Letters from French Jihadis Desperate to Leave ISIS and Return to France

This is yet another video from The Young Turks about ISIS. I know I’ve post a lot of ’em recently, but they are relevant to what’s going on in this country. ISIS are trying to recruit Brits as well as other Westerners. These videos show the brutal reality behind the militant propaganda.

In this clip, John Iadarola and Cenk Uyghur talk about letters from French recruits to ISIS, that were published last year in the respected French newspaper, Le Figaro. The letters were from kids, who’d joined the terrorists, only to find it wasn’t the glorious band of holy warriors they expected. They were now disillusioned, miserable, and desperate to get back to France.

A couple of the complaints are by guys disappointed that they didn’t get to do any fighting. Instead, they found themselves doing the laundry, distributing food and clothes, cooking and cleaning and generally doing the menial jobs. One of the jihadis complained about the opposite. He was afraid they were going to send him into battle, and he didn’t know how to fight. The Turks make the obvious point that if he felt that way, he should have stayed well clear of the Middle East and not gone to a war zone.

One of the complaints is spectacularly, hilariously petty. That particular wannabe jihadi was miserable, because his iphone didn’t work.

Another was far more serious. That jihadi was disappointed as he thought when he went that he would be preaching Islam and enforcing the sharia, only to find that there was none of this.

The example of the fate of one of the disillusioned fighters also show the immense risks if the authorities and commanders find out their western recruits want to get away. One of the French recruits told the emir, the military commander, that he wanted to go back to France. So they executed him.

The clip also quotes a French lawyer, who stated that the longer French jihadis were out there and exposed to violence, the more radicalised they would become, until they posed a real threat on their return to France. No-one, however, wanted to take the risk of letting them back in.

The Turks make the point that of the 100 that have returned, 75 have been thrown in jail. They consider this better than what would happen if they tried to return to America, where it would have been 100 per cent, and they’d stay in there for a very long time.

They consider that the motives driving these guys to join ISIS is political and economic frustration in the Arab world, as well as sexual repression. They’re angry, and joining ISIS offers them the chance at glory by becoming a valiant warrior. And then they get frustrated when they find out this ain’t true.

Some of these issues have been dealt with in British TV reports. It’s been reported in the British press that many of the Western recruits won’t be let anywhere near the fighting, but will be given menial tasks like cooking and cleaning instead. The commanders don’t think they have the necessary skills or training to be effective soldiers. It isn’t just recruits from France, who are going to have to go out and clean the latrines.

Similarly, some of the British Muslims, who went out to Afghanistan to join the Taliban there also complained that when they arrived, they weren’t fighting to defend Islam but against other Muslims. One of the Beeb’s female reporters in From Our Own Correspondent on Radio 4 described an interview she had with a British Asian man she talked to in an Afghan prison. He’d gone to Afghanistan to fight in the jihad against non-Muslim – I can’t remember whether it was the Western forces, or the Soviets. Instead, he found out that the Taliban were intent on fighting other Muslims for control of the country.

As for allowing the jihadis to return to the West, this is a problem. Many would not wish to see them return at all, and with good reason. They left their countries in order to provide material aid and assistance to a genocidal, brutal regime. Nevertheless, the longer they are out there, the more radical and dangerous they will become. The Young Turks have suggested that they should be allowed back into the country, but subject to some kind of prosecution, at least in the girls who fled to become jihadi brides. The Danes, however, seem to have solved the issue by allowing them to return, but they have to go through a process of de-radicalisation and debriefing, giving the authorities information on ISIS and its activities. That way, the former converts to ISIS can be used to gain valuable knowledge, knowledge that hopefully can be used to defeat them.

In the meantime, the video shows that despite the propaganda videos, it’s actually a very bad idea to join them.

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