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Oct 20, 2016
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French Woman Who Escaped from ISIS in Syria Recounts Her Ordeal

#5729 | 03:45

In a recent TV report, Umm Maryam, a young French woman who went to Syria to join her husband in ISIS talked about her disillusionment and her ordeal. "All they want is money," she said, adding that ISIS did not give them zakkat, even though she was seven months pregnant. She recounted how, after her husband was killed in battle, she was forced to marry an ISIS emir. According to the Alaan TV report, after attempting to escape, Umm Maryam was thrown in prison, where she was beaten and tortured. She managed to escape on her third attempt. The report aired on October 21.


Following are excerpts



Umm Maryam: I am French. I was in Al-Raqqah with ISIS, together with my husband.



Interviewer: Umm Maryam, a young French woman, went to Syria in the middle of last year, in order to reach Al-Raqqah and reunite with her husband, who had joined ISIS two years earlier.



When she reached Syria, Umm Maryam was shocked by the reality that she witnessed in areas under ISIS control, a reality so different from the bright picture eagerly peddled by ISIS, in order to entice young people.



Umm Maryam: They say that this is Islam, but that is impossible.







All they want is money. How come my husband went from Europe to fight their war? [The foreign recruits] didn't know better. They thought ISIS was on the right path.



Interviewer: She tried to escape three times, but ISIS security personnel caught her, and put her in prison, where she was beaten and tortured.



Umm Maryam: There was a woman in charge. She was from Morocco. She would often beat us. She would say to us: "Why did you want to go to Turkey? In Turkey, they are apostates and infidels." There were many women in prison. They all wanted to go to Turkey. There were women from Morocco and Turkey. There was one from America.



Interviewer: Were they all beaten?



Umm Maryam: Yes, all of them. Umm Maryam suffered cruel treatment at the hands of ISIS, which did not provide for her daily needs. According to her, they would confiscate the zakat money. They say that ISIS hands out the zakat, but that isn't true.



Umm Maryam: My husband and I did not have money, and I was seven months pregnant. We needed to buy clothes. My husband and I told ISIS that we needed money, that we didn't have any money. They told us that ISIS does not hand out zakat. They say that ISIS hands out zakat, but that is not true.






My husband was killed in Manbij while fighting the PKK. From that time, I was alone in my home in Al-Raqqah with my daughter. ISIS did not come to ask me whether I needed anything, like money. A Syrian [ISIS] security official came to talk to me. He said to me: "An emir wants to marry you."






I told him I didn't want to, but he said: "Shut up, you have to." They took me by force, even though I did not want to get married. In her final attempt to escape, she managed to reach 'Azaz, a city in the countryside north of Aleppo.






I reached 'Azaz, went to a [refugee] camp, and slept there. Someone from the FSA asked me where I was from, and I told him that I was from France, that I had escaped from ISIS, that I wanted to go to Turkey, and that I was just waiting for the smuggler to come to the camp and take me.





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