The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, otherwise known as ISIS. A terrorist organization that has been terrorizing the lives of millions across the world. Responsible for an estimated 143 attacks in 29 countries, including the United States, that claimed the lives of over 2000 people and injuring thousands more.
Mostly concentrated in the Syrian/Iraqi area, ISIS is able to recruit fighters/supporters from around the world through social media. Their mission: to create an Islamic state called a caliphate by implementing Islamic practices known has Sharia Law.
We have witnessed the horrific acts carried out by ISIS over that last two years. From the Paris and Brussels ISIS attacks to San Bernadino and Orlando ISIS inspired attacks, they have shown the world exactly what they are capable of. But what makes a person agree to join such a violent group?
That is the question I want answered and Dr. Anne Speckhard is the person to ask. Speckhard is the co-author of the new book “ISIS Defectors: Inside Stories of the Terrorist Caliphate”. She and her partner interviewed 38 ex-members of ISIS, and are sharing their stories in hopes of stopping the spread these extremists.
Turning each interview into a video that can be shared to social media, Speckhard and her team hope to contradict the propaganda spread by ISIS. Below are just two of the videos they created. The individuals in the videos speak about the women captured and forced to be sex slaves, the children recruited as suicide bombers, and how they were finally able to escape the group.
Speckhard and her partners have created the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism, and are looking for donations to continue their work. To donate visit: www.icsve.org.
Anne Speckhard joined us on the show to discuss her book, her work, and the videos. You can hear the full interview under the Interviews tab.
Please note that the content below is disturbing and viewer discretion is advised.