First appeared at Sputnik
The report from the Mudarraj camp, located south of Iraqi Mosul near the settlement of Qayyarah, which is the largest in the vicinity, with about 8,000 families or some 46,000 people.
Victims of of Daesh terrorist group become neighbors with the families of terrorists or even militants themselves in camps near the Iraqi city of Mosul, while the local authorities are attempting to prevent conflicts.
The Mudarraj camp, located south of Mosul near the settlement of Qayyarah, is the largest in the vicinity, with about 8,000 families or some 46,000 people. The network of six other camps, known as Jadaa, house between 4,000 and 7,000 people each. All of them are filled to capacity: more than a million people fled Mosul and its suburbs since the battle for the city began.
VICTIMS AND PROSECUTORS
Rayeed Azari, a security officer at Mudarraj, told Sputnik that the camp was hosting many women formerly held captive by the Daesh who managed to flee.
“They say that Daesh militants kidnapped and then sold them. These women often have children with them. At the same time, we find many children left by their families near the camp. We took them in and are now raising them,” the security officer said.
The camp hosts relatives of terrorists as well. The security officer did not say how many of them there were, but stressed that the camp leadership had “all the names and full statistics.” Azari admitted that Daesh terrorists themselves could be living among the crowd under fake names, but the camp’s authorities were capable of monitoring them.
“We have names, addresses of each one of them, and we have full records of these elements,” Azari said.
According to the security officer, the close proximity of people who used to be on opposite sides inevitably leads to conflicts in the camp.
“The victim and the executor find themselves in one place. Daesh militants and their families hurt other families, and civilians want their truth. It is the biggest problem that we often encounter,” Azari said.
The officer noted that the conflicts occurred often and the problems were usually solved by moving terrorists’ families further away from other refugees. One of the variants is leaving the camp altogether.
“We give them an opportunity to [leave], but only after a security check. A citizen can move, leave and come back, but in accordance with these permits and as long as we understand that we have supplied them with everything that is necessary,” the security officer said.
BONUS PAYMENT FOR EVERY WIFE
A Sputnik correspondent spoke to some of the camp’s inhabitants in order to find out some details about the lives of terrorists. They inquired about things like terrorists’ monthly salaries, which, for rank-and-file personnel was about 60,000 dinars, or roughly $50. Marriage was one of the options to increase one’s income.
“[Militants] got 100,000 dinars [about $85] for every wife as a monthly bonus,” one of the women living in the Mudarraj camp told Sputnik.
Women living in Daesh-governed communities were always carefully monitored. According to one of the refugees, one could often meet representatives of a local version of sharia patrols.
“They told us off for drinking wine, not covering our faces and so on,” the woman told Sputnik.
FAMILIES UNAWARE OF TERRORIST ASSOCIATION
Many of terrorists’ family members said that they did not know that their husbands, brothers, sons were terrorists. If they did admit knowing about it, they added that they had been out of contact with their relatives for a few months and did not know where they were. Others said that their family members who were affiliated with Daesh have died.
One former resident of Mosul confessed that she had no idea that she would become the wife of a terrorist after getting married in 2012.
“Nothing betrayed an Daesh member in him. In 2014, he swore allegiance [to the Daesh] and I knew he joined the group,” the mother of three said, adding that her husband was killed in an airstrike.
Another woman with an infant and two older daughters said her husband left her and children about three months ago and there had been no news from him ever since.
“My husband was not an Daesh militant, we received an allowance for the children, this is how [militants] do it. They gave 45,000 dinars [about $38] for each child. My husband had four wives, we all lived in one house,” the woman said.
A 70-year-old woman who arrived at Jadaa a few days ago said that she had eight sons. Four of them had definitely joined the Daesh and she refused to speak about the other four.
“One of my sons was killed in a strike. Two others were killed somewhere, I don’t know,” she said.
The woman was certain that her husband was innocent.
“I swear by God, my husband is definitely not an Daesh militant,” the woman said.
Some of the stories were contradictory, with some camp inhabitants first saying that their relatives had joined local Daesh cells years ago, then adding that they had moved to Mosul not long ago. People often understate the number of their relatives involved with the Daesh, although the authorities usually have their own information, which may be different from what the refugees tell them. Most women stress that they were not part of the terror group, did not know what their husbands did and did not participate in those activities.
“I have three girls, I did not leave the house. Those who have daughters should better stay inside. I never had any guests, and my husband left me at home alone,” a female refugee said.
Iraqi authorities do not seem to trust all of the information provided by the people who arrive at the camps.
“The women who arrive at the camp from Mosul alone, without the husband, are considered members of Daesh militants’ families. The data of the counter-terrorism units confirm that,” Azari said.
However, according to the security officer, Iraqi authorities do not intend to persecute the terrorists’ families based on relations alone.
“A family is not guilty of anything. Some of its children may do the wrong thing and join these criminal groups, but the family is not guilty,” Azari said.
The security officer added that people could not be prosecuted for the crimes committed by somebody else.