Former ISIS Fighter Bin Laden Al-Italy: I Was Recruited through Facebook; Turkey was the main lifeline of ISIS
Bin Laden Al-Italy, a former ISIS fighter from Italy, was interviewed by Al-Arabia Network about his experience with ISIS. Al-Italy told Al-Arabiya that ISIS operatives connected with him on Facebook providing him with instructions for entering Syria via Turkey. According to Al-Italy, Turkey was the main lifeline of ISIS, provisions, weapons, fighters, and funds were transferred freely through the Turkish border. ISIS leaders sold gold and oil taken from Iraq inside Turkey in order to finance their operations. Al-Italy confirmed that there was a coup attempt against Al-Baghdadi in September, but the conspirators were imprisoned and the leaders were publicly executed. He added that the reason for the attempted coup was that the conspirators felt “they were being used and betrayed.” He added: “The truth is, ISIS always lied to us.” Al-Italy said he assumes Al-Baghdadi and the other ISIS leaders have escaped Syria. “They took the money and the gold, they secured themselves and their families, and they ran away and left the young men. They only tell us to fight, and that our enemies are blasphemous and atheists. They used us and ran away.” He claimed that ISIS planted landmines surrounding Baghouz so people wouldn’t leave the area and soldiers wouldn’t defect. The interview was conducted in Baghouz, Syria, and aired on April 14, 2019.