A former translator for ISIS known as “Shaleh” who left the group and now lives in fear of his life, has revealed information about the terrorist group that they would rather not be made public.
Shaleh, who has fled to Turkey, suggests that one of the reasons the hostages appear so calm in the video’s is that ISIS routinely perform mock executions, which lead the hostages to believe that they are not going to be killed when the videos are recorded.
Sky News reports:
Here are the six main revelations from the interview:
1. The man nicknamed Jihadi John is indeed Mohammed Emwazi, the 26-year-old Briton suspected of killing a number of foreign hostages. And he is “the big boss”, the only one who gives orders to others.
2. Emwazi is feared and respected within the group, possibly because he was prepared to kill foreigners.
3. Saleh is the only man to have seen Emwazi kill, and admit to seeing it. He said: “When he killed [Japanese hostage] Kenji Goto I saw this, but not near, from a little distance.”
4. The hostages were compliant when it came to their deaths because they did not realise they were really going to die – they had been subjected to mock executions and had a false sense of security.
Saleh was told what to say to them. He [Emwazi] told Saleh: “Say to them, no problem, only video, we don’t kill you, we want from your government [to] stop attacking Syria. We don’t have any problem with you; you are only our visitors.”
5. The hostages were given Arabic names to convince them they were among friends and to calm them down.
Kenji Goto was given the name Abu Saad. Saleh said: “Maybe they could not say Kenji Goto so they say Abu Saad. But when I noticed Goto, when they said Abu Saad to Goto, direct he relax.”
6. The command and control structure within IS in Raqqa is dominated by foreigners, about 70% are foreign fighters in charge of around 30% Syrians – and there are more foreigners coming.