A female ISIS deserter identified only as Hajer, who was a member of the all-female Al-Khansa ISIS brigade in Raqqa, Syria has revealed horrifying details about the torture tactics used by ISIS fighters, as well as her own actions as a torturer.
In an exclusive interview with writer Ahmad Ibrahim, published Aug. 29 in Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, Hajer admits, “I enjoyed torturing women. Especially when their fathers or husbands were there.”
Hajer, only 25 years old, said she was one of the first recruits to join the all-female brigade in 2014, and explained that she joined ISIS because it was one of the few terror groups that accepted women fighters and promotes them to executive positions. She was later joined by some runaway schoolgirls from London.
The Al-Khansaa group’s role was to be the “religious police,” making sure the residents of Raqqa followed strict Islamic rules. Hajer had been assigned to work in one of the popular nightclubs near the river, the report states.
While smoking cigarettes, Hajer began telling her story to Ibrahim, stating, “Many of their Jihad slogans are just lies. Yes, they are bearded, they pray, and they keep repeating a few verses from Quran about Jihad. But then, you will soon realize that they are just cheap, greedy mercenaries who care only about their own interests at the expense of the religion. Anyway, they are not coming from another time in history, nor from Afghanistani caves. They’re well-informed on many different levels – knowledge, security, military, media, journalism, and even social relations – yet definitely not religion.”
She said the Al-Khansaa female battalion was hurriedly formed after several ISIS fighters were killed by men who disguised themselves as females by wearing burqas. Initially, 35 women were part of the brigade, 3 Syrians, 2 Yemenis, 4 Saudis, 1 Kuwaiti, 7 Tunisians, 3 Libyans, 9 Chechnyans, 3 Egyptians, and 3 Iraqis.
“The urgent task of female fighters was to search women in streets and shops, lest another incident similar to what happened before could take place. Also, the group was tasked with punishing and correcting other women’s behavior. But that’s only part of the truth. In actuality, the main goal was to create ‘female jihadis’ – made up of both locals and immigrants between the ages of 18 and 25. Those were the main conditions when one joins them. Other things could be discussed later,” Hajer said.
“Our first task was to prevent female clothing shops from displaying clothes in their store fronts and commanding that they obscure all details on the female mannequins by covering their faces with plastic bags. We were then told that only women could sell female clothing, so we were ordered to have all female clothing shops, hairdressers, and decorators run by men shut down. Also, male OGYN doctors were then prevented from practicing their profession and all their clinics were shut down. Female doctors were ordered to only perform abortions for women married to ISIS members who had no-offspring contracts made in case the woman would become pregnant. This condition was always included in the marriage contract and only the permission of the woman’s father was required along with two witnesses, who usually were members of the organization.”
In March 2014, the group began attempts to shut down all female schools, attacking the schools and scaring the girls as much as possible, criticizing the way they dressed, arresting several, and even whipping them. Teachers, however, were “bitten” with a torture tool.
Ibrahim’s story continues:
I asked Hajer, “Didn’t you feel afraid?”
She answered, “No, maybe one time only. To be honest, I enjoyed it, I enjoyed torturing Syrian women – especially when their fathers or husbands were there. May God forgive us all. As I told you, I was afraid only one time when the International Coalition targeted the Al-Khansa headquarters, which was previously the political security building. I was 200 meters away from the building. Thirty women died that day.
“The next day, they brought in a Jordanian pilot named Muath Al-KasasbehI and said he was the one who bombed the headquarters. I still remember how Um Salama and Um Rayan tortured him. It was the most brutal torturing I have ever seen. We also witnessed his execution – all 605 female fighters in Al Khansaa. At that time, I actually cried.”
Hajer added, “What really confuses me is the religious courses. They use strange Hadiths. I really do not know where they got them from. Sometimes, they bring up texts that are not in line with the principles of Islam, but we need to be loyal and interpret it vividly, without omitting or adding. May Allah forgive us.”
Below is an interview with another woman who had joined the ISIS brigade, and wanted out, and described the tactics they used.
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