TEL AVIV – A German journalist who spent days with the Islamic State said that the only country in the Middle East that the jihadists fear is Israel because they know that the Jewish state’s “army is too strong for them.”
In an interview with the British Jewish News, Jurgen Todenhofer recalls the ten days spent behind enemy lines during which he spoke with ISIS fighters.
“The only country ISIS fears is Israel,” Todenhofer, a former member of the German parliament, said. “They told me they know the Israeli army is too strong for them.”
Todenhofer also said that ISIS is hoping to lure British and American forces into Syria and Iraq, areas where it thinks it has an advantage having captured huge swaths of land.
“They think they can defeat US and UK ground troops, who they say they have no experience in city guerrilla or terrorist strategies,” he told Jewish News. “But they know the Israelis are very tough as far as fighting against guerrillas and terrorists.”
“They are not scared of the British and the Americans, they are scared of the Israelis and told me the Israeli army is the real danger. We can’t defeat them with our current strategy. These people [the IDF] can fight a guerrilla war.”
Todenhofer said that the Paris attacks was just the first of “a storm” that is coming to Western cities and that ISIS was “preparing the largest religious cleansing in history.” He added that ISIS’s goal is to topple local governments while at the same time execute more acts of terrorism overseas.
“They are a very strong danger for Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Libya, while the West will be subjected to big acts of terrorism instead of a full blown ISIS war because they say they don’t want too many battles at the same time,” he said.
“In Mosul there are 10,000 fighters living among 1.5 million people in 2,000 apartments, not in one place – so it would be difficult [for western soldiers] to fight them. ISIS fighters are ready to die in a war against a western soldiers.”
ISIS released a taped message on Saturday with a message from its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in which he threatened to turn Israel into a “graveyard.”
“We are getting closer to you day by day,” Baghdadi said in the message. “Do not think that we have forgotten about you.”
“God caused the Jews of the world to gather in Israel, and the war against them has become easy. It is the obligation of every Muslim to carry out Jihad”.
“Jews, you will not enjoy in Palestine. God has gathered you in Palestine so that the Mujahadeen can reach you soon and you will hide by the rock and the tree. Palestine will be your graveyard.”