Revenge is best served cold: Syrian refugee helps capture extremist in Germany, his ex-torturer

Published October 7th, 2016 - 09:56 GMT
A file photo of infamous extremist known as 'the bulldozer'. (AFP/File)
A file photo of infamous extremist known as 'the bulldozer'. (AFP/File)

A Syrian refugee in Germany has become a hunter of Islamic State killers hiding among the migrants who fled to Europe - and even pinpointed one of the radicals who tortured him.

Masoud Aqil, 23, was a captive of Daesh psychopaths for 280 days where he was subjected to incredible brutality and decapitation threats.

Now safe in Germany he works with intelligence officials to track down potential extremists disguised as refugees. Earlier this year, following a lengthy stakeout at a refugee hostel in Bavaria, he was able to identify one of his captors.

He has fingered 30 potential suspects but the kind of proof that is needed to make a case in a western court was lacking for the majority. Nevertheless, he has put them on police radar and officials know where they are.

Mr Aqil, who comes from a Kurdish part of Syria, told Germany's Spiegel magazine he was prisoner 6015 when seized along with another journalist by the death-cult militants in December 2014.

They were beaten with wooden clubs and told they were to be beheaded. A Sharia court judge sentenced them to execution but they were driven instead to a small town and locked up in a jail.

Mr Aqil was forced him into orange coveralls and thrown into a cell holding four other men. They were beaten regularly and fed on mouldy bread.

'It's like a movie,' Mr Aqil told the magazine. 'I have to watch and wait for it to end. It will be over eventually.'

On Fridays after prayers, the extremists would shoot some of the prisoners and force Mr Aqil to watch the videos on a mobile phone. 'Look, journalist, what we did to your friends,' they would say. 'We are going to burn you alive,' one of the Daesh fighters told him.

But he was eventually freed in a prisoner exchange and vowed to get to Europe where he arrived with his mother earlier this year. Not long after his arrival, in March, three extremists struck in Brussels, killing innocent travellers.

'I had to do something to protect Germany,' Mr Aqil said.

Now, Mr Aqil is working on a number of different cases for two German investigative agencies. He has already been able to deliver the names and locations of several suspects from his time as a prisoner.

'The investigators hold him in high regard,' said Spiegel.

By Allan Hall

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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