ISIS terrorists burn alive an entire family in public for trying to escape (May 11, 2016)

ISIS terrorists are known for all kinds of atrocities in Iraq and Syria but how much lower can you get than burning a family with children alive?

I know that I write a lot about how ISIS was capable of truly inhuman attacks: this one may be one of the most unforgivable.

KIRKUK, IRAQ – Over the past half decade or so we have learned of a worrying phenomenon here in Canada and many other nations. A whole whack of our citizens decided it was a good idea to up stakes and leave their homes to travel to Iraq/Syria to join the terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS) and other analogous players.

The reasons for these decisions are multiple and complicated. Some really believed that what ISIS had created in its so-called ‘Caliphate’ was real Islam and was a return to the glory days of the faith in the 8th century. Some went because they liked violence. Some ‘tagged along’ with husbands and parents. The reasons were all over the map, as I tried to demonstrate in my second book Western Foreign Fighters.

ISIS terrorists are known for all kinds of atrocities in Iraq and Syria but how much lower can you get than burning a family with children alive?

But while many who joined ISIS willingly and perversely embraced the wanton violence and terror that the group inflicted on thousands of people – if not millions – a few figured out that this new life was not what they thought it would be. In other words, they wanted out.

As an aside, it is an interesting question what we should do with these individuals. There is a lot of talk about ‘rehabilitation’ and ‘deradicalisation’ of these people when they return to our shores. I for one still think that some price has to be paid for their initial decisions and subsequent actions. They do NOT deserve a blanket amnesty or ‘do over’. After all, can I go to a judge after I have embezzled $3 million from my employer, say ‘ooops, my bad’ and NOT expect some kind of punishment? There is also the outstanding issue of whether these ‘former’ terrorists still pose a threat to our societies…


Not surprisingly ISIS and others did not look kindly on those who wanted to leave. Nope, once a ‘Caliphatan’ (I made that term up) always a Caliphatan. Exit was simply not an option. Actually, there was a way out, but it came in the form of a pine box.

On this day in 2016 ISIS terrorists burned alive an entire family, including children, in public for trying to escape a terrorist-held area in northern Iraq. It is unclear whether the group consisted of actual ISIS wannabes or was one of many, many families that was caught up when the terrorist organisation took control of thousands of square kilometeres of territory in northern Iraq and Syria. To ISIS it did not matter: you are one of us and you cannot leave.

ISIS has brutally committed this crime in order to terrorize the remaining civilians living in the region. These barbaric men have engaged in the most heinous crimes in Syria and Iraq in plain view of the international community.

I sometimes tire of reading of terrorist atrocities: after all, I have worked in counter terrorism, both as a practitioner and now as author/pundit, for more than two decades. And yet how can ANYONE justify burning an entire family alive, including children, in public?

ISIS, that’s who.

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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