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Justice for Our Sisters in the Islamic State

This video clip features Ibn Mesud, an eighteen-year-old Syrian ISIS defector from al Hasakah, Syria interviewed in December 2015 by Anne Speckhard and Ahmet S. Yayla in southern Turkey. The video clip was produced by Zack Baddorf and ICSVE staff.

In this clip Ibn Mesud tells about returning to his native Deir ez-Zor to ask if ISIS cadres are misbehaving there as he has already witnessed elsewhere.  His townsfolk tell him about a young Syrian woman who was stopped by the ISIS hisbah [morality police] for wearing flip flops.  One of the hisbahmen took her to their headquarters where he raped her.

The young woman complained to the ISIS court but they accused her of psychological problems and dismissed her case despite the neighbors coming to testify in her behalf. Ibn Mesud warns that as ISIS took over territory they were unrighteous and harmed the local populations. He warns that the Islamic State is that in name only and advises others not to join.

Timed transcript of Justice for our Sisters in the Islamic Statevideo:

Justice for Our Sisters in the Islamic State

0:03     ISIS is not righteous.

0:06     They kept people in darkness.

0:09     They laughed at people.

0:17     Once I went to Deir ez-Zor and asked, ‘What is ISIS’s situation there?’

0:23     ‘Are they acting the same here, too? Are they committing crimes?’

0:27     IBN MESUD

Former ISIS Child Soldier

My friend replied, ‘They raped a girl two days ago when she was going to the market.’

0:38     That sinful man liked her.

0:44     He talked to her, asking ‘How about we get married?’

0:51     and saying other things.

0:52     He wanted to marry her and pressured her because she wasn’t wearing socks.

0:58     She was only wearing flip-flops.

1:00     ‘Why are you wearing these? This is haram [forbidden],’ he said.

1:03     She was completely covered but she wore flip-flops.

1:07     He took her to the hisbah [religious police] and raped her.

1:11     She complained at the court.

1:14     But they said, ‘She has psychological problems. She’s crazy.’

1:21     She wasn’t welcome at the court.

1:24     Those who knew her testified [on her behalf], ‘She is our neighbor.’

1:27     ‘He raped her more than once.’

1:32     In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,

1:36     I advise my brothers, who are my age or younger:

1:40     don’t be tricked by ISIS.

1:46     Once they kicked [the Free Syrian Army] out of an area,

1:53     they came to the region, threatened people and displaced the women and children.

2:05     I want every young man, from my generation or younger, to stay away from ISIS.

2:14     I want their parents to advise them to stay away and to make them stay home.

2:23     I would like to tell people not to join ISIS. [It’s] better for them to stay with their parents.

2:33     Because ISIS is not righteous.  They don’t apply Allah’s law.

2:44     It’s just a name—the Islamic State.

2:49     The Truth Behind the Islamic State

2:52     Sponsored by the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism

2:58     See more at

Anne Speckhard, Ph.D., is Director of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) and serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. She has interviewed over 600 terrorists, their family members and supporters in various parts of the world including in Western Europe, the Balkans, Central Asia, the Former Soviet Union and the Middle East. In the past two years, she and ICSVE staff have been collecting interviews (n=78) with ISIS defectors, returnees and prisoners, studying their trajectories into and out of terrorism, their experiences inside ISIS, as well as developing the Breaking the ISIS Brand Counter Narrative Project materials from these interviews. She has also been training key stakeholders in law enforcement, intelligence, educators, and other countering violent extremism professionals on the use of counter-narrative messaging materials produced by ICSVE both locally and internationally as well as studying the use of children as violent actors by groups such as ISIS and consulting on how to rehabilitate them. In 2007, she was responsible for designing the psychological and Islamic challenge aspects of the Detainee Rehabilitation Program in Iraq to be applied to 20,000 + detainees and 800 juveniles. She is a sought after counterterrorism experts and has consulted to NATO, OSCE, foreign governments and to the U.S. Senate & House, Departments of State, Defense, Justice, Homeland Security, Health & Human Services, CIA and FBI and CNN, BBC, NPR, Fox News, MSNBC, CTV, and in Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post, London Times and many other publications. She regularly speaks and publishes on the topics of the psychology of radicalization and terrorism and is the author of several books, including Talking to Terrorists, Bride of ISIS, Undercover Jihadi and ISIS Defectors: Inside Stories of the Terrorist Caliphate. Her publications are found here: and on the ICSVE website  Follow @AnneSpeckhard

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