Towards efforts to combat terrorism and fight terrorist ideologies, the Sudanese government announced that its intensive de-radicalization program successfully led a young Sudanese girl, her brother and nine of their friends to announce repentance and renunciation of ISIS beliefs.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Islamic State (IS), and by its Arabic language acronym Daesh is a terrorist organization, which the Sudanese government exerts intensive efforts to fight. The rehabilitation program had been initiated and endorsed by the government of Sudan.
The 11-member youth group, who was aged 15-17 years old and were high school students, declared disavowal of ISIS ideology, abandoning jihadists’ common practice of judging people as unbelievers, and announced their return to a moderate version of Islam.
“Members of the cell had made plans to flee Khartoum to join ISIS, but thanks to God we redirected them to the right bath of Islam and its peaceful teachings,” said Nassir Al Fadlabi, the moderate preacher who led the rehab program with the group.
This is considered a gain in government efforts to combat terrorism and terrorist ideologies. “Public involvement in this fight demonstrates the success we achieved, a key pillar in our holistic counter terrorism strategy to mobilize social and societal stake holders against such ideas and behaviors,” said a Sudanese official who preferred not to be named.
“We are living the same neighborhood, so it was practically easy to talk to each other, in some instances families of the defected were involved in debates said Al Fadlabi explaining more on the rehab program which included several sessions in the youth’s homes located in Khartoum North.
Al Fadlabi refused to reveal further personal information about members of the cell.
The brother and sister, Ryan and Tibyan reside in Saudi Arabia but regularly visit Sudan to celebrate Eid with their extended family were victimized by radical ideologies.
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They were misled by wrong Islamic preaching radical and terror organization and outfits. ISIS and other use internet which is a common platform for communication of young generations, said Al Fadlabi. He added that intensive debate with the 11 ISIS sympathizers successfully changed course of ISIS ideology, abandoning jihadist’s common practice of judging people as unbelievers, and, thus, they announce return to moderate version of Islam.,
“Since last Ramadan, the youth have been regular visitors to Sheikh Muhammad Abdulkarim’s Islamic complex in Aljireif Gharib” Alfadlabi added.
While, their primary intention was to perform nightly prayers during the holy month, they were attracted to the jihadist preaching of Sheikh Muhammad Abdulkarim.
The group developed these radical ideas, similar to ISIS preaching, and as a result they decided to flee the country and join ISIS.
Sheikh Abdul Hafiz Al-Adasi spoke to the group over phone at the end of the dialogue sessions and urged them to embrace the moderate ideology and to keep themselves away from the extremism,” Nassir Mukhtar concluded.
While the government sponsored de-radicalization program is considered a leading and one of the most successful program of its nature, Sudan is striving hard to persuade the US Administration to permanently lift unilateral economic sanction imposed before two decades. “countering terrorism is a national security priority for Sudan and Sudan is a cooperative partner of the US on counter terrorism,” cited the latest state Department annual report on terrorism 2016.