01 March 2016, 16:51
Travel to and from the Islamic State
"History of Ignorant Travel" is a diary that was kept by a person, who had once decided to fight for the "Islamic State" (IS was recognized as a terrorist organization and banned in Russia) and who was personally convinced of falsity and perversity of many of IS' followers. The diary, telling about the author's unfortunate experience of taking part in the erection of Caliphate in Syria (until May 2015), about his custody in jail awaiting execution, about torture, and about a completely unexpected escape, is written in poor Russian; and its publication in the unedited form is impossible. Excerpts from the diary are presented in the below text of the interview. The interview was recorded in a number of phased and took a long time. The "Caucasian Knot" emphasizes that this publication is not aimed at any propaganda or counter-propaganda; its main idea is to present some little-known information about the organization banned in Russia and the evidence of the person, whose vision was undergoing significant changes.
We agreed to have a meting with the 21-year-old Furkat in the subway of one of European capitals. I did not know his phone number or his surname, only the fact that he had been in the "Islamic State" (IS), and that he writes in Russian with a lot of mistakes.
I assumed that he came from some Caucasian republic, and I imagined an adult male with a huge beard.
The guy proved to be a native of Central Asia, with a barely noticeable facial hair. None of his external parameters did not fit my idea of an IS militant.
Furkat got to Syria from Moscow. He left his education, when being in the second year of a higher school, got converted to Islam, began practicing namaz (prayer) and searching for answers to the questions about his role, place and mission, and found a way out only in taking up arms and "going to fight against the tyrant and dictator Bashar al-Assad."
His way to Syria was not fast, as for a few months Furkat tried to find an opportunity to go to the front; he even spoke openly addressing Imams at mosques and parishioners asking to help him to achieve his aim.
It is quite easy to imagine the reaction of the people, whom Furkat had addressed. They did not even try to dissuade him. They believed that he was a professional provocateur, therefore, they just pushed him away.
Furkat reached IS representatives through one of the groups in social networks; then he went alone to Turkey, where he was met right at the airport and shown the route to the Syrian border. He travelled alone, did not stop at transfer points, and crossed the border just in a field delineated with barbed wire; in doing so, he faced no particular obstacles.
Furkat left at home a note for his relatives, in which he asked not to look for him, and wrote that everything would be OK with him, and that it was his choice. His parents are still sure that he was killed. Furkat is in no hurry to inform them that he has got out. He fears that repressions and pressure on them may follow.
Furkat was keeping something like a diary of his stay in Syria, which tells in detail about the IS and its methods. This diary clearly shows the progress of an ordinary IS member from fascination to complete disappointment in the Caliphate. Multiple facts described by the author indicate double standards, the use of ordinary members of the IS as cannon fodder. Especially for the "Caucasian Knot", Arslan Koch and Grigory Kozlov questioned Furkat about the facts he mentioned in his diary. The check of some of them took about three months.