Thursday, October 30, 2014

Theo Padnos- Journalist's Story Of His Capture, Torture, and Release By Syria's Nusra Front

Theo Padnos is a journalist who has written about his time as a kidnap victim in Syria. It is a detailed account of his capture, torture, and eventual release by the al-Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front. It's a long but harrowing tale, and what we take away from his story is that there are no good guys in Syria. There are no "moderates" in the rebel forces. The Free Syrian Army (FSA) is untrustworthy, after all, on several occasions, they handed him over to the jihdaists Jebhat al-Nusra. And the Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are essentially one and the same.

On the problem between the two jihadist armies, who both have the same goals and penchant for violence, but who are now fighting each other, he writes:
The real issue between the Nusra Front and the Islamic State was that their commanders, former friends from Iraq, were unable to agree on how to share the revenue from the oil fields in eastern Syria that the Nusra Front had conquered. On the one hand, I was pleased by this. It made the men despise each other. Had their armies reconciled, I would have become the prisoner of a reunited fundamentalist organization under the command of the stronger of the leaders, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State. 

On the goals of the Islamists to export jihad to Western nations, and establish Islamic emirates, he writes:

Over the last 22 months, I had stopped being surprised when Nusra Front commanders introduced their 8-year-old sons to me by saying, “He will be a suicide martyr someday, by the will of God.” The children participated in the torture sessions. Around the prisons, they wore large pouches with red wires sticking out of them — apparently suicide belts — and sang their “destroy the Jews, death to America” anthems in the hallways. It would be a mistake to assume that only Syrians are educating their children in this manner. The Nusra Front higher-ups were inviting Westerners to the jihad in Syria not so much because they needed more foot soldiers — they didn’t — but because they want to teach the Westerners to take the struggle into every neighborhood and subway station back home. They want these Westerners to train their 8-year-olds to do the same. Over time, they said, the jihadists would carve mini-Islamic emirates out of the Western countries, as the Islamic State had done in Syria and Iraq. There, Western Muslims would at last live with dignity, under a true Quranic dispensation.

The rest here. Worth a read.

I hope the world is taking note.

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