Daesh brutal, corrupt and now divided: Survey

Daesh brutal, corrupt and now divided: Survey
Daesh militants in Libya's Sirte.

Brussels - They are not protecting but killing Muslims, say defectors

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By Agencies

Published: Tue 22 Sep 2015, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Tue 22 Sep 2015, 9:38 AM

A survey of defectors from the Daesh group has found that many quit the organisation because they decided it was too brutal or corrupt, or because it made war too frequently against other Muslims.
The survey, issued on Monday by a London-based think tank, relied on the public statements of 58 people known to have left Daesh since last year.
Peter Neumann, the report's author, said its findings shatter the image of unity and determination that Daesh seeks to portray. The survey found common narratives among defectors, including disappointment that life under Daesh is so harsh, that the group is corrupt and un-Islamic, and that it commits atrocities against other Muslims.
Neumann said the defectors' statements, if given wide circulation, could deter future recruits from joining the Daesh group.
At least 58 people have left the group and publicly spoken about their defection since January 2014, according to the report by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ISCR) at King's College London. It said 17 fighters were reported to have defected in June, July and August alone, adding that they represent only a "small fraction" of former fighters, with many too scared to come forward.
Those who told their stories overwhelmingly said they were disaffected by the killing of fellow Muslims, including innocent civilians. "The defectors' voices are strong and clear: 'Daesh is not protecting Muslims. It is killing them,'" the report said.
One defector, identified as Ebrahim B., from Germany, claimed to speak for two dozen of his comrades who travelled to Syria to fight Assad only to be disappointed by the reality on the ground.
"Muslims are fighting Muslims. Assad's forgotten about. The whole jihad was turned upside down," the report cited him as saying.
The defectors mentioned in the report were permanent residents of 17 countries, including nine from Western Europe and Australia.
Dozens of defectors have fled to Turkey while others have reportedly been executed as "spies" or "traitors" by Daesh, which considers defection as apostasy.
Leaving the group is "complex and dangerous", the report said, with many forced to go into hiding, fearing prosecution.
"Many are still trapped inside Syria or Iraq - unable to escape an organization that they no longer feel any allegiance for," the report added.

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