December 20, 2007
In an unusual interview, the German publication Der Spiegel had the opportunity to sit down with a captured Teenage Iraqi Terrorist in an Iraqi jail and speak to him about his hate of American Troops and his desire to immigrate to America.
A rare opportunity to delve into the mind of a Terrorist, the interview published on December 20, 2007 by Spiegel Online, A Teenage Terrorist Tells His Story, presents a youth with what otherwise could be considered somewhat normal teenage conflicting thoughts and ideals. A teen in the west might have conflicting emotions that lead to many arguments with parents. This teen’s conflicting emotions in Iraq could lead to death, his as well as his countrymen and US Forces.
The teen, Diya Muhammad Hussein, 16, sits in a jail cell in Rawah, a small town in the Iraqi province of Al-Anbar. To escape violence in Rawah, Diya’s father had moved his family further out into the country nearby about a year ago, to the small village of Hassah.
From the interview with Der Spiegel’s reporter, Ulrike Putz, we learn that once there, the youth fell under the spell of an older man, Maad, a terrorist who told Diya repeatedly “the Americans were godless occupiers” and “fighting them was the duty of every Iraqi.” Maad even told him, “He could one day attack the Marines as a suicide bomber,” a notion Diya hadn’t yet taken seriously and that he found “strange, even funny.”
Trained by Maad and others in constructing and detonating IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices), Diya failed twice in detonating one, allowing American Marine Convoys to pass safely by. Undoubtedly, his failure in successfully detonating his charges spared his own life as well.
Dubbed a coward in an Internet chat by Maad for his failure, Diya turned to his friend Ahmed at an Internet café. Not knowing that his internet chat with Maad had been monitored by Iraqi Police, he was arrested upon exiting the café and taken to a Police Jail in Rawah, where he subsequently provided them with information leading to the seizure of a large cache of weapons and names of others in the terrorist cell.
After expressing the hatred he was taught of the American Forces in Iraq and most likely unknown to Diya, it was at the request of the US Marines that Der Spiegel’s reporter was granted permission to sit down and talk with him. For all his hate of American Military Forces, it is their presence in the same building he is being held in that gives him a guarantee of a minimum of good treatment, the Iraqi Army and Police often accusing the Americans of being too soft when it comes to dealing with terrorists.
One Iraqi Colonel from another province says of the Americans, “They do not let me slap them,” adding that he “would like to have a free rein to beat prisoners and kill them without trials if they are guilty.” And yet, this Colonel’s life would be spared by Diya if he had driven by in a convoy while Diya wants to kill Americans, the ones who ensure he be treated humanely.
Apparently unaware of fellow Iraqis who cry America, Don’t Leave Us, Diya expresses the hate of Americans Maad taught him as he says, “We still hate the Americans. In truth no one likes them. Iraq isn't free, that's why we have to keep on fighting.”
Ironic is that his brother, facing the constant threat of suicide bombings and the ire of Diya’s fellow terrorists, became an Iraqi Police Officer shortly after Diya was arrested. His brother, who must guard him at times, reportedly spat on Diya through the cell doors, expressing the anger Diya’s father has at him for his activities. Fearing “severe punishment” by his father, Diya will be fortunate if he receives his father’s punishment, Diya’s ultimate fate now being in the hands of Iraqi judges, part of the handover of power to Iraqi authorities.
Revealing more of this confused and conflicted teenage mind Diya says that when released from Iraqi jail, he would like to “work for the Iraqi police.”
Even more revealing was when Ulrike Putz asked him what would he do if he got a visa tomorrow to travel to the US, he replied that, “He would definitely take it.” The contradiction of his hate and desire of America pointed out to him, he only offered a “bashful smile” in return.
In America, when our youths display this teenage confusion and conflicts of thought, we get them counseling or involve them in activities to head off the trouble we see them heading for. In Iraq, such troubled youths too often fall prey to older terrorists, learning to hate and kill American Forces and most often, themselves.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Posted by Lew Waters at 10:41 PM