The German television program Tagesschau yesterday broadcasted a short documentary about the Syrian-Kurd Masoud Aqil, a journalist. Captured by IS terrorist in 2014, Aqil was freed in an exchange of prisoners, after 280 days in captivity, during which he was tortured.
“For them it was OK to kill people, to frighten people, they liked to think about themselves as terrorists. That was their strategy. As long as they could scare people, they could control them.“
After being tortured, for being a non-believer and a Kurd, he decided to flee Syria, leaving for Germany in the winter of 2015. But in Germany, he found that fleeing IS terrorism isn’t as simple as that:
“Wherever I go, IS is already there.“
Aqil discovers that, like him, some of his tortures are in Europe, having come here with the swell of migrants. Not only members of IS, but also from factions like the Jabaht Al-Nusra Front. His findings are shared by experts, like Guido Steinberg, interviewed in the mini-documentary. Steinberg says that:
“There are no concrete numbers, but there are suspected cases and we have to assume that hundreds of members of terrorist organisations have come to Europe.“
Aqil now searches for these criminals, looking for and finding their Facebook profiles. What he knows about them, he shares with the German police, but it is difficult to prosecute, because it’s Aqil’s word against the other man’s. But Aqil doesn’t give up.
“I saw and realised that they are amongst us. We have to know who they are, take notice of them, to be able to stop them.“
He is looking for other witnesses and has published a book, called Mitten unter Uns (In our midst) about his experiences in Syria, and his discovery that his torturers had also made it into Europe.