“It’s not like the Western countries, you know, it’s very strict.”
If you’ve ever wondered what could make an American join the terror group ISIS, we can now confirm one reason is plain old-fashioned stupidity.
Mohamad Khweis of Virginia doesn’t seem to know what he was getting himself into.
Mark Zapotosky reports at the Washington Post:
American ISIS fighter captured by Kurds: ‘I found it hard’
The 26-year-old Virginia man who was taken into custody in Iraq after he purportedly deserted the Islamic State told a Kurdish TV station Thursday that he decided to escape after he grew dissatisfied during intensive religious training in Mosul.
Mohamad Khweis told Kurdistan 24 that his life under the Islamic State in Mosul was a “very strict” regimen of prayer, eating and eight hours of daily instruction in religion and sharia law. He said he soon came to realize that “I didn’t really support their ideology.”
Khweis said he stayed only about a month, then reached out to someone who could help him make his way toward Turkey. He said he planned eventually to return to the United States.
“It was pretty hard to live in Mosul,” he said. “It’s not like the Western countries, you know, it’s very strict. There’s no smoking. I found it hard for everyone there.”
Bret Baier covered the story on FOX News:
Here’s the punchline. His family claims they thought he was on vacation.
Neal Augenstein of WTOP has the story:
Family of Va. man believed he was on vacation, not fighting for ISIS
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The family of a Fairfax County man accused of fighting alongside ISIS in Iraq denies the allegation…
Khweis’s father said he was meeting with American officials to determine what they knew about his son’s situation.
When reporters continued to ask questions, the man turned a garden hose on journalists, who were standing on public property. Fairfax County police were summoned, and order was restored.
Eventually, Khweis’s father repeated his grown child’s innocence.
“He is my son, he’s a good person, he’s a good son. And I raised my kids in the right way,” the father said.
“That’s him. I cannot believe it,” his uncle, Kamal Khweis, told NBC News, Monday. “He doesn’t even speak Arabic. ISIS? I cannot believe this.”
Kamal Khweis said his nephew had said he was taking a European vacation, and when his family last heard from him he said he was in Greece.
This would be funnier if it wasn’t also a national security issue.
Featured image via YouTube.