ISIS Fighters after the Fall

Among the Europeans that left to fight for ISIS in Syria and Iraq, many are currently in the process of returning home. In just one year, the Islamic State has lost 30% of its territory within these two countries. It seems that not all of these wannabe-martyrs are prepared to die for their cause. A handful of ISIS soldiers are preparing themselves to return to the countries that they left behind. Who are these ’ghosts’, slinking back into their home countries? How can we track them? Do they pose a new threat?

This year-long investigation follows Iraqi groups in Mosul, tasked with finding these ISIS deserters. Thanks to their network of spies, every day their security forces seek out dozens of jihadis hoping to flee the war zone. Those who are identified are immediately interrogated and taken to court. At stake: life in prison.

Those who have succeeded in escaping this sentence are taking refuge in Syria, near the border, hoping to cross over into Turkey, and into the rest of Europe.

Many have lied about their intentions in order to enter into the country, and commit attacks in the name of this terrorist organisation.

For the families of these jihadis, the return of these men has revived a sense of hope. Christina saw her son leave for Syria 2 years ago. Today, she only dreams of one thing: that he would become one of these deserters and that he would return to her as soon as possible.


  • Year: 2017
  • Duration: 52 mins
  • Production: Ligne de Front
  • Director: Kamal Redouani
  • Available Versions: FRA
  • Country of production: France

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