A review of the book “From Frankfurt to Raqqa”

ISIS from the view of ISIS members

June 11, 2022 - 18:2

The author of "From Frankfurt to Raqqa," Hadi Masoumi Zare, explains in the book's introduction that his purpose in creating the book is to bridge the gap that most of us have with Salafi jihadism.

This book is a collection of several recorded face-to-face conversations with ISIL members. One of the interviews in this book, conducted after Mosul's recapture in May 2017, is with a 23-year-old young man named Ebrahim. Masoumi Zare asks him to explain a little about ISIL and how they interact with people. “To be honest, when ISIL first appeared in the region, the people welcomed them, particularly in Mosul and the main cities, believing that these were tribal revolutionary fighters rather than ISIS,” said Ebrahim. 

“After a month or two, some rural youth swore allegiance to ISIS, and others managed to escape to Baghdad and Kirkuk. After a while, however, the majority of people were dissatisfied, but no one dared to speak out against them in public, so they discussed their dissatisfaction with ISIL in private,” he added. 

Regarding the jihad al-nikah, which has become one of the most controversial subjects on social media, Ebrahim stated that he had only heard of it and had never seen anyone do it. The author goes on to explain that the topic of jihad al-nikah was a media game played by ISIL's opponents and that no solid evidence has been presented to date that such an event occurred within the ISIL organization.

When asked if Europeans were also members of ISIS and had an active presence in the Iraq conflict, the interviewee stated that he had personally seen ISIS members from France, the United Kingdom, and Germany. “They were the commanders in charge of the operational planning, as well as everything else, including leading and commanding the Iraqi soldiers,” said Ebrahim. 

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