Iraq News

ISIS wives co-operate with Iraqi police forces

By Khalid al-Taie

An Iraqi police officer assists women and children who fled parts of Mosul under 'Islamic State of Iraq and Syria' control. [Photo courtesy of the Iraqi Federal Police]

An Iraqi police officer assists women and children who fled parts of Mosul under 'Islamic State of Iraq and Syria' control. [Photo courtesy of the Iraqi Federal Police]

Iraqi police have been questioning the wives of "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) fighters in order to gain insight into the group's inner workings.

Federal Police on Tuesday (July 11th) evacuated three Iraqi women, who confessed to being the wives of ISIS fighters, from Mosul's Old City, along with their children, police spokesman Col. Abdul Rahman al-Khazaali told Diyaruna.

In a video posted on news websites on July 6th, which has been authenticated by the police, the three women confess they were forced to marry ISIS fighters.

"The women fled with families in the old al-Najafi area after the police opened safe corridors for trapped civilians," al-Khazaali said. "We facilitated their escape and offered them urgent medical assistance and food."

"During their evacuation, the women told our forces they had been married to ISIS members under duress, and their husbands had been killed in battle," he said.

The women are currently being questioned, al-Khazaali added.

"We could find out very important and accurate information about the world of ISIS from within and how they operate and plan," he said. "Any piece of information we receive will support our intelligence efforts."

The police have yet to confirm whether the three women were involved in any sort of terrorist activity, al-Khazaali said, but noted that they have been fully co-operating with the police investigation.

"If you have not committed a crime, you will not be prosecuted and can be a witness," he said.

'Huge challenge' for post-liberation period

A number of ISIS fighters have been apprehended as they tried to flee Old Mosul alongside families leaving amid the recent battles, al-Khazaali said.

"There are lists of militants and they will be captured, due to joint security and intelligence efforts and by working with locals who are able to identify them," he said.

"Locals now have no tolerance for terrorists roaming freely, and the information they give to the police will help us impose security and stability in the liberated areas," he added.

"The three women are definitely an important source of information," said Ninawa provincial council security committee member Hassan Shabib.

The intelligence they provide will help security forces understand many details about the lives and connections of their "terrorist husbands", he told Diyaruna.

"This is a thorny topic and is a huge challenge for the post-liberation period in Mosul," he said, noting that laws should be put in place to protect the relatives of ISIS fighters who have been charged with no crime, from acts of revenge.

Shabib stressed the importance of "preserving the rights of everyone so that national cohesion is possible and co-existence and civil peace are enforceable for a prosperous future for our liberated cities".

Rule of law must be upheld

"We must distinguish between terrorists and their family members and wives who have not been implicated in any security breaches," strategic expert and former Iraqi military officer Ahmed al-Sharifi told Diyaruna.

The rule of law will take its course, he said, and only those who engaged in or supported terrorism will be held responsible, from a legal perspective.

"Holding the families of terrorists guilty by association without evidence is inadmissible," he added. "We cannot enter a new stage without reinforcing the values of justice and fairness so we can start the process of healing wounds."

These families can serve as a valuable source of information, he noted, particularly with regard to the tactics ISIS uses to recruit local residents.

"This information would be useful for conducting research and analysis into radicalisation and preventing this type of thinking from taking hold in the minds of youths and teenagers," he said.

"This intelligence also allows us to unravel the network of terrorists and uncover sleeper cells amid the local population," he added.

Do you like this article?

0 Comment(s)
Comment Policy * Denotes Required Field 1500 / 1500