Jihad in practice is not as glamorous as jihad in theory. But French authorities would be foolish to take a broken iPod as evidence of “repentance,” as if the jihadis who wanted to return no longer believed in jihad warfare against Infidels. The fact that jihad is difficult and unappealing in Syria doesn’t mean that they won’t want to wage it in France, where they can always recharge their iPods.
“Jihadists in Syria write home to France: ‘My iPod is broken. I want to come back,'” by Harriet Alexander, the Telegraph, December 2, 2014:
Letters from French jihadists home to their parents have revealed the misery, boredom and fear suffered by Islamist recruits as the gloss fades from their big adventure.
In a series of letters seen by Le Figaro newspaper, some of the 376 French currently fighting in Syria have begged for advice on how to return. Others have complained that, rather than participating in a noble battle, they have been acting as jihadi dogsbodies.
“I’ve basically done nothing except hand out clothes and food,” wrote one, who wants to return from Aleppo. “I also help clean weapons and transport dead bodies from the front. Winter’s arrived here. It’s begun to get really hard.”
Another writes: “I’m fed up. They make me do the washing up.”
One Frenchman whinged that he wanted to come home because he was missing the comforts of life in France.
“I’m fed up. My iPod doesn’t work any more here. I have to come back.”
A third wrote fearfully: “They want to send me to the front, but I don’t know how to fight.”
Others were concerned, more prosaically, about the nationality of their baby, which was born in Syria and so not recognised by the French state.
And Le Figaro said that, among Islamist commanders, it had been noticed that some of the French were beginning to want to leave. One Frenchman was rumoured to have been beheaded when he explained to the emir that he wanted to follow his friend who had already left.
“Everyone knows that, the longer these people stay there, the worse it will be because having watched or committed attrocities, they become ticking time bombs,” said one lawyer, quoted in Le Figaro.
“But, when it comes to having a discussion about whether France is ready to accept repentants, no politician is willing to take the risk. Imagine if one of these ex-jihadis is involved subsequently in an attack?”…