Everybody seems to have an opinion about ISIS, but few are as powerful as that of someone who was taken prisoner first-hand. Sergeant Major Hamody Jasim is one of the rare few who can offer that perspective.
Jasim served in the Iraqi military, and was able to connect reporters with Master Sergeant Karam Saad, who he served with during the Iraq War.
Jasim was able to make it out in 2008, thanks in large part to the assistance he received from U.S. Intelligence operations. Saad was forced to stay behind, and ISIS took him prisoner just six years later.
Saad later shared his story with the Independent Journal, writing about the day he was capture:
“It was June 10th 2014, and I needed to get some intelligence to Baghdad. At the time, I was keeping a low profile in Mosul, my hometown, which ISIS had just captured – and still runs today.
They were killing people, taking them prisoner, they were very thorough. As I was switching from my uncle’s house to my aunt’s around 11pm at night, ISIS caught me.
They had a roster of people in the Iraqi military, and asked if I was still loyal to Iraq…”
He then detailed what it was like to be taken to the prison:
“I was taught by some of the best U.S. Marine Corps instructors in the world, so I am trained to handle very tough situations.
ISIS would use electrical wires on my back. They would tie a bag off around my neck and fill it
with water, all in attempt to get something out of me.
All they give you to eat is one piece of bread and one apple a day. But you’re so scared to eat it, because you don’t know if they poisoned it or not.”
Finally, Saad then gave the public a chilling preview of what it was like to be in the hands of these radical terrorists.
“They tortured the sh** out of the Christians and some died in the process. They would take some and lock them in a kind of casket, and set it on fire from the inside.”
Luckily, Saad was able to find a way to escape.
“I only spent three nights in prison. During that time, I paid attention to how many guards were on duty and any signs of weaker security.
The bathroom had a window with access to the roofs. In Iraq, the rooftops are flat, so you can jump from roof to roof. Every once in a while, ISIS would speed off in their cars in search of more prisoners, and only leave a couple guards behind.”
“So I stole a spoon and turned it into a knife, with the intention to kill one of the guards. I asked him to take me to the bathroom. But as I was making my way there, I noticed another guard who had been left behind was armed with a gun, so killing was out of the question.
I went to the bathroom and managed to knock out the ISIS fighter and put him a rear-naked choke. Then I made it onto the roofs, and escaped.”
Finally, he commented on how the Obama administration has been handling things:
“The airstrikes are not effective and there are really no functional operations. The coalition is bullsh**! They might get a couple good shots here or there, but for the most part it’s not an effective strategy.
In the future, I feel that the Republicans will be more effective to battle ISIS than the Democrats will. Since 1991, the Republicans have been better allies than Democrats. The Democrats have a stupid strategy. I had spent a long time on the battlefield with the Republicans politics and we’ve had way more victories in the fight.
Under the Obama administration, America is not taking this fight seriously.”