French Islamic State fighters: I want to come home!

French nationals disillusioned after joining Islamic State are trying to find a way home, but without the heavy consequences that come with terror charges.

ISIS militants (photo credit: ARAB MEDIA)
ISIS militants
(photo credit: ARAB MEDIA)
French Islamic State members want to come home, according to a report by France's Le Figaro. The report discussed a number of letters sent by French Islamic State, who have been in contact with a group of lawyers in their home country in an attempt to bring them home.
They communicate in a variety of ways — but mainly via Whatsapp, Viber, and email — immediately deleting every message in order not to get caught by IS officials.
One French national was reportedly beheaded after telling his commander that he wanted to leave Islamic State.
The reasons they want to get out are varied, but in general, they present feelings of disappointment and fear, with many saying they were misled into joining.
One regretful jihadi wrote about the lack of modern comforts. "I'm sick and tired. My iPod doesn't even work here. I want to come home!"
Some have complained about the mundane jobs that come along with setting up a global Islamic caliphate.
"I practically do nothing except distribute clothes and food. I also clean weapons and transfer corpses from the front for burial," he writes. "Winter is coming. It's starting to get difficult."
While some are also worried about the status of children born in Syria — will they be able to get French citizenship? — others are afraid for their lives. One of the Islamic State members told of how "they want to send me to the front, but I don't even know how to fight."
However, there are consequences for returning to their home countries, such as jail time if they are hit with terror charges.
The lawyers in France are in contact with anti-terror police, as well as France's Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, but a decision on the status of these Islamic State members has not been announced.
In the meantime, the only thing these disillusioned IS fighters can do is to attempt to make the trip to the French embassy in Istanbul, Turkey or Erbil in Iraq.
Le Figaro
's report stated that currently 376 French citizens are in Syria. So far, 76 citizens have returned to France after joining Islamic State and were immediately taken into Police custody.