Sunday, July 12, 2015
'Doctors without Morals' - What happened to the British medics who went to join terrorist group Isis?
What happened to the British medics who went to join terrorist group Isis are there more willing to join? (Guardian).
The Observer revealed in March that nine British medical students had crossed the Turkish border into Islamic State territory. As their families despair of seeing them again, what happened next?
It is almost four months since this newspaper revealed that he and eight other British-Sudanese doctors had crossed the Syrian border at Tel Abyad to join Islamic State and answer its call for doctors.
Since the Britons disappeared into Isis’s self-proclaimed caliphate, the Observer has collated testimony from family members, friends and former classmates – speaking for the first time, on condition of anonymity – in an attempt to reconstruct what happened to the five women and four men. Were they safe? Did they want to come home?
Their accounts reveal high-level talks took place to rescue the nine, that they remain in contact with their parents, and that more young British medics than previously thought may have travelled from the Sudanese capital to join Isis.
They also indicate that all were indoctrinated during their studies at Khartoum’s private University of Medical Sciences and Technology by a seemingly benign Islamic organisation that friends claim was a well-oiled “base operation” for Isis to recruit young medics.
More young doctors, they say, have been brainwashed by Isis and remain in Khartoum. Two weeks ago a second group of 12 medical students from the university, including seven Britons, arrived in Turkey in an attempt to cross into Syria.
So far, two brothers from Leicester have been intercepted on their way to the Syrian border and last week were returned to Khartoum. On Saturday night The Foreign Office confirmed it was working with Turkish police to try to prevent the remaining five Britons reaching Isis. At least 17 young British doctors are known to have attempted the journey from Khartoum to Syria. How many more are ready to follow?
“What is concerning is that the students who have gone are not the only ones recruited; there are reports of more students currently studying there who have been indoctrinated but have not been told to go,” said a sibling of one of the nine medics inside Syria.
It remains unclear if the British female doctors such as Lena have been married. Although many female foreign arrivals quickly become “jihadi brides,” activists in Raqqa say that Isis’s foreign doctors are viewed differently, allowing them to work unmarried. The caliphate’s strict segregation rules – female medics can operate only on women – and a shortage of female doctors have amplified their worth. Hmmm......Close down that Jihadi breeding nest.Read the full story here.