Firsthand accounts from Islamic State suicide bombers were recently made public after Reuters discovered a handful of letters while on a trip to eastern Mosul.
According to the report, the letters were found in an abandoned building that was once a training facility for Islamic State recruitments.
“My dear family, please forgive me,” reads one letter written by Alaa Abd al-Akeedi, just 15 or 16 years old. “Don’t be sad and don’t wear the black clothes. I asked to get married and you did not marry me off. So, by God, I will marry the 72 virgins in paradise.”
Reuters reports many of the letters and details found in the training facility indicate a lot of the recruits were in their teens or 20s. One of the terrorist group’s most successful plans of attack has been those conducted by suicide bombers.
While most of the recruits were from Iraq, Reuters reports there were also young recruits from the United States, Iran, Morocco, and India.
Family members of Alaa Abd al-Akeedi told Reuters they feared the worst for their entire family if they tried to stop him from carrying out the attack. Another father said he was threatened after he tried to track down his son who had left school to join the Islamic State.
Although family members were against their children joining the terror group, several of them contacted by Reuters said there was no way to find them or stop them.
“Even now I’m still astounded. I don’t know how they convinced him to join,” said Abu Amir, the boy’s father. “I’m just glad we could bury him and put this whole thing to rest.”
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