By Moutaz Ali.
Istanbul, 8 September 2014:
“I am heading to join my brothers of the Islamic Caliphate in Iraq.”
These few words were . . .[restrict]the crux of a short phone conversation Muad had with his father before he hung up. The father, completely shocked at the announcement, tried to call back the number which his son used but found it switched off. The call came from Turkey.
Muad, 16 years old, normally lives with his family in Khoms, 125 kilomtres east of Tripoli.
His father claims that there is a local network there which helped get the boy to Syria and Iraq.
“On Thursday evening he said that he was going to a wedding of one of his friends”, the father told the Libya Herald. “The next day he called me in the evening from Turkey telling that he was going to join ISIS.”
Trying to work out how Muad could have got himself involved in such a deadly enterprise, and so quickly to Turkey, the father immediately suspected someone with whom Muad had recently spent a great deal of time, an individual who was deeply religious.
The father says that when contacted, the man happily admitted to having put Muad in touch with a group involved in arranging for Libyans to go to Syria and Iraq. Indeed, he said the man’s brother, whom he called “Emir” Hamza, was currently moving back and forward between Syria or Iraq, his mission being to get young Libyans to go and join the ISIS.
This morning, at Muad’s request, the brother organised a Skype call between son and father. The conversation was short. Muad was absolutely determined said the father, who is both desperate and depressed. He was told that he should forget his son. He had chosen his fate. He wanted to be a Jihadi and could not wait to join his brothers in paradise.
“This is not the first case of someone going to Syria,” a Khoms resident told this newspaper. “There was another couple of young guys who recently went there.”
Getting from Khoms to what is being called the Islamic State in 72 hours is not that difficult it turns out. There is no police, no security, to stop would-be members of ISIS and there is a network to organise their travel – protected (it is suggested) by some militias. [/restrict]