Recruiting for Jihad

Ulrik Imtiaz Rolfsen, Adel Khan Farooq

Confrontational documentary in which two Norwegian filmmakers follow a Muslim extremist in Norway for three years, while he recruits young men to fight for IS. When charges are brought against him and the filmed material is confiscated, the freedom of the press is suddenly at stake.

Ubaydullah Hussain is a charismatic man who grew up in Norway and is now committed to recruiting young IS warriors. He is also the spokesman of an extremist movement known as The Prophet’s Ummah, a Salafist-Jihadist organization in Norway. For three years, Norwegian filmmakers Ulrik Imtiaz Rolfsen and Adil Khan Farooq were granted access to the life of the Muslim extremist. He seems to have no difficulty sharing his controversial ideas and philosophies with the makers. Hussain initially presents himself as a rational and tolerant man, but a portrait slowly emerges of a true extremist whose convictions often contain contradictions.

The film takes on a second layer when one of Hussain’s recruits turns out to have been involved in a terrorist attack and the filmmakers are suddenly confronted with the judicial fight against terrorism. Their film footage is confiscated by the Norwegian police as evidence in the court case. Suddenly, the film is not just about Muslim extremism, but freedom of the press as well.

Recruiting for Jihad is part of the Festival Favorites theme programme.


Ulrik Imtiaz Rolfsen, Adel Khan Farooq
Country of production
79 minutes
Spoken language
English, Norwegian
Production company
Up North Film
World Sales
East Village Entertainment