The first Islamic State suicide bomber caught in Iraq tells Sky News there are more foreign fighters like him, including Britons.
by, Stuart Ramsay, Chief Correspondent | Sky News
A wing of Sulaymaniah’s military hospital has been sealed off and 24-hour security has been posted at the door of a ward.
Inside lies an injured young man; a very special patient and prisoner.
He is 23-year-old Horr Jaffer, from Chechnya, and he is an Islamic State (ISIS) suicide bomber.
His capture has been a secret until now.
Sky News is the first to get access to this man who was caught in the southern Kurdish town of Jalula after his bomb part exploded.
He had been attempting to destroy a Kurd checkpoint by driving a bomb-laden car into their midst.
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Four people died and many others were injured, but he was captured attempting to escape.
Under questioning he admits that he joined ISIS in Syria after his father, mother and six family members were killed there.
He says they had moved from Chechnya to Pakistan before going to Syria.
The Kurds believe his father and brothers were to all intents and purposes professional jihadists; moving to countries where they could ply their trade. That trade is killing people.
“I want to be a martyr. I decided after they killed my family,” he says in barely audible Russian.
“They didn’t tell me anything about what I was doing or where I was. I just had to press the button.”
The killer claims that Syria is filling with foreign fighters; a constant stream from all over the world.
“There are nations from all over the world there. There is British amongst them. They are from Asian countries, Europe and America. From everywhere,” he told me.
He says that they used to talk together and mix together but didn’t understand a lot of what was said.
Spending an hour with him it was striking how little he knew about what IS is doing across swathes of Syria. He denied any knowledge of the creation of a caliphate by ISIS for example.
He struck me as a rather stupid boy, upset by the loss of his family and totally open to indoctrination by his ISIS handlers.
He was just the guy prepared to die and kill others with him and it seems there are lots like him.
When asked if he regretted what had happened he broke down.
Arching his back in pain and misery, saying he just wanted to live a normal life that he did not mean to do what he did.
It is hard not to be moved by his anguish. Hard but not impossible. He is a killer.
Like many western governments and security services, Britain is growing increasingly concerned about both ISIS and the numbers of young men being radicalised and coming to Syria and Iraq.
Out here the Kurds say they are right to be concerned.
“It is almost like super-terrorism and this is the frontline,” Bafle Talabani, the British-born founder of the Kurds’ elite Counter Terrorism Group, told me in the grounds of his father’s house, which happens to be the Presidential Palace.
“It is more aggressive, more merciless more brutal. This is the front of the war on terror,” he says.
“If we don’t stop this here they will come for the West, for England, for Europe or the United States. They need to be stopped.”
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ISIS, he believes, is the most dangerous single entity in the world today.
He is urging western governments to allow the Kurds to buy their own weapons or supply them.
“The special forces have good equipment. The peshmergas’ weapons go back to the Iran-Iraq war. They are fighting against good weapons and a well-organised outfit with lots of money,” he says.
With so many willing jihadists available IS is unlikely to miss this single bomber.
When he is treated and well, he will go to prison and rot there for the rest of his life.
He will be denied martyrdom. The Kurds want the foreign fighters to know that.