German writer spends 10 days embedded with ISIS

On Monday a German writer will publish an eye-opening account of the way ISIS operates.


CHARLOTTE, N.C., December 26, 2014 — An inside look at ISIS from the first Western journalist to have access to the Islamic State will be published on Monday, December 29. The question is whether anyone will heed his warnings.

German author and journalist Juergen Todenhoefer recently spent ten days in areas of Iraq and Syria controlled by the terrorist group, and preliminary indications from his upcoming article are frightening.

The 74-year old writer, who was heavily critical of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, was given unprecedented access to the internal workings of ISIS. He found that the Islamic State is far “more dangerous than al-Qaeda ever was and is preparing for the largest violent religious cleansing campaign the world has ever seen.” This is an insight the West needs to examine, and soon.

In an interview with CNN, Todenhoefer said, “These are not stupid people. 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.”

Though Western media generally agree that ISIS is more dangerous than al-Qaeda, the press is not informed enough about Islam and its goals to establish any means of measuring the danger.

The same is true of organizations that actually do understand that the primary goal of Islam is to gain control of the world. Perhaps because the task seems not only daunting but implausible, the media shrug and show little concern. And that makes the West vulnerable.

President Barack Obama’s own comments about ISIS being “a jayvee team” support the belief that Islamic State terrorists are a rag-tag bunch of disorganized hoodlums with a lust for blood. Todenhoefer refutes that idea.

Given the Islamic State’s highly sophisticated use of social media, its ability to communicate fluently in English, and its understanding of precisely how the West will respond to any given terrorist action before it takes place clearly demonstrates that ISIS is “not stupid.”

During Todenhoefer’s excursion into terror, he was amazed to encounter a 13-year old child outfitted in Islamic State gear waving an AK-47. Brainwashing children is nothing new in the strategy of Islam, but even when you know it exists, it is still unnerving to witness it first hand.

As Todenhoefer explained to CNN, “They are only 1% in the Islamic world, but 1% movement has the power of a nuclear tsunami.”

When 1 percent support means that 99 percent of the world’s Muslims have no stomach for global domination, the world either forgets or fails to recognize that the ultimate goal of Islam, for true believers, is world conquest. Therefore, 1 percent is not a true measure of ISIS support.

Perhaps most alarming are Todenhoefer’s revelations about the “almost ecstatic enthusiasm” among the jihadis he encountered, and the gleam in the eyes of new recruits who arrived en masse each day. “They felt like they were coming to a promised land, like they were fighting for the right thing,” Todenhoefer said.

One especially revealing interview was with a German fighter who was reported to be in a high-level position with ISIS. When asked about beheadings and slavery the German fighter answered, “Slavery absolutely signals progress. Only ignorant people believe that there is no slavery among the Christians and the Jews. I would say that slavery is a great help to us and we will continue to have slavery and beheadings, it is part of our religion.”

The words stick like a dagger in the heart when we recall that Obama and his administration continue to insist that “ISIS is not Islam.” It does not matter whether ISIS is or is not Islam. What matters is that ISIS itself believes it is Islam, and so do millions of Muslims.

The German fighter continued with a warning for the West, which, in some places in Europe, already appears to be coming to pass.

“It is not if we will conquer Europe, just a matter of when that will happen. 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.”

Even if “ISIS is not Islam” the concept of converting, paying the jizyah (tax), or suffering execution is a thread that runs throughout the Koran.

In Mosul alone, Todenhoefer says that the ISIS fighters are so well dispersed that they would have to “reduce the whole of Mosul to ruins” in order to eliminate them.

The West needs to wake up. We can only hope that Juergen Todenhoefer will be the catalyst.


Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (

Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News; follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod


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Bob Taylor
Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club ( and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.