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Night Raids on Kurdistan Mosques to Catch Islamist Recruits for Syria

According to Rudaw sources, security forces raided at least five mosques in different neighborhoods of Sulaimani in a single night.
According to Rudaw sources, security forces raided at least five mosques in different neighborhoods of Sulaimani in a single night.

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region – Security forces in the Kurdistan Region conducted night raids on several mosques in Sulaimani, confiscating computers and identity papers, in an apparent pre-emptive move against increasing recruitment of Kurdish youth by Islamist groups in Syria.

According to Rudaw sources, security forces raided at least five mosques in different neighborhoods of Sulaimani in a single night.

"Around 8 pm,  a security force in civilian clothes raided our mosque, seized three laptops and took the IDs of one of the students," said Jalal Sadiq, an imam of the Shahidani Azadi mosque.

"We have legal permission from the ministry of religious endowment, we are not illegal” of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)," he protested.

Lahor Sheikh Jangi, head of the KRG’s intelligence department, said in an interview with Kurdistani Nwe that 300 young men from the Kurdistan Region and Kirkuk have gone to Syria to train as fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS), al-Qaeda’s regional affiliate.

“According to information from our sources, 25 Kurds have expressed readiness to go on suicide missions and we believe three of them took part in the Kirkuk attack,” he said, referring to a terrorist raid early this month at the intelligence services building in Kirkuk.

“We also care about the security and stability of this country,” Sadiq protested. “The search could come during the day and it was unnecessary to carry out a raid on us at night,” the imam protested.

He claimed the security forces did not have a court order to search the mosque. “They did not have any court order and had civilian clothes on. They also raided at least 10 other mosques,” Sadiq told Rudaw.

According to unconfirmed data, at least 10 Kurdish men have been killed in fighting alongside Islamic groups locked in conflict against the regime of Bashar Assad. At least 17 others have been arrested upon return from Syria to the Kurdistan Region.

Many of the young Kurds who go to Syria have no previous Islamist connections, posing a challenge to Kurdish security forces trying to track down recruits before they have a chance to leave Kurdistan.

“The biggest fear is that these are students without any previous issues with the security department. Suddenly, this person buys a plane ticket and goes off to Syria. When he returns, he has become a terrorist,” explained the Kurdish intelligence chief. 


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zardasht diaz
zardasht diaz | 19/12/2013
The mullah says "the security forces did not have court order to search the mosque" Do the mosques get court order to train terrorists? It's time to crack down on this madness and stop Kurdish youth from falling victim to Islamists!
Renas | 19/12/2013
@zardasht diaz, of course the KRG must fight terrorism, but there is no proof that this mosque trained terrorists, so we can not directly accuse every mosque.
Sertip | 19/12/2013
Good work! if they really want to stop these filth from spreading this cancer and brainwashing poor kids they should hold a public court and reveal ALL their dirty secrets for the public to see. Things like how much $$ they receive from Saudi Arabia every month, their sexual habits, don't be surprised one bit to find homosexual, child and animal pornography on those confiscated computers, the more Islamists the more dirty and disgusting they get. Let people know what they are, this is the Arab version of Islam they are trying to spread in Kurdistan, the Kurdish version is very mild and doesn't condone or encourage violence at all.
KURDISTAN | 19/12/2013
There are 5,000 mosques in Kurdistan, only 1,000 are needed because Kurds don't go to mosques and the number of muslims in South-Kurdistan isn't that high compared to the neighboring countries. Saudi-Arabia uses those mosques to greater their influence because they know Kurds are not Islamists/extremists, and the bastards want to change that. KRG must destroy 4,000 mosques and use the money they gain from it to educate the people and support those in need. Nobody needs 4,000 extra mosques, especially we Kurds.
Duhoki | 20/12/2013
@KURDISTAN, the majority of the Kurds are Muslims and all Mosques are full. To call for the destruction of the Mosques is just hateful. There are some thousand Mosques for 5 million Kurdish Muslims in south Kurdistan but for 1 christian there is 1 church, do you also call for the destruction of these churches?
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