New interviews with a Belgian ISIS member and Indonesians

A Belgian woman wants to return home after joining ISIS, The National reported.

“In a 40-minute interview, Ms Bodart spoke of conflict in her home life and a conversion to Islam in her teen years. She had been naive and easily manipulated, she said.’My family pushed me towards Islam, Islam pushed me towards my husband, and my husband pushed me towards ISIS.'”

She portrays joining the genocidal movement as a kind of tourism gone back,

“After one year I wanted to come home,” she said. “When the bombardment became heavier.”

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In another article the lives of a family of Indonesians are revealed. Some of the 800 members of that country who joined. The article notes “An estimated 800 Indonesians are thought to have travelled to Iraq and Syria since Islamic State declared the caliphate in 2014. About half — including Nur Dhania and her family — have since returned. Until last year, it was not illegal under Indonesian law to join a militant group overseas.”

Like others one woman says social media was a help, even though it showed beheadings and genocide. “That year — 2014 — she spent her school holidays glued to social media, where she devoured everything she could find about Islamic State and its promise of a ‘paradise’ in Syria.”

She says “I was mesmerised,” she said, “by Islamic State propaganda that offered free housing, education and healthcare; jobs for everyone who joined the cause, and a promise to pay the family’s debts.”


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