Former Daesh captive to share story in Turkey

French journalist Nicolas Henin was held hostage by terror group for 10 months.


Yıldız Aktaş - ANKARA (AA) - A French reporter taken hostage for 10 months by Daesh -- alongside three other men eventually murdered by the terror group -- is to share his harrowing experience with a Turkish audience.

Nicolas Henin was held between June 2013 and April 2014 along with fellow Western hostages James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Alan Henning and David Haines.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, 40-year-old Henin -- author of Jihad Academy: The Rise of Islamic State -- said the world was just watching the massacre of the Syrian people.

He said world powers were involved in Syria not to protect civilians but to protect strategic interests, leaving the country’s people totally without control over their future.

Henin, whose book on Syria was translated into Turkish this year, claimed terrorist groups were allowed to settle in the war-torn country but that the Assad regime itself was responsible for 80 percent of civilian deaths.

In a 2015 interview with Anadolu Agency, Henin said that the regime must take responsibility for the creation of Daesh:

"A dictatorship can never be a protection against radicalism -- in fact, it's the dictatorship that produces extremism and terrorism.

“Daesh is a creation of Bashar al-Assad's regime, which started it by releasing extremist Salafist prisoners.”

The French journalist also accused Daesh of exploiting the Syrian people's suffering and the Iraqi people's disappointment.

According to Henin, most Daesh members are converts to Islam, not from an Islamic circle but those who have adopted jihadist-Salafist ideologies.

Barrel bombs, images of children buried under rubble or calling on Muslims to take revenge on behalf of their religious brethren were the best recruitment campaigns for Daesh, Henin added.

When he was released in 2014, Henin thanked Turkey, saying he owed his freedom to the country.

Speaking on television channel France 24, Henin said: “Our captors had directed us to the Turkish military base ... We were released thanks to Turkey. We thank Turkey and the Turkish army."

Henin said although a military intervention was necessary to oust Daesh from the region such a campaign would have “side effects”.

“What is necessary for Syria is a reduction of violence; Syrians do not need more bombs,” he said.

Nicolas Henin will talk about his days in captivity and the Syrian conflict on Oct. 26 at the French Culture Center in Ankara.


Nicolas Henin Anadolu Agency

Nicolas Hénin © Anadolu Agency

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