Reporter Who Spent 10 Days With ISIS Fighters Says There’s Only One Country the Terrorist Group Fears

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.
December 28, 2015 Updated: January 7, 2016

A German journalist who spent 10 days with ISIS fighters claims the terrorists only fear one country right now. 

“They are not scared of the British and the Americans,” said journalist and former member of German parliament Jurgen Todenhofer. “They are scared of the Israelis and told me the Israeli army is the real danger.”

“They told me they know the Israeli army is too strong for them,” Todenhofer told Jewish News, noting that the Islamic State believes the Israeli Defense Forces can conduct a guerrilla war successfully. 

The author of My 10 Days in the Islamic State said that one of the terror group’s goals in conducting attacks such as the one in Paris earlier this year is to provoke Western countries into setting down in the Middle East.



There, ISIS believes they can beat them, he said.

“They think they can defeat US and UK ground troops, who they say they have no experience in city guerrilla or terrorist strategies. But they know the Israelis are very tough as far as fighting against guerrillas and terrorists,” he said. 

Todenhofer also said that ISIS fighters indicated they are not only fighting against non-Muslims, but also Muslims who don’t subscribe to the specific tenants of Islam that ISIS believes in. 

Muslims in Western countries are seen as top-priority enemies, he added. 


Jurgen Todenhofer: “The only country ISIS fears is Israel”


However, despite Todenhofer’s comments, the Islamic State issued a threat against Israel in a new audio message. 

“We are getting closer to you day by day. … Do not think that we have forgotten about you,” said the terror group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. “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.”

Todenhofer added to Al Jazeera that there’s only one group he thinks can defeat ISIS.

“I think only Sunni Iraqis can defeat the ISIL. They have done this once before. In 2007, they fought them down, but then ISIL was much weaker. But this is the only possibility and way forward,” he said, using another term for the group.

“But the Sunnis in Iraq are discriminated against and excluded from society and that is a big mistake made by the old and the new Iraqi government. As long as these Sunnis are not integrated, they will not fight against ISIL, but if the Iraqi government and if the American government would arrange the integration of the Sunni Iraqis in the Iraqi society … then they would be ready to fight ISIL.

“So I say Western countries will not defeat ISIL. Only Arabs, only Sunni Iraqis, can defeat them. But this is a long way away.”

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.