Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 20 May 2019

ISIL defector, 15, tells of his experience at Nato conference

ISIL trains young children to blow themselves up in the promise of paradise

Delegates at the Stratcom Dialogue in Latvia were shown the testimony of former Isil fighters, to provide an inside into how the group recruits to its ranks.

“I liked Isis a lot in the beginning but later, no", said a 15-year-old defector, who joined the group at 13 in Syria.

"We spent just one month training at the camp. It was military training, not compassionate at all. A lot of the training was with weapons. If you get distracted when you’re holding a real weapon, they will put your finger in the barrel of the rifle and almost break it.

"They picked [a child] up in a truck and told him he was going to execute an infidel. He took the knife with him and they led him to the prisoner. The person’s hands were tied so he pulled his hair back and sawed across his neck until he was beheaded. Some people felt upset deep down but they wouldn’t say anything. If someone was executed, everyone would act happy and shout ‘Allahu Akbar!’

"They locked prisoners in cages, five or six people in a cage. They lower the cage in the water until they are almost about to drown. They drag them out and start again. And keep torturing them like that. No one knew what they did or who they were."

Despite the indoctrination by his superiors, he said the brutality turned him against Isil.

"I knew that older and younger people are being slaughtered and I knew it was wrong. I lost my country, everything.

"I would tell all the children in the world to not join this organisation, it’s not Muslim, they’re the infidels who slaughter innocent people.They pretend to be Muslim but they just teach people to blow themselves up and tell you you’re going to paradise – but none of it is true."

Updated: July 7, 2017 09:34 AM