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‘The only country IS fears is Israel,’ says embedded journalist

Jurgen Todenhofer, who spent 10 days with jihadists, says they believe IDF is ‘too strong for them’

Screenshot from a CNN report showing footage of Jürgen Todenhöfer with Islamic State fighters in Syria in 2014. (Screenshot/CNN)
Screenshot from a CNN report showing footage of Jürgen Todenhöfer with Islamic State fighters in Syria in 2014. (Screenshot/CNN)

A Western journalist who was embedded in the ranks of the Islamic State for 10 days said last week the only country the jihadists fear is Israel.

The comments by Jurgen Todenhofer came a day after the IS leader threatened to attack the Jewish state.

“The only country ISIS fears is Israel. They told me they know the Israeli army is too strong for them,” Todenhofer, a former German parliament member, told the Jewish News, a London weekly, last Sunday.

The investigative reporter said that the terror group was confident it could beat American and British ground troops, but feared the Israeli forces.

“They think they can defeat US and UK ground troops, who they say they have no experience in city guerrilla or terrorist strategies. But they know the Israelis are very tough as far as fighting against guerrillas and terrorists,” he said.

The journalist said the jihadists “told me the Israeli army is the real danger.”

“We can’t defeat them with our current strategy. These people [the IDF] can fight a guerrilla war,” the IS fighters said, according to Todenhofer.

Todenhofer was the first Western journalist who was allowed extensive access to the group, spending 10 days with its fighters last year.

In this file photo released on Aug. 5, 2015, by the Rased News Network a Facebook page affiliated with Islamic State militants, an Islamic State militant holds the group's flag as he stands on a tank they captured from Syrian government forces, in the town of Qaryatain southwest of Palmyra, central Syria. (Rased News Network via AP, File)
In this file photo released on Aug. 5, 2015, by the Rased News Network a Facebook page affiliated with Islamic State militants, an Islamic State militant holds the group’s flag as he stands on a tank captured from Syrian government forces, in the town of Qaryatain southwest of Palmyra, central Syria. (Rased News Network via AP, File)

His interview with Jewish News came a day after the head of the Islamic State terrorist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, issued an explicit threat against Israel, the first such indication from the organization’s head that the Jewish state was on his agenda.

In an audio recording released on social media, al-Baghdadi warned that his forces will “soon meet [the Jews] in Palestine,” Israel’s Channel 2 television reported.

The terrorist group’s elusive head added that “Israel will pay a heavy price at the hands of our fighters,” the report said.

“Palestine will not be your land or your home,” al-Baghdadi continued, according to the Ynet news site. “It will be a graveyard for you. Allah has gathered you in Palestine so that the Muslims may kill you.”

“The Jews thought that we forgot about Palestine and diverted our attention from it. Never, Jews. We have not forgotten Palestine for a moment,” said al-Baghdadi.

“The leaders of the jihad fighters will surround you on a day you think is far, but we see it as close. We are coming closer to you day by day,” he concluded.

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