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Saudi man explains why he joined ISIS: I was programmed to die for Islam… it is an honor to kill


Meet Mohammed Faisel, a 26-year-old Saudi man who decided to leave his family to join ISIS, and was ready to become a martyr for what he believed to be a worthy cause. That was before he witnessed what it is to be an ISIS member, and managed to find a way back to Saudi Arabia. Mohammed gave a detailed interview in Arabic about his experiences with ISIS. The account, which has gone viral on YouTube, is horrifying many in the Middle East. “We are living in dark times at the moment. The only thing that can possibly get worse than what it is now is a nuclear bomb,” a friend said as she sent me the video link during my last visit to the UAE.

Mohammed is a college graduate. He is good-looking and soft-spoken, and one would never imagine that he could become a killer. He comes from a middle-class family of nine in Saudi Arabia and decided on a whim to join ISIS after he attended a Friday prayer and learned of some of his friends leaving to join ISIS ranks in Syria. It took him only two days to arrange his departure out of Saudi Arabia. He left without a suitcase, telling his family that he was going to welcome a friend at the airport. He kissed his mother, knowing he had no intention of coming back.

He bought a one-way ticket to Turkey, where he was given instructions by an ISIS member to go to a Turkish province on the border with Syria. There, he met another ISIS agent, who drove him to ISIS-controlled territories in Syria. Mohammed then took off his traditional Saudi long white garment and men’s head covering and put on new cloths that he acquired in Syria to match ISIS fighting gear. Upon arrival, he was asked to take part in a ceremony to give allegiance to the Emir Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi and to give up his passport.

“They told us that Al Baghdadi aims to run Iraq and Syria. I didn’t care about him very much. I was there to die a martyr. I didn’t care about anything else.” In the YouTube video, Mohammed describes the ceremonial destruction of his passport, which was ripped up to celebrate the beginning of the new Islamic state. “They curse all the Arab countries as they exist now from Saudi Arabia on. They told us the army we are fighting are all infidels, Christians, Shia’a, and Alawis and we were all ready to die for Islam.” Mohammed is ignorant of the fact that never in Islam did the religion consider Christians, Shia’a and Alawis as infidels. This is a new doctrine that was alien to the majority of Muslims up until a few years ago [*Yeah right! Islam indeed encourages the slaughter of other people. Ask the Jewish people. They have experienced it for 1,400 years. Europe battled it for over 1,000 years. India the same. Nothing new at all. It’s just Islam]. But Mohammed is honest about his incentives, saying, “eventually you hang out enough [with] the guys and you want to be one of them. They become your friends and when you hear one of your friends gave his life for Islam, you can’t wait till you join him and die a martyr so you can go to heaven.”

Three days after his arrival Mohammed was taken to a training camp to learn how to fight. “They taught us everything from using a gun to a machine gun. If we had any questions throughout our training, there were lots of religious supervisors who told us all about the religion, how we should kill, and why. They were only youth, in their 20s just like myself. Mostly they were from Saudi and Libya,” he explains.


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