American Ivy League student who joined Daesh: ‘Islamic State is not bringing Islam to the world, and people need to know that’

Published May 21st, 2016 - 09:22 GMT
"Mo," a 27-year-old Columbia University graduate from Brooklyn who spent five months working with Daesh in Syria in 2014.
"Mo," a 27-year-old Columbia University graduate from Brooklyn who spent five months working with Daesh in Syria in 2014.

A US college graduate who joined Daesh in Syria is now speaking out against the militant group. 

The 27-year-old graduate of Columbia University left his Brooklyn home in June 2014 and traveled to Syria, where he served in administrative positions and as a sentry at one of Daesh’s headquarters. 

“Mo,” whose full name is not being revealed because his case is under seal in the US, gave an interview to NBC News on Thursday. He said he became scared and disillusioned by Daesh, and eventually ran away, crossing the border to Turkey and banging on the door of a US State Department office there. 

In total, “Mo” spent five months with Daesh in Syria. 

What turned him against the Sunni militant organization was seeing people arrested for smoking cigarettes and also seeing “severed heads placed on spiked poles.” 

“Mo” was arrested after he flew from Turkey back to the US. He has been charged with receiving military training from a terror group, and with providing material support to a terror group, NBC reported. 

But now, the Ivy League graduate is said to be cooperating with the authorities by speaking out against Daesh. 

“The Islamic State is not bringing Islam to the world, and people need to know that. And I'll say that…till the day I die," he told NBC. 

You can watch the interview here.

—Hunter Stuart


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