The Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) on Sunday released five confessions of Kurdish people who were trying to join ISIS after they pledged allegiance to the group.
“We headed to Erbil and from there we went to Makhmour district,” said the group's leader, Hawar Yousif Abdulkarim (also known as Abu Hamza). “We passed it to go to Halwat and then to Hawija. Before we reached the Islamic State-controlled territories, we were arrested by security forces.”
The group was arrested by Kurdish security forces (Asayesh) over the weekend in Makhmour about 50 kilometers southwest of Erbil as they admitted were on their way to join the group in ISIS-controlled Hawija, south of Kirkuk.
“Following precise follow-ups and monitoring, we were able to capture a group of five people trying to join ISIS in Hawija," read the KRSC statement.
Abdulkarim confessed that prior to pledging allegiance to ISIS, he had joined the Nusra Front in Syria through one of his friends named Shkar Polla, who is wanted by the KRSC.
He recalled he joined ISIS through a Kurdish militant on social media.
“[The militants] asked me to return to Halabja from where I gathered with my friends and all agreed with me as we all shared the same ideology and we all said we had to migrate to the Islamic State.”
Asayesh in Erbil previously identified the other four captured suspects as Halmat Omar Othman Ahmed, Hani Ibrahim Rashid Faraj, Farhang Abbas Abdulrahman Rashid and Abdullah Baqi Abdullah Rashid.
Kurdish security forces have investigated many other ISIS militants in the past year operating within the Region.
In mid-January, security forces in Sulaimani announced that they had arrested 60 ISIS militants including three leaders and killed 14 others who had infiltrated the Region — many of them from Mosul.
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