The New York Times reports: A small but growing number of defectors from the Islamic State are risking reprisals and imprisonment to speak out about their disillusionment with the extremist group, according to a research organization that tracks former and current militants.
The Islamic State considers defectors as apostates, and most of the hundreds thought to have left the group have gone into hiding.
But 58 defectors, nine of them from Western Europe and Australia, have gone public with their testimonies since last year, according to a report to be published Monday by the International Center for the Study for Radicalization at King’s College London.
According to the report, some of the defectors said they disapproved of the Islamic State’s hostility to other Sunni rebel groups that opposed President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and its indiscriminate killings of civilians and hostages. Others grew weary of what they saw as favoritism and mistreatment by commanders, or were disappointed that the life of a militant was far less exciting, or lucrative, than they had imagined. Two left after they found out that they had been selected as suicide bombers. [Continue reading…]