In part one of this exclusive Clarion interview, ISIS fighter Michael “Younnes” Delefortrie recounts the terror organization’s justification for subjecting their prisoners to the horrific deaths we have seen published through the group’s sophisticated media productions.
Speaking about the “right of revenge” and what he deems the Islamic philosophy of a literal interpretation of an “eye for an eye,” Delefortrie describes why ISIS decided to cage the captured Jordanian pilot and burn him alive.
Delefortrie, who is from Belgium and close to 29 years old, grew up as a Christian. A former altar boy, he converted to Islam at age 16 and changed his name to Younnes (which means Jonah, in Arabic).
He later become part of the radical group Sharia4Belgium, whose leader, 32-year old Fouad Belkacem, was the prime recruiter of young Belgians for ISIS and other jihadi groups in Syria.
At the end of 2013, Delefortrie went to Syria to fight for ISIS. After five weeks, he returned to Belgium, ostensibly to bring his wife and children with him to the “caliphate.”
He was subsequently arrested in Belgium along with 45 other members of Sharia4Belgium. In the largest terror trial of its kind, the court found all members of the group guilty on terror-related charges and meted out sentences ranging from probation to 12 years in prison. (Only nine of the 46 defendants were present for the trial, as most of the others were either abroad fighting or had already been killed in battle).
Delefortrie walked away with three years probation and wasn’t sent to any deradicalization or counseling program.
Married three times with multiple children (one of whom he named after Osama bin Laden), Delefortrie was arrested in 2017 for domestic violence and sentenced to 18 months in jail. (His current wife is serving a 17-year sentence for facilitating the murder of her ex-boyfriend.)
The following interview was given to Clarion Project just before his sentencing and imprisonment:
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