head at school).

Hhe wasn’t a bad rugby player by any standards and played full back.

He was probably one of the more gifted players but he did once get sent off up at Elgin when he clotheslined an opponent.

I’m not sure what this week’s ramblings has become as I genuinely don’t know how I feel at the loss of Rakib.

The last time I saw him in Aberdeen was on George Street and he looked happy.

I’ll never condone what he became or anything he was planning to do as a part of IS.

But it is certainly harrowing to think of people celebrating a death of someone you once knew.

Call me cynical but I also find it acute timing that this was released the same day as a court was hearing about a legal challenge of an MP and former minister who leaked a memo and pretended to know nothing about it.

I always love hearing your thoughts and thanks for the kind words about the housing market rant last week.

Contact me at lee.mccann@jpress.co.uk.