A Jordanian parliament member has said he learned from media associated with the Islamic State (ISIS) that his son carried out a suicide attack in Iraq, three months after dropping out of medical school and joining the extremist group, The Associated Press reported Sunday.
The case highlights the continued grassroots appeal of ISIS ideas in the region, including in pro-Western Jordan, a partner in the U.S.-led military campaign against the group.
"My son had everything, a family, money, and studying medicine, but he was controlled by terrible thoughts," the legislator, Mazen Dalaeen, told AP. "He was deceived and tricked by Islamic State. Islamic State is in every home through TVs and the Internet."
The family is observing the traditional three-day mourning period for 23-year-old Mohammed Dalaeen, starting Friday in his hometown, Ai, in southern Jordan, the parliamentarian noted.
Ai was also home to a Jordanian fighter pilot who was captured by ISIS late last year and burned alive in a cage by members of the group.
Dalaeen said he learned of the death of his son last week from ISIS-linked media and a TV station in Iraq's Anbar province.
One of the sites, Dabiq, said suicide attackers drove three car bombs into Iraqi army barracks on the northern outskirts of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar.
Dalaeen said he recognized his son in one of the photos of the purported suicide attackers posted on the ISIS sites, under the nom de guerre "Abu Baraa, the Jordanian."
He further told AP he last saw Mohammed in Ukraine in June and stayed with him and his Ukrainian wife, a convert to Islam, for a week.
"I noticed that his behavior had changed completely," Dalaeen told the agency. "He had become isolated" and had grown a large beard.
Dalaeen said he told his son in a heated argument that he would cut ties with him if he didn't drop his support for the extremists. The next day, Mohammed left for Turkey without telling his father.
Dalaeen tried to track him down unsuccessfully, and eventually the son reached out on Facebook, telling his father he was in Syria and had joined ISIS.
"He was very cruel with me, as if he wasn't my son," Dalaeen told AP. "He said I'm an infidel and don't fear God, and that I legislate against Islam in parliament. My efforts to get him back failed."
On August 20, Mohammed informed his father through Facebook that it would be their last contact. He wrote that he had completed his Islamic studies and would head into battle as a volunteer for "martyrdom operations," Dalaeen added.
Recent reports indicated that Jordan’s King Abdullah II was concerned over a possible ISIS invasion of the country, specifically because after 3,000 bombing raids by the United States and its allies, ISIS has not been beaten back – and seems only to get stronger.
Other reports said Jordan was preparing to create a security zone in southern Syria to fend off a possible jihadist advance across the border, in what would be the first such humanitarian "buffer zone" established in the civil war-torn country.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Simchat Torah and Shmini Atzeret in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)