The Islamic State wants to kill hundreds of millions of people worldwide and the terror group is being largely underestimated by the West, says German reporter Jürgen Todenhöfer, 75, who embedded with them last year.
He is the first Western journalist who was allowed extensive access to the group, spending 10 days with its fighters, and made it out alive.
Todenhöfer, a former member of parliament with Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union of Germany party, recently published a book about his experiences titled ‘Inside IS – Ten Days In The Islamic State.’
In it, he says the terror group cannot be defeated militarily and that he is very “pessimistic” on what can be done to combat them.
“That they are much stronger than we here believe,” he writes.
The Islamic State is like a “nuclear tsunami preparing the largest religious cleansing in history,” he went on.
“They now control land greater in size than the United Kingdom and are supported by an almost ecstatic enthusiasm the like of which I’ve never encountered before in a war zone. Every day hundreds of willing fighters from all over the world come.”
“The beheadings have been established as a strategy which they wanted to spread fear and terror among their enemies. This worked well — look at the capture of Mosul taken with less than 400 fighters!
“They are the most brutal and most dangerous enemy I have ever seen in my life. I don’t see anyone who has a real chance to stop them. Only Arabs can stop IS. I came back very pessimistic,” he said.
In an interview with Al-Jazeera last year when he came back from Syria, Todenhöfer said: I think only Sunni Iraqis can defeat the ISIL. They have done this once before. In 2007, they fought them down, but then ISIL was much weaker. But this is the only possibility and way forward.