ISIS Leader Had Jewish-American advisor: Syrian Activist

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Middle East
Saturday, 01 October 2016

The northern Syria has witnessed a great deal of developments over the course of past five years, but the big trouble appeared when ISIS terrorist group captured Raqqa province and made it its stronghold and also the capital of the so-called caliphate. The people of Raqqa suffered two types of plights: oppression and suppression by the terrorist group as well as arbitrary and heinous measures that developed to affect every detail of their daily life. The significant point is that Raqqa has received great US attention as Washington considered it its own share in the Syrian conflict when the appropriate time comes. So, Washington prevented any moves to recapture the strategic city either by the Kurdish forces or the Syrian government. The US even bombed units of the Syrian army deployed to liberate areas in the captured province. These issues and others made topic for Alwaght's interview with an activist from Raqqa, Dr. Ali al-Shoaibi who also was affected by the ISIS’ arbitrariness. The Syrian activist explained People life's condition under ISIS and revealed that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had a Jewish-American advisor.

Alwaght: Regarding your experience of living under ISIS occupation in Raqqa, can you tell us about the prevailing atmosphere in a detailed way, and about what is happening in Raqqa province socially and economically, and the way ISIS treats people there?

Al-Shoaibi: We first should know that Raqqa is among the wealthiest provinces of Syria. We see in the Syrian school books written that Raqqa ranks first among the three Syrian provinces. The other two rich provinces are lattakia, known for its tourism, and Rif Dimashq. Raqqa is home to 6 million sheep, and it is the only province that has camels, and also has 12 million olive trees. Agriculture is the leading economic sector in Raqqa that includes farming and raising livestock. Grain is the top crop in Raqqa. It is the leading product there. We have also barley and cotton planted there. Cotton is exported in large amounts from Raqqa. Despite this volume of economic income sources in Raqqa, its residents are living in tough economic conditions under ISIS terrorist group’s rule there.

The illiteracy rate has seriously risen. It now touches 95 percent. This is a high rate. A majority of the tribal people around the city before ISIS’ arrival were travelling to the (Persian) Gulf states. As a result, they were affected in a way or another by Wahhabism. Now ISIS adopts the same ideology. Although many people were far away from the religion, after a time from taking control of the province by ISIS, they became commanders in the body of the terrorist group. They were allured by the petrodollars.

It must be taken into consideration that the Arab traditions still exist in different forms in Raqqa outskirts. This thinking nature well complies with the Wahhabist ideology. As a result, the tribal people in Raqqa assimilated into ISIS and the ideology it promotes.

As you know people are followers of the strong leaders. In Raqqa when the Syrian government’s toehold became weak, the people went to the Free Syrian Army (FSA), and when the FSA also went weak, they moved towards al-Nusra Front, and when the same thing happened to al-Nusra they inclined towards ISIS. But today people in Raqqa have moved away from ISIS. But we can say that the old prevailing tribal masses in Raqqa, too, contributed to this to take place as they also began to refuse the terrorist group’s ruling.

Now many people in Raqqa are bored with ISIS and its behavior. They want to get back to the rule of the Syrian government. I say this according to the evidences and documents and the precise information that come to me from people living there.

At the present time, a very small number of people of Raqqa are with ISIS. They take advantage of ISIS and make money from it. A majority of people have changed ideas about ISIS. People now are waiting for the Syrian army’s arrival so that they, too, revolt against ISIS due to their aversion to the terrorist organization. I myself gave my house coordinates to the Syrian air force to target it as ISIS members are residing in it. Therefore, there is a full readiness among the Raqqa residents to welcome the army and take down ISIS.

Alwaght: What are the reasons motivating people’s any revolt against ISIS?

Al-Shoaibi: First, people discovered the political and religious reality of ISIS. There were six Wahhabist people in Raqqa before ISIS took control of the province. One of them was my cousin and his name was Salem Ahmad al-Hamoud al-Salem. Salem studied communications sciences in the Philippines since the 1980s. I used to argue with him over ideological issues for long hours. However, to everyone’s surprise, when ISIS arrived to Raqqa, it took Salem and his six friends away and beheaded them. I was very surprised to see why ISIS beheaded these six people. I later understood that these five people along with my cousin Salem had discovered that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, has a Jewish-American advisor called David Michael, and that al-Baghdadi makes no move without consulting Michael. The six scientists began to leak information and talk about this fact. So, the ISIS members cut their heads and sent messages to their families, asking them to hold funeral service for them and bury them silently. So, we can say that the crucial push for anti-ISIS revolt in Raqqa is that people have found out about the reality of ISIS.

Add to this the fact that ISIS members are thieves. We have seen many of them stealing from the businessmen and flee out of Raqqa borders.

Alwaght: For a long time the Kurds tried to liberate Raqqa. How did the people of Raqqa respond to the Kurds and their moves to free the province?

Al-Shoaibi: The Kurds reside in small numbers in Raqqa. But based on a foreign plan many of the Kurds were moved to Raqqa to a degree that they began buying lands and building houses. They now are wealthy and have car dealerships, and other businesses.

When the Kurdish forces attempted to launch operation to liberate Raqqa, ISIS started a large-scale propaganda move in Raqqa against the Kurds, warning the residents that the Kurdish forces could come and rape their women and kill their children. As a result, the people were provoked to stand with ISIS against the Kurdish forces. But the information I received about the Kurds and their treatment of the residents after they reclaimed the areas from ISIS prove against what the terrorist group warned. For example, the Kurdish forces liberated Tell Abyad but did not conduct massacres as ISIS claimed. To be honest, they never took inhuman measures in the region.

We, in turn, tried to convince the Raqqa residents that the Kurdish forces will not do as ISIS alleged. We asked them not to listen to ISIS. We told them that the terrorist group seeks creating divisions between you and the Kurds to make you embrace it.

Alwaght: How do you see the upcoming US strategy for liberation of Raqqa?

Al-Shoaibi: The US, in fact, is determined to liberate Raqqa, but at a time that guarantees the biggest gains. The problem is handing it over Raqqa after liberation to a side that sides with Washington, which is certainly the Kurds or the FSA. Definitely, now they (the Americans) want to give it to the FSA to use it as a trump card against the Syrian government on the negotiating table.

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