Egyptian ISIS member in Derna confesses how group recruits from Cairo

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A video circulating on social media on Sunday showed the confessions of an Egyptian ISIS member who was recently arrested by Libyan army forces. He spoke about how he was recruited with many other Egyptians from Cairo and then taken to Derna in Libya. He said that they are then sent to hot spot areas between Egyptian Sinai, Mali and Syria.

The anonymous man said in the video that the “idea of joining ISIS was presented to him when he participated in the Tahrir Square demonstrations. At that time, another man convinced me of the organization’s ideology and its advantages”.

He added that “the man tried to send me first to the Sinai to participate in the operation against the Egyptian army before withdrawing this idea because going to Sinai became difficult when the Egyptian army seized control the region. He then suggested taking him to Syria.”

Obtaining a permit allowing him to travel to Syria was difficult due to his young age. So, he traveled to Libya, hoping to join ISIS in Syria later on with four other Egyptians. They went to Derna first, more precisely to the Sahaba School, which is a Koranic school that became a center of recruitment for persons joining from Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Europe, before sending them to Syria and Mali, or keeping them in Libya.

He said that “after spending several months in Derna, they were sent to Benghazi, where they spent one week moving many boxes of weapons and ammunition to store them in Qawarsha, in Benghazi.”

“There is a group from Egypt who came to Libya to meet with them and determine their destiny: travel to Syria or stay in Libya,” he said. Due to his underweight, they decided to keep him in Libya. He was asked to memorize some religious books to teach others. He was then recruited in communications and electronics courses in the city of Sirte to learn how to deal with images and videos, but on his way to Sirte, he was arrested.

He revealed that during his stay in Derna, many clashes erupted between Ansar al-Sharia group in Benghazi and the Egyptian group, so they expelled them out of Benghazi. Some of them went to Syria, while others returned to Egypt.

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