Inside Isis

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aqaba israel_005

Adam Withnall UK Independent

Jürgen Todenhöfer, 74, spent 10 days in Isis-controlled territory. He says the reality on the ground is different from what anyone in the West realises

The first Western journalist in the world to be allowed extensive access to Isis territories in Syria and Iraq has returned from the region with a warning: the group is “much stronger and much more dangerous” than anyone in the West realises.

Jürgen Todenhöfer, 74, is a renowned German journalist and publicist who travelled through Turkey to Mosul, the largest city occupied by Isis, after months of negotiations with the group’s leaders.

He plans to publish a summary of his “10 days in the Islamic State” on Monday, but in interviews with German-language media outlets has revealed his first impressions of what life is like under Isis.

Speaking to the website Der tz, Todenhöfer revealed that he actually stayed in the same hotel in Benghazi as James Foley, the US journalist who was beheaded on camera by Isis in August.

“Of course, I’ve seen the terrible, brutal video and it was one of my main concerns during the negotiations as to how I can avoid [the same fate],” he said.

Once within Isis territory, Todenhöfer said his strongest impression was “that Isis is much stronger than we think here”. He said it now has “dimensions larger than the UK”, and is supported by “an almost ecstatic enthusiasm that I have never encountered in any other warzone”.


“Each day, hundreds of willing fighters arrive from all over the world,” he told tz. “For me it is incomprehensible.”

Todenhöfer claims to have been able to move among Isis fighters, observing their living conditions and equipment. On his Facebook page, he has posted images which he said show German Heckler & Koch MG3 machine guns in the hands of Isis. “Someday this German MG could be directed to us,” he said.

Isis’s fighters themselves sleep, he said, in barracks formed from “the shells of bombed-out houses”. They number around 5,000 in Mosul, and are spread so widely that were the US to bomb them all “they would have to reduce the whole of Mosul to ruins”, he said.

Todenhöfer says that this ultimately means Isis cannot be beaten by Western intervention or air strikes – despite US claims last week that they have proven effective. “With every bomb that is dropped and hits a civilian, the number of terrorists increases,” he said.

Speaking in a TV interview with RTL’s Nachtjournal programme two days after his return to Germany last week, Todenhöfer said Isis has worked hard to establish itself as a functioning state. He said it has “social welfare”, a “school system”, and that he was even surprised to see it has plans to provide education to girls.

Most concerning of all, he said, was Isis fighters’ belief that “all religions who agree with democracy have to die”.

He said the view that kept being repeated was that Isis want to “conquer the world” and all who do not believe in the group’s interpretation of the Koran will be killed. The only other religions to be spared, Todenhöfer said, were the “people of the book” – Jews and Christians.

“This is the largest religious cleansing strategy that has ever been planned in human history”, he told RTL.

Isis-affiliated social media accounts have already started responding to Todenhöfer’s reports, hailing his comments about the group’s territories being made into functioning societies.

The tweet below quotes “German journalist Jürgen” as saying: “The Caliphate state is working to create life in the style of the Rightly Guided Caliphs who lived after the Prophet (PBUH) and it can move mountains.”

Charlie Winter, a researcher for the anti-extremism thinktank Quilliam, said such comments about Isis being “a group that is formidable militarily and politically” were quoted by pro-Isis accounts because it is “a bitter pill for policymakers to swallow”.

“That said, Todenhöfer’s comments on the massacre of the Yazidis and displacement of hundreds of thousands in Mosul have been routinely ignored by Isis supporters,” Mr Winter said. “The facts are being cherry-picked to give a very narrow view of the situation that Todenhöfer was met with in Syria and Iraq.”

Todenhöfer plans to use his first-hand experience of Isis in a book he is writing about the group. He says on Facebook that he has always “spoken to both sides” in his 50 years reporting from war zones, including interviews with Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and al-Qaeda, with Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai and with leaders of the Taliban.

In his view, Isis will soon come to the West to negotiate a level of co-existence. “The only ones who could stop this now are the moderate Iraqi Sunnis,” he said, adding: “If you want to defeat an opponent, you must know him.”


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20 COMMENTS

  1. This report hasn’t mentioned Kurdish, Syrian, and Iranian forces and their efforts to support Syria in successfully removing the cult and the other mercenaries from villages they once camped in. Instead of bombing the civilians and infrastructure to smithereens and reducing the cities to ruble the Kurds, Syrians, and Iranians are doing this the hard way, door to door. ISIS is finished if more would do the same.
    This 74 year old reminds me of the photographer in that movie “Apocalypse Now” that fell for the rebel leader. “Hes a man’s man man.”

    http://article.wn.com/view/2012/02/23/Doortodoor_raids_helicopter_gunships_and_the_systematic_clea/

  2. Germany steps forward to take a lead role in the Zio-Neocon choir… or maybe he’s trying to encourage more Muslims to leave Europe and join the Mossad, oops, Isis/Isil/Daesh?

  3. So, while ‘You’reGone’ was visiting his mafia friends, did he follow new US State Dept. procedure and offer them jobs?

  4. I think Jurgens been a bit careless with the truth here or just plain BS.
    Isis is like a Hollywood production.
    Driving around in the same immaculate vehicles, and they,re always nice and clean and well presented.
    Do they have a mobile laundry truck and make-up department with them to keep them all well groomed? Not even the slightest sweat stain.
    For a rag tag army fighting in the desert, I,ve yet to see a dirty ISIS member. Who supplies their clothing? Be a good contract to have.
    Exactly how many are there? and where? Does anyone know?
    They are the neatest, tidiest, most photogenic rebels even seen!

  5. Too much heavy breathing, and remember their origins.
    Their ‘can you top this’ follies are getting old.
    A lot of the stuff they have looks awfully new,
    shiney, looks like it has not been used a lot.
    Looks reasonably up to date.
    Meanwhile the MSM and others are providing the
    vital “be afraid be very afraid” line (using videos from ISIS).
    (Isn’t modern communications wonderful)..
    I have no doubt some of these guys would shoot you just for fun.
    I also have been following the ‘how ISIS got happened story.

    John

    • There is a Kerfuffle about a recent ‘unnamed source’ releasing
      details not normally provided.
      What if the ‘plan’ “revealed” is not really the plan?
      What if those goodies left lying about come at a price?
      What if you are doing just what they want you to?
      What if they already know (most of) what you have,
      having left it lying about for fools?
      Pointing this out in no way increases the exposure.

      John

    • One might look at it this way..
      You have a bunch of expensive stuff somebody was supposed to blow up.
      But you have a considerable amount left,
      and so what to do?
      You can scrap it.. (I hate seeing good machinery hurt)
      You can offload it to the ‘police’ (who always wanted an MRAP)
      Or..
      You could accidentally let the ‘bad guys’ have it,
      first in one way, then another.
      Food for Thought.

      John

  6. If I were chosen to speak for the pentagram extemporaneously, this is what I think their version of a 10 day experience with IS would be like (orgasm excluded of course). For the masses…….

  7. Very remarkably, EU mainstream EuroNews site, is carrying an interview with Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, where President al-Bashir says directly that America’s CIA and Israel’s Mossad are behind groups Boko Haram and ISIL. “I said CIA and the Mossad stand behind these organisations. There is no Muslim who would carry out such acts.”
    http://www.euronews.com/2015/02/17/exclusive-sudan-s-bashir-on-isil-darfur-and-accusations-of-genocide-and-war-/

  8. My favorite scripted detail was about how they are going to take over the world and that the only people that will be spared are the Abrahamic religious – right after allegedly executing a group of Coptic Egyptians, and right after stating that “all religions that agree with democracy will die”.

    What a complete load of poorly scripted malarkey.

  9. Yep, another episode of Kabuki theatre. Now it’s convincing because a Westerner was allowed to document it. And here’s the thing – it is dangerous and effective on one level – it’s an extremely well funded intelligence operation – even more than that – as Gordon and several other posters have stated – a “brand”. A “brand” is a big production – more than an operation – instead a very elaborate and organic production (with some serious elements of realness to make it convincing.

    But many people will fall for this – the same people who still believe the above board rhetorical drama. And you can see the hidden hand moving the anti-Israel fulcrum into position too. (Not that there are plenty of good and valid reasons, and not that much of the hidden hand isn’t Zionist/Jewish in the first place).

    The Albert Pike quote is unfolding in real time.

    • I really do not like the putting them on each other game.
      Pike correctly observed that the Abrahamic Tradition
      was a formula for perpetual war.
      He understood that ‘having them do the work’
      was the operative approach, as fits their predispositions.
      And affords an element of personal choice.
      They could lay aside pretense re ‘god made me do it’,
      and all the old cudgels, and find peace maybe.
      This does not appeal to a substantial; portion
      of the target (two ways) article.. er population.

      John

    • This scenario runs in parallel with some nasty banksters
      trying to Take Over the World.
      These have a long (dare I say Biblical) history..
      The Moneychangers (and all that about not liking JC).
      These event lines are severable but not independent.

      John

    • Did it ever occur to you that fighting over who
      god put in charge of the world..
      Is only slightly above fighting over who won the ballgame.
      Yet this nonsense persists,
      obviously mostly an excuse to play global chess with real people.
      Meanwhile too many poor fools point their butt on command,
      others self mortify (look it up)
      God is Within You and Works Through Your Will.
      (Sean Phillips, or his dad’s influence, music you can find (i think)
      Or we can go the physics route..
      This didn’t blow up, it manifest.
      At end of day you always end up with
      something out of nothing
      somewhere in nowhere
      (and here we are).
      An organizing principle is evident,
      also of unknown origin.
      Still want to fight over who’s cousin
      most closely emulates your totem?

      John

  10. More propaganda to get the masses stirred up into a frenzy. This whole middle east nonsense is so stupid. I was hearing again this morning that the US is arming and training “moderates” to fight ISIS in Syria and Iraq. THIS IS WHAT CREATED ISIS IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!! And now they want to send US troops over there? To fight against who and for what purpose. How in the hell can the US fight ISIS and support them at the same time? Let’s cut the BS. This is nothing more that a backdoor attempt by the CIA, the Saudis and Mossad to bring down Assad in Syria. I have a prediction. I bet within the next 2 years ISIS starts to show up in Chechnya and other surrounding areas in an attempt to start a war with Russia. We’ll probably also start to hear that Iran is funding ISIS and they must be bombed out of existence. Beyond ridiculous at this point.

Comments are closed.