How Daesh ag got here
Flag sellers o er theories after one found in local vehicle
A few years ago, Arif Dewji, owner of House of Flags and Banners in Coquitlam, B.C., got an odd request.
A man who seemed to be based in New York sent over the design of a flag he wanted printed.
At first Dewji did not know the meaning of the white logo set against a black backdrop, but it seemed fishy. After some online digging, he realized it was the flag used by followers of the Islamic State terror group.
“I didn’t touch it with a dirty shirt,’’ he said.
Edmonton police have said an Islamic State flag was found last weekend in a vehicle involved in what they are investigating as a terrorist attack. Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, a 30-year-old Somali refugee, is accused of hitting a police officer with a speeding car, stabbing him and then mowing down pedestrians with a cube van. He faces 11 charges, including five counts of attempted murder. Sharif does not currently face any terrorism charges.
Dewji said he doubts anyone in Canada would have been able to get his hands on a professionally made flag locally, but it’s possible it came from China. Images of the flag come up in search results on the Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba, but not on eBay or Amazon.
Phyllis Bright, owner of The Flag Shop in Edmonton, said she had a similar inquiry this summer.
A man called asking for an Islamic State flag to be printed and, when she refused, he asked for a plain black one. Presumably he intended to stencil on the logo in white paint.
At first she didn’t think much of it. Bright said she is sometimes sheepishly asked for Confederate flags, seen as a symbol of America’s history of slavery, and she declines.
“The more I thought about it, the more fearful I became,’’ Bright recalled.
The Daesh (a.k.a. Islamic State) lag