“Mosul Eye,” a self-described historian who covertly recorded Islamic State (ISIS) crimes and helped get the information out into the world, has revealed his real identity.
For “nearly two years,” 31-year-old Omar Mohammed “wandered the streets of occupied Mosul, chatting with shopkeepers and Islamic State fighters, visiting friends who worked at the hospital, swapping scraps of information,” which he used to alert the outside world, according to an AP report.
“He grew out his hair and his beard and wore the shortened trousers required by IS. He forced himself to witness the beheadings and deaths by stoning, so he could hear the killers call out the names of the condemned and their supposed crimes,” AP reported. “He wasn’t a spy. He was an undercover historian and blogger.”
“As IS turned the Iraqi city he loved into a fundamentalist bastion, he decided he would show the world how the extremists had distorted its true nature, how they were trying to rewrite the past and forge a brutal Sunni-only future for a city that had once welcomed many faiths,” they explained. “He called himself Mosul Eye. He made a promise to himself in those first few days: Trust no one, document everything. Neither family, friends nor the Islamic State group could identify him. His readership grew by the thousands every month.”
Mohammed, who worked as a teacher, used his information to alert the world of ISIS’ crimes. Crimes which started with the stoning and shooting of around 500 women accused of prostitution. He finally escaped to Turkey, where he then received asylum in Europe.
“Then it went after men accused of being gay, flinging them off tall buildings,” AP wrote. “When the only Mosul residents left were fellow Sunnis, they too were not spared, according to the catalog of horrors that is Mosul Eye’s daily report. He detailed the deaths and whippings, for spying and apostasy, for failing to attend prayers, for overdue taxes. The blog attracted the attention of the fanatics, who posted death threats in the comments section.”
According to Mohammed’s reporting, ISIS also “beheaded a 14-year-old in front of a crowd,” and severed “the hand of a child accused of stealing,” while Yazidi women received forced abortions and tubal ligation surgeries.
Mohammed claimed that a doctor told him “there had been between 50 and 60 forced abortions and a dozen Yazidi girls younger than 15 died of injuries from repeated rapes.”
Last month, Omar Mohammed revealed his real identity to the public, declaring, “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.”