- The Washington Times - Monday, December 22, 2014

Author Juergen Todenhoefer, who traveled deep into Islamic State territory — into the caliphate regions of Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq — has a harsh warning for the West: These fighters are committed to their cause, they believe in beheadings, slavery and child fighters, and they’re expecting to soon conquer Europe, he said.

“These are not stupid people,” he said in an interview with CNN. “One of the people we met had just finished his law degree. He had great job offers, but he turned them down to go and fight. … We met fighters from Europe and the United States. One of them was from New Jersey. Can you imagine a man from New Jersey traveling to fight for the Islamic State?”

Mr. Todenhoefer also said members of the Islamic State were not just willing to die on the battlefield — but some even sought it, CNN said.

“When we stayed at their recruitment house, there were 50 new fighters who came every day,” he said, CNN reported. “And I just could not believe the glow in their eyes. They felt like they were coming to a promised land — like they were fighting for the right thing.”

At one point, Mr. Todenhoefer said he met with a child fighter outfitted in Islamic State gear and waving an AK-47 who claimed to be 13, though looked much younger, he said, CNN reported. At another point, he interviewed a German member who spoke on behalf of his Islamic State leadership.

“We will conquer Europe one day,” the man said in his interview with Mr. Todenhoefer, CNN reported. “It is not a question of ‘if’ we will conquer Europe, just a matter of ‘when’ that will happen. But it is certain. … For us, there is no such thing as borders. There are only front lines. Our expansion will be perpetual. … and the Europeans need to know that when we come, it will not be in a nice way. It will be with our weapons. And those who do not convert to Islam or pay the Islamic tax will be killed.”

Mr. Todenhoefer also said that the man explained that Islamic State believes in enslavement for their captives as a condition of their Muslim religion.

“I would say that slavery is a great help to us, and we will continue to have slavery and beheadings,” the man said during his interview with Mr. Todenhoefer, CNN reported. “It is part of our religion … many slaves have converted to Islam and have then been freed.”

Mr. Todenhoefer warned about his findings of Islamic State terrorism and said that the group “is more dangerous than Western leaders realize” and “they believe in what they are fighting for and are preparing the largest religious cleansing campaign the world has ever seen,” CNN reported.

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