Woman secretly films life in ISIS’ capital in Syria (video)

A Syrian woman took a camera and secretly filmed a day in the life of ISIS-controlled Syria.

A crime that probably would get her killed.


Watching the film, with all the men (and even some women) strutting around like teenage boys with their big bad guns, it made me recall those guns-n-freedom boys who routinely waltz into all the American big box stores, fully armed, in order to effectively blur the line between mass murdering nutjob and freedom fighter.

The video, from the France 2 network, is filmed in the Syrian town of Raqqa.

Particularly disturbing are the clearly French women who have, for lack of a better word, defected and joined ISIS. Or at least, ISIS-the-pseudo-state. The report says that 150 French women have come to Syria to join ISIS.

Who would want to live like this? How is this an alluring lifestyle?

Oh, and for those upset about NSA spying, one of the ISIS-loving Frenchies tells her family that they can find her on Facebook.

It’s a short 2-minute report, and worth the watch.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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43 Responses to “Woman secretly films life in ISIS’ capital in Syria (video)”

  1. WilmRoget says:

    Of course, Stalin and Mao showed us that atheist do the same, given the opportunity. You are a bigot, as much as any homophobe, and clearly, given the opportunity and the power, you would behave as ISIS, to eradicate religion by destroying religious people.

  2. williambanzai7 says:

    Obviously they are fleeing France due to their intense dislike of Freedom Fries and Hollande sauce.

  3. Bill_Perdue says:

    The secular working class opposition has yet to take power. They face formidable opponents – US backed dictatorships in places like Iraq, Egypt, occupied Palestine, Afghanistan, Tunisia and Libya, royalists in Arabia and the Emirates and right wing regimes posing in clerical garb, like Iran and IS.

  4. Don Chandler says:

    Ah, I see what you’re getting at. Very good. I never really separated the elements of Arab Spring but it’s more accurate to do so. Too bad the rise of IS has ‘eclipsed’ the emerging secular and working class you associate with Arab Spring. Today they executed a woman’s rights activist: Sameera Salih Ali al-Nuaimy.

  5. Bill_Perdue says:

    No, I mean Morsi.

    The anti-Mubarak demos were the joint of islamists and the leftist forces that would become the Arab Spring after splitting with the islamists.

    The anti-Morsi demos were massive but the momentum there was misdirected by the Obama backed military dictatorship. http://links.org.au/node/3424

  6. Don Chandler says:

    “They held mass demonstration that paved the way for the downfall of Morsi” I don’t know, I think you mean downfall of Mubarak. My recollection of the Arab Spring was an uprising against the oppressive authorities…like Mubarak and Libya’s Gaddafi and the threat to Assad. It wasn’t so much Islam as a general uprising involving secular and nonsecular people. Morsi was the first elected leader following Mubarak’s overthrow. Morsi was Muslim Brotherhood which is definitely Islam but he pushed too hard for reforms and the old guard is back…and now it’s perhaps a more nonsecular arab spring….It’s just a way of putting it. But it seems to apply also to Libya and Syria and Iraq … Algeria…I’m sure it’s spreading.

  7. Colin says:

    Of course we knew. if some idiot tries to hit me with a wrench i’m going to try to knock his teeth down his throat before he kills me. If he falls back and knocks someone over I will feel bad about it but I will be glad I am alive to feel that way.

  8. Bill_Perdue says:

    In Egypt and elsewhere the Arab and muslim Spring definitively broke with islamists. They held mass demonstration that paved the way for the downfall of Morsi and in Turkey they hold mass demonstrations against the islamist regime. And of course the groups opposing the mad ayatollahs of Iran are mainly workers, women, students and members of the Iranian LGBT movements.
    The Arab Spring is now mainly working class and secular.

    In Turkey, Iran and Egypt the LGBT communities are components of the Arab Spring.

  9. Bill_Perdue says:

    Correct. I despise war criminals.

  10. karlInSanDiego says:

    We agree. Arab Spring did get hijacked by Islamic Spring. I didn’t state I was an engineer to tell you I can’t be gullible. I stated it because I was trained to be a critical thinker, and not someone who accepts unreasonable explanations on faith. I also don’t have a formula to fix what we have broken, or proclaim to know who was behind 9/11. I honestly believe a big part of this battle is wrapped around our indigence that we have not done anything wrong. We are still doing it all wrong, with drone strikes on pre-criminals, based on suspicion, across national borders. We would never accept that other countries can do that to our citizens, so why should we accept it of our own government? We will continue to face radicals if we don’t stop what we are doing, and, I believe, make the Arab world know that we recognize that invading Iraq and Afghanistan were mistakes. We are too proud and too indoctrinated in the philosophy of show-no-weakness to do that, but continuing to do the opposite is actually in danger of creating radicals in every country in the world. I prefer not to live in fear in my own country because of it’s actions. Anyone who thinks more battles will fix this, seems to think that inaction will create more risk.

  11. karlInSanDiego says:

    John with all due respect, you changed the topic to civilian casualties and whether that makes you evil. My debate with this video was that you won’t solve the crisis in the Iraq, Syria and the greater Middle East/North Africa with more bombs being flung in some desperate attempt to calm everyone down or stop ISIS from growing. It just creates more radicals. I’m a pacifist, so you and I will never agree on what the right number of bombs or civilians killed is. I am trying to state that we broke Iraq. I protested against the war, every step of it, before during and after. I called for our White House Administration to be tried as WAR CRIMINALS. You seem to have decided ISIS = Hitler, and you are doing that based on propaganda from the same media crew and Pentagon that told you we needed to invade Iraq. Your video showed Raqqa without fighting, yet you appear convinced that terrorists are compounding, killing, and are soon to invade our country. The video disgusted you because it showed people with guns oppressing other people. The truth is, escalating the fighting with ISIS is getting more innocent Westerners killed, witness Herve Gourdel. You won’t stop terrorism with war. It’s time we learned that lesson, stopped using the language of “terrorism” and “al quaeda” and now ISIS as catch all excuses for further military action against large swaths of entire countries. We are waging a fake war with individuals fighting back against those who see us as the tyrannists, and so we fan the flames of recruitment. That was always the folly of a “War on Terror”.

  12. And it’s not just that “innocents die,” it’s that we know that innocents will die as collateral damage if we do x, y and z, but we do it anyway. The fact of civilian casualties is not per se on its face evidence of anything, unless you think all war is immoral, including the US involvement in WWI and WWII. One needs to dig much deeper than simply alleging “civilians died.” They do in every war.

  13. At least you’re consistent.

  14. Colin says:

    Great comments John. I well remember interviews with the towns people of Auschwitz. Oh how innocent. They claimed to have no idea what that horrid smell was. No idea what all those people coming off the trains were doing. And the people in Berlin? No idea why all those jewish businesses were destroyed. No idea why that old jewish woman was in the street with a riding crop lifting her head up. No idea what this Hitler guy was really about as they watched his group get larger and larger. No idea of innocent people being butchered as they lined the streets with tears in their eyes giving the Nazi salute. Innocent people are in fact killed in all wars. This isn’t a fun fact ,it’s just the truth. A terrible truth. Could we have kept from going to war with the Axis and saved those innocent lives we took? Sure. Absolutely. No problems with Israel would exist today. No problems with Muslims either. No problems with gays. No problems with women’s rights. The idea of surgical bombing? No need. Drones? Why bother. And as people like us were lead to the block or gas chamber we could take great pride in the fact that we did not kill any innocent people. What a glorious day that could have been.

  15. Don Chandler says:

    NIST has a lot of engineers behind it. All you’ve given is a funny hypothetical so far:

    “…you read the NIST report and say it makes perfect sense?If they were demolished with explosives, your government continues to lie to you about what happened that day, period.”

    That doesn’t sound like an engineer’s response. It sounds like a conspiracy theorist’s bitty. Where is the beef? You see, if you say “you’re not gullible, you’re an engineer”, then how come there are so many gullible engineers in NIST and the scientific community that signed off on the “fire caused the collapse” theory? I must tell you, engineers and scientists are a contentious bunch, but they are all susceptible to gullibility and know it: it’s a human trait and what scientist in the world could claim to fully understand the motivations of the middle east conflicts:

    “Yes. If you can’t see we’re causing this, you don’t get to weigh in on how to fix it.”–nice story bro.

    Actually, it’s much more complex than you know. Middle East politics or Middle East happenings are stunningly complex. What kind of scientist could explain religion or wade through it’s infallible logic? An all knowing we can fix it, engineer, ofc. I think Arab Spring got hijacked by Islamic Spring and it feels like religious fervor. ISIS got some equipment and refineries and now the West is blowing those assets up….makes sense. Not cure all.

    So, how should we deal with ISIS? Try not to answer with a hypothetical.

  16. karlInSanDiego says:

    John, you just called “fighting in World War II” a “good idea.” You can fit that on a mug. I hope all of your foreign policy beliefs aren’t as deeply thought out and argued.

    Why are Nazis (and Zombies) the only human like figures that video game makers could get away with killing for years and years. Because no sane parent would condone their child spending all of their free time shooting people unless they were a historically evil and indefensible target. I’m not defending Nazis or the Holocaust, nor should any sane person. But you oversimplify war when you imagine entire societies of people being the spawn of Satan and incapable of anything but murder until they themselves are murdered. For every depraved soul behind atrocities, there are 10 weak souls who are bullied or duped into following them. Military dictatorships have always worked this way. BTW, you managed to let your concerns about Russia get the best of you a while back and instantly you vilified an entire country over gay rights atrocities. Your concern was warranted, but your hyperbole and rhetoric showed you throwing logic out the window when passion took over. You should work better to see other people as equals and not paint them with a single characteristic as soon as you are able to identify your own hate for their beliefs or actions.

  17. karlInSanDiego says:

    Don. Who’s weapons are ISIS using? Many are USA weapons supplied to Iraq after we destroyed their army, government and most of their infrastructure. Your tax dollars and your soldiers beat them back into the 1930s, and now we need to break the toys we brought to them. If you didn’t notice, Iraq was a stable secular country who’s biggest challenge before 2003 was that we were enforcing sanctions on them and were still bombing them routinely. Yes their leader was a tyrant. Are they better off now? No they are not. They are a sectarian mess that we created and we knew this could happen. Syria – who is training and funding and supplying the rebels in an effort to win the war against Assad? We are. That’s another 1/3 of the weapons ISIS has, captured from ISIS vs. “moderate rebels” who we were very honest about half of them identifying with al qaeda at the time. So Syria is 2.5 years locked in a stalemate failed coup war, and it is because we are playing God and trying to overthrow the Syrian government by secretly (not so secretly now) aiding the rebellion. Is ISIS a direct response to US invasion of Iraq and our choice of Malaki? Yes. Is the continual rebuilding of thousands of “terrorists” (in Africa and all over the Middle East, and even in Western countries) who our media labels “Aligned with al Qaeda” for lack of a better way to describe them as blowback from Crusades, a direct response to our drone killings in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, as well as our support in Libya, and our two wars with Afghanistan and Iraq. Yes. If you can’t see we’re causing this, you don’t get to weigh in on how to fix it.
    You honestly haven’t payed any attention to how the buildings (3 of them) fell on 9/11? Or did you read the NIST report and say it makes perfect sense? If they didn’t fall from fire, they were demolished with explosives. If they were demolished with explosives, your government continues to lie to you about what happened that day, period. The entire implausible narrative of idiots with almost no flight training carry boxcutters is completely off the table. You can’t build foreign policy of preemptive wars against whole countries to stave off terrorism, when the biggest terrorist event in our modern history is not even understood by the very country that was attacked.

  18. Bill_Perdue says:

    Sounds like he’d have fit in well with the SS on in Lt. Calleys unit.

  19. Naja pallida says:

    Not really sure Patton ever made such a distinction. One of the defenses used by US soldiers under his command who did commit war crimes was to cite an order from Patton that they were to kill anyone that got in their way, even if that person was trying to surrender, because prisoners were costly to care for. His general strategy was to do whatever it took, even if that resulted in civilian casualties. He was definitely the kind of man who believed the overall goal of winning the war was paramount to all other concerns.

  20. Bill_Perdue says:

    I suspect that Patton was speaking about soldiers, not helpless men women and children. If the wasn’t then I’m sorry to hear that anyone thinks that a million Vietnamese civilians and a million or so Iraqi civilians and hundreds of thousands of German and Japanese citizens deserved to die.

  21. Naja pallida says:

    Like Patton said, the object of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for his.

  22. Bill_Perdue says:

    We should be angry about civilians getting killed, but the scale is vastly different. Clintons embargo on food, medical and sanitary supplies killed half a million Iraqi children and the fire bombing of Japanese cities killed about the same.



  23. Bill_Perdue says:

    Civilian casualties caused by the Clintons, the Bushes and Obama are war crimes and crimes against humanity.

    So were German, Japanese, English and American attacks on civilians using death camps and bombing campaigns, especially by the British and Americans. The Germans killed scores of millions of civilians and POWs and the Japanese imperialists killed about 11.5 million mainly in China and Korea. Those were all war crimes.

    The USSBS Strategic Bombing Survey says that “official German statistics of casualties from air attack had been too low. The survey estimated that at a minimum 305,000 were killed in German cities … In the UK, 60,595 British were killed by German bombing, and in France, 67,078 French were killed by US-UK bombing. … The United States strategic bombing of Japan … resulted in great destruction of 67 Japanese cities, as many as 500,000 Japanese” and an additional 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki …” Those were overwhelmingly civilian causalities and also constitute war crimes. The Germans engaged in heavy bombing of civilian targets in Poland, the Netherlands and England, where the blitz killed in excess of 46,000 civilians. These too were war crimes.

    Hitler was beaten by the Red Army and I’m all for that. Late in the day, the US and England helped out by attacking in Normandy in 1944 and getting deep into Germany by early 1945.

    Organized mass murder by the US in Vietnam and Iraq and by the zionists in Palestine, and refusal to respect the lives of civilians in those areas are war crimes. So are the anti-civilian crimes and the murder of POWs by ISIS and so was 9-11 but as I pointed out above, the scale of war crimes and crimes against humanity by the US and England involve millions. Baby.

  24. Naja pallida says:

    Indeed. We don’t even need a reason to execute people unrelated to threats against us. Where there’s a Hellfire-armed drone, there’s a way.

  25. Blogvader says:

    What we did in WWII was evil, yes. (Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure the dropping of the two atomic bombs was the worst atrocity committed against civilians in history.) It’s fortunate for us that WWII ended well.

    But, to answer your question, yes, I think the targeted killing of civilians does indeed put us on an equal moral standing with ISIS, at least in terms of war crimes. (Even moreso in light of the fact that our interest in Iraq is due more to oil than other concerns.)

    The only difference between them and us is that we use a predator drone and they use a knife.

  26. Blogvader says:

    John, in the knowledge that we killed (granted, it’s an estimate) 100,000 civilians in Iraq… we have no moral standing to get angry about a civilian being killed.

  27. You are a tough crowd. When we start executing journalists because someone 6000 miles away, unrelated to the journalist, did something, get back to me.

  28. Well, I happen to think fighting in World War II was a good idea, that the Nazis were bad, and the Allies were good. As for 9/11, puhleez.

  29. I agree. Now how about answering my question. The topic is civilian casualties always making you evil, particularly in the context of comparing the United States of America to one of the lead terrorist groups in the world. There were huge civilian casualties in WWI and WWII. Are the allies evil, and was the war wrong, for having killed so many civilians, in some cases intentionally?

  30. Don Chandler says:

    How is the vertical free fall of the WTC proof of 9/11 cover-up? And how do you view 1.5 million displaced kurds during the Syrian(/Iraq) civil war? ISIS is doing more than beheading people and uploading it for all to see. It’s coalescing into a hugely destabilizing entity with massive consequences. And they are not a live and let live organization. Unfortunately, the world seems to always be at war, it doesn’t take the CIA or generals to spook us into war: it’s actually hard to see how to prevent this war.

  31. World War I and World War II, baby. If civilian casualties make you ISIS, then the allies are ISIS-issimo, by that tally. So it was wrong to take on Hitler? Or we should have fought him with feathers and bunnies?

  32. Bill_Perdue says:

    These people in ISIS are beginning to act like Obama, except he uses drones and they use knives and machine guns for their mass murders. .

    What’s certain is that ISIS will never overtake American and English death tolls in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Palestine, Egypt, Bahrain, Pakistan and elsewhere, not in a million years, and no matter how hard they try.

    ISIS is a creature of the US invasion, occupation and near destruction of Iraqi society and the of fighting between the Syrians and the Saudis and Emirates and their proxies among the Syrian rebels. They want to run a pipeline through Syria to Turkey and Europe and compete with Gazprom. That explains, in part, Putin’s interest in backing the Assad regime and Obama’s interest in opposing Assad on behalf of his allies in the Emirates.

    The total failure of US policies is guaranteed as the Iraqi quisling regime gets weaker and weaker and the anti-Assad groups fight among themselves. The more the US intervenes, the more ISIS and groups like it will grow.

  33. Blogvader says:

    I think everyone, on both sides of any debate in this country, should just stay away from nazi metaphors.

  34. karlInSanDiego says:

    By Did you mean Do. I grew up (born 69) learning about WW2 from crusty biased history books and movies that glorified war. Hogan’s Heroes made light of the gravity of it. According to everything I was taught, the “greatest generation” were the 20th century’s heroes. But as time has moved on, and I get cynical about the magic of WW2 and that we saved France’s bacon and all that chest beating crap, history has shown many WW2 vets never talked about their war experience. Instead of coming back and professing that war had torn down their psyches and made them mentally broken, they clammed up. Many were called shell-shocked (the name we used to give to vets who were screwed up, before we had the term PTSD) Many did future generations a disservice by not teaching everyone that war was hell and it should never be used for political gain or to gain strategic gain or prove you’re tough so noone attacks you. So I’m a byproduct of teaching that WW2 was necessary and righteous and of course Hitler was uncontrollable, and was a crazy man who beyond our imagination now, managed to mobilize a nation into modern history’s greatest aggressors. That’s not wrong, but it’s not entirely right either. There was nothing noble about aggression or appeasement, killing to protect your ally or killing to support your Axis power. That men followed orders and ignored their conscience, and most all of them their religion, and killed is not noble. That we leveled two cities with two bombs is our nations’ greatest disgrace, and we’ve rationalized it as a necessary step to curtail a ground invasion. What WW2 should have taught us is that war is for losers. Everyone loses in a war. War should not even be the choice of last resort, and smart people should figure that out. All of our wars since WW2 have been of choice.
    I don’t think we’re the same as the Nazis, and I’m sorry if I somehow gave that impression. I think we’re more similar to Imperial England who did as they pleased with the full support of most of their population. They invaded nations and pacified them, enslaving the indigenous people either literally, or economically and politically. British citizens appear to have been blind to the injustice of the colonies and convinced themselves that civilizing the unwashed was the right thing to do. That’s pure speculation on my part, and the reality was probably that there were thoughtful Brits who saw their own nation as monstrous at the time.
    I do know that we are constantly manipulating other governments and there is a long trail of failed states in our wake. How can we call ourselves the World’s police when we don’t even do these things for the suggested moral reasons at all? I am weary of the violence that we continue to unleash on others. And knowing building 7s destruction and the vertical freefall of the WTC are very obvious proof that our government has lied to us about 9/11 and covered up the truth of what happened (I’m not gullible. I’m an engineer) I can’t build on top of 9/11 as an argument for why we must continue to kill. As I write this I’m reminded that the US has no idea who they are attacking in Syria at this point. They are guessing at targets, firing from ships and planes, and we are left taking the DoD’s word for it (like we have with Drone Wars) that this is making things better. If we cannot practice peace, how should we expect it from others. Do you beat your child when they get in a fight at school? Do you shoot your spouse because he is verbally abusive or threatens you? We’re letting fear of the unknown and the Generals and the CIA spook us into perpetual fighting.

  35. How did you feel about World War II? Lots of civilians killed. Are we the same as the Nazis?

    Serious question.

  36. karlInSanDiego says:

    Beheadings count vs. number dead over 10 years of unprovoked War in Iraq and now Syria, not to mention the ongoing war in Afghanistan. One turns your stomach more because they are journalists. I’m pretty pissed about our country never admitting we went in on lies and summary skull boffed their whole damn countries. Obama is raining down bombs for peace. For fucks sake, when will you learn that is the wrong way to stop hostilities??? I tried to stay on the narrow subject of the video, but if you believe ISIS is any, and all, the things the propaganda machine wants to tell you it is, then there’s really not much point in having press, is there? We can just get our news from the Ministry of Truth. The CIA is licking its chops knowing a beheading is all it takes for them to start a war now. This will be their new technique for getting us to fight wars for Unocal’s pipeline, and stolen oil contracts in Iraq. It’s much easier than rigging 3 buildings in NYC with explosives and pretending planes brought them down with radicals with boxcutters.

  37. nicho says:

    They should be more like the US and torture developmentally disabled people to death with experimental drug executions.

  38. Blogvader says:

    I dunno, John. I’m no fan of ISIS, but beheading seems almost kinder than our execution methods in the US, which amount to human experimentation.

    At least with beheading you immediately go into shock, rather than having a thirty minute heart attack in the execution chamber.

  39. I don’t think she’s brainwashed, I think she’s dumb. And no, I don’t condone killing them for living a different way of life. Beheading innocent people, however…

  40. HereinDC says:

    Or that Bundy Ranch this past summer

  41. Ron Robertson says:

    It’s why religions, particularly western ones are so full of shit. I do not believe they uplift the world at all, but are a drain on it. What good they accomplish is greatly outweighed by the evil. In this case, it’s islamists doing the evil, but the christian and judaic ones would do the same given the opportunity and power.

  42. karlInSanDiego says:

    I don’t agree with that lifestyle. But this video, if you watch it, shows a woman who speaks perfect French reminding her family currently in France, that it is not all heads on stakes as shown on TV. I think your intention (and the French news’ intention) was to paint a picture of extremists in an alien world and the danger of French born French citizens turning Jihadi. Without understanding the situation of the woman and her upbringing and her family, you might guess (incorrectly??) that she is brainwashed and wasn’t raised to believe that covering up is correct. France has been battling social acceptance of burkas and headscarves as it sparks fear among the French (for many) that their society and values may be eroded or corrupted by this practice. I don’t have any answer to that, but the video shows a more peaceful reality in Raqqa than you will see in other parts of Syria, so let us not use it as fuel to why Jihadi Islamic crazies are winning our war against terror. Again, I don’t condone their ways, but I refuse to kill them for it, if there are people who are intent on living this way. You can’t change religious views with bombs and guns, but we have proven you can reinforce them.

  43. DonewithDems says:

    People walking around with automatic and semi-automatic guns, women forced to be subjugated to men, anyone stopped if they are suspected not to uphold the values of their faith. Sounds like Texas or what many in Texas would like it to be. Looks like such a happy place doesn’t it?

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