A former Daesh militant who grew up in the UK warns that a bombing campaign by the West will encourage more jihadists to launch terror attacks in Europe.
Harry Sarfo joined the so-called Islamic State in Syria back in April 2015 and appeared in one of its horrific execution videos before becoming disillusioned with the caliphates brutality and fleeing the group.
He is now in a German prison awaiting trial on terror charges, but in an exchange with The Independent Sarfo claimed that the use of U.S. led airstrikes is only inspiring more followers to commit further terror attacks across Europe.
The bombing campaign gives them more recruits, more men and children who will be willing to give their lies because they’ve lost their families in the bombing. For every bomb, there will be someone to bring terror to the West. They know the West is scared to put boots on the ground. Even if that happens one day, they’ve got plenty of men waiting for Western troops to arrive. For them the promise of paradise is all they want.
Sarfo was born in Bremen, Germany before moving to London as a teen, where he went to college and later converted to Islam when he was 20.
However, his life in the UK was cut short when he was forced to return to Germany to serve a prison sentence for a robbery he committed back in 2010.
That’s when he met a known jihadi recruiter who was linked with al-Qaeda and joined a now-closed radical mosque after his release.
He tried to travel to Syria on a so-called ‘charity mission’, which ended up in several arrests and Sarfo blames this police treatment for his eventual decision to join the so-called Islamic State.
I wanted to start a new life for me and my wife. The police and the authorities destroyed it. They made me become the man they wanted.
But after spending two months with the group and witnessing the bloody consequences of Daesh’s extreme interpretation of Sharia law, he turned his back on them.
I witnessed stonings, beheadings, shootings, hands chopped off and many other things. I’ve seen child soldiers – 13-year-old boys with explosive belts and Kalashnikovs. Some boys even driving cars and involved in executions. The Islamic State is not just un-Islamic, it is inhuman. A blood-related brother killed his own brother on suspicion of being a spy. They gave him the order to kill him. It is friends killing friends.
During his time in Raqqa, Sarfo admitted that he was asked to carry out atrocities in the UK and Germany, insisting he declined, but other fighters had no such reservations.
Daesh has citied airstrikes against its strongholds as the motivation for the attacks in Brussels and Paris.