Former Saudi jihadist recounts experience with ISIS

Suleiman Sabiyi, who went to Syria after the death of his brother there, came up with a plan to exit the kingdom despite not having a passport. (Al Arabiya)

A former Saudi jihadist recounted his experience with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, a Saudi television reported Wednesday.

Suleiman Sabiyi, who went to Syria after the death of his brother there, told Saudi TV how he came up with a plan to exit the kingdom despite not having a passport as his sibling had illegally used it previously.

“I didn’t have the idea [of travelling] in mind at all. I had no passport and I was banned from travelling,” Sabiyi said.

“One day I took the car of one of my cousins to do something… While looking for a charger, I found his passport,” he added.

“At that time, my only concern was how I could reach Syria,” Sabiyi said, explaining that all he could think of was his brother.
During the interview, Sabiyi spoke about his expectations when he arrived in the war-torn country.

“I arrived to Syria with no background,” he said. “The only thing I had heard of was the Free Syrian Army and Al-Nusra.”

“I was expecting to join Nusra immediately as I thought it was the one group available,” Sabiyi added.

Twitter account compromised

The former jihadist, who ended up joining ISIS, explained how the Islamist group used his personal Twitter account for its own purposes.

“When I checked my account, I found the numbers [of followers] changed, and there was an endless number of tweets [that I had not posted],” Sabiyi said.

“They started talking about the scholars that are present here [Saudi Arabia], then they started speaking about the leaders. The situation took on a bigger scale,” Sabiyi added.

“It wasn’t what they said [it would be]. They were using my account to achieve a specific goal,” he said.

The 25-year-old was told his account would be used “to spread information and show what’s happening on the ground in Syria.”

Sabiyi said he “tried to limit all the different people that could access my account, but they started harassing me.”

He then decided to return to Saudi Arabia.

“Sometimes the media hide some sides [of a story], but I went myself and saw everything as is. There’s no such thing as jihad,” he said, adding that different groups are fighting each other.

Speaking about Saudi youths who have travelled to Syria to fight, Sabiyi said: “All the young Saudis there were always at the front” in battles.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:43 - GMT 06:43
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