Sun12172017

LAST_UPDATESun, 17 Dec 2017 3pm

The Man Who Lived A Double Life To Document ISIS Crimes For The World Finally Reveals His Identity

If you had to live a secret life and risk your life just to preserve history, would you do it?

One courageous man did, but now he’s tired of it and has finally unmasked his identity.

Omar Mohammed, 31, is an Iraqi historian who fled to join the Islamic State or ISIS not because he was a spy, but because he was an undercover historian and blogger who wanted to document the truth for the world.

He made the life-changing choice one night and left his family. “I am leaving,” he told his mother. “Where?” she asked. “I am leaving,” was all he could revealed.

He knew if he got caught he would be killed but his determination forced him not to look back.

“I am writing this for the history, because I know this will end. People will return, life will go back to normal.

“After many years, there will be people who will study what happened. The city deserves to have something written to defend the city and tell the truth, because they say that when the war begins, the first victim is the truth,” he wrote in his blog – and went by the name Mosul Eye.

Photo: APPhoto: AP

He told himself to trust no one and document everything – so he spoke to ISIS fighters, vendors, checkpoint guards, also his old friends who are a doctor and a high school dropout and even made friends with a taxi driver who all embrace the terror group’s extreme interpretation of religion.

According to AP, Mosul Eye documented daily reports of life in the ISIS territory, detailing deaths and whippings, for spying and apostasy, for failing to attend prayers, for overdue taxes and his writings not only attracted international journalists and agencies, but caught the attention of the fanatics, who posted death threats in the comments section.

There were countless times where he wanted to leave, especially after witnessing the tortures carried out on the young and innocent – from the beheading of a 14-year-old in front of a crowd, to a boy accused of stealing who had his hands chopped off and told that his hand was a gift of repentance to God.

But he recounted there was always something pulling him back into the city. One day however, he finally mustered the courage to flee to protect his meticulous records and information of ISIS that he has securely kept in his computer hard drive all along.

“I had to run away with the proof that will protect Mosul for years to come, and to at least be loyal to the people who were killed in the city,” so he paid $1,000 to a smuggler and left the next day on December 15, 2015.

“I think I deserve life, deserve to be alive,” he declared.

He finally made it, crossing the border into Turkey with no troubles at all – though he still kept in contact with his friends and relatives within the ISIS territory via WhatsApp, Viber and Facebook messages – and constantly monitored airstrikes, with one killing his 36-year-old brother.

It was then he first revealed his identity to his dying brother who was proud to learn the anonymous historian he had been reading for so long was actually his own brother.

Photo: APPhoto: AP

Mosul Eye “managed to show that it’s possible to change the situation in the city and bring it back to life,” his brother told him.

Through his writings on Twitter, WordPress and Facebook, Mosul Eye has gained a massive following and he is convinced 'The message of Mosul Eye reached the world appropriately', as he noted in his blog posting on November 4.

Nevertheless, living a double life consumed him, and after finally writing his dissertation on the 19th century Mosul history in the safety of a European city – to help his people rebuild their lives, now Omar or Mosul Eye feels it is safe to come clean and tell the world who he really is.

He finally told his mother too, about all that he had done – and he feels liberated.

“I can’t be anonymous anymore. This is to say that I defeated ISIS. You can see me now, and you can know me now,” he said after speaking with AP. And so, he made his announcement to the world:

Though many feel like Omar’s story and Mosul Eye was just a propaganda, others who know him personally have defended the historian and called him their hero.

The world can surely thank Omar for being a brave and inspiring man – who, in the name of history is making sure that future generations will know the true accounts of what really happened in Mosul.

 

-mD