Dutch ISIS defectors held in Syrian rehabilitation camp: report
Syrian rebels set up an internment camp that is currently housing about 300 people that defected from terrorist organization Islamic State, BBC reports. The news agency has a video of a self proclaimed Dutch man living in the camp and waiting to return to the Netherlands and face the trouble he's in.
The camp was established by Jaish al-Tharir somewhere in the northwestern province of Idlib. According to the BBC, a large number of Europeans, including Dutch, are being held at the camp. Their families are also being sheltered there.
"We tried to rehabilitate them and alter their state of minds", commander of the camp, Mohammad al-Ghabi, said to the British news agency. "Those who wished to return home were allowed to call their embassies and coordinate with them through us."
The BBC was not allowed to visit the camp, but is in possession of a video from inside. The video shows a man who claims to be Dutch going under the name Abu Sumail al-Hollandi. He claims that in 2014 he disguised himself as a partying tourist and traveled from the Netherlands, to Belgium to Turkey and then finally to Syria. But he was disappointed in the life within Islamic State.
"I think ISIS is not the true religion because they kill people like, like it's nothing", he said on the video. "They treat us very bad, especially people from another country. It's very hard for us to live there - it's not our lifestyle because we are used to a lot of things and then we come there and they directly start to treat you hard. You give your life to them, so they are going to start to take control of your life. They use you for bad stuff."
"If you don't go to fight or something, they treat you very bad. They have a hard thinking of religion and they are very bad with the people. They use the people like human meat." the Dutch man said. He adds that it is much harder to leave Syria than to get in. "I'd like to go back to my country and live my life. I know I will get in trouble, but this is what I choose for. I will pay the price. I hope I can get out soon and live my life normally."
According to the Telegraaf, Abu Sumail al-Holandi's real name is Reda Nidalha from Leiden. His father has been struggling for two years to get him back to the Netherlands. Father Mohamed Nidalha does not want to say anything about the matter, because he does not want to hurt his son's chances of coming back to the Netherlands, according to the newspaper.
A spokesperson for the Dutch National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security told the newspaper that they know about stories of Dutch jihadists in the hands of ISIS opponents. "A foreign rebel fighter in the Syrian war that returns to the Netherlands is taken into custody immediately and criminally prosecuted."