February 18, 2015
Norwegian Shiite Militia Commander Abass al Assadi appears in a second video, interviewed at his home in Karbala. Despite video evidence and what he claimed in is first video on Transterra Media, he now says that he did not and will not take his son to war.
The Transterra contributor visited Abass at his home in Hay al-Ghadir, Karbala, where he lives with his wife and two sons Ali and Hussein. The day before the interview Abass had arrived home for a nine-day vacation, but he then received a call from his commanders with orders to head back to Samarrah with some of his fighters.
Accodring to Abass his eldest son Ahmed, who travels between California and Oslo, has been arrested and questioned by the Norwegian authorities before being released. The same thing happened to his own brother who also lives in Oslo.
In the previous video Abass and his youngest son Hussein appeared to be in a training camp for the al-Hashid al-Shaabi or “Popular Crowd”, Shiite militias, where the boy is seen spending time in training with the fighters and firing a weapon.
The boy said that he had participated in battles against ISIS, such as in Jurf al-Sakher.
SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abbas al-Assadi , Iraqi-Norwegian Shiaa Militia Commander:
Abbas al-Asadi: “I will be heading to Samaraa, after this interview a car will come and pick us up and we will go there.
Interviewer: Did you just return from Samaraa for this interview?
Abbas: “No, I came to see my family but they [Army commanders] called me and told me to return. I am now in the army fighting ISIS but I need to return. They need me there. I took a few days off and went there, but now they need me, they called me and I have to return.”
Interviewer: Don't you think you are breaking the Norwegian law, or technically the law in all of Europe, by letting your children participate in war?
Abbas: “I will not break the Norwegian law or the Arabic law. My children came with me after the area was liberated, after the area became safe and the families returned to it. But my little child likes to wear my uniform and I taught him how to shoot just so he can have some experience. But he does not participate in war with me. I know he cannot participate in war, war is not for him.”
Interviewer: The last time we met with them, your children told us that they participated in war and in victories and in fighting ISIS. What is the reason for such statements?
Abbas: “He considers himself to be one with his father, and since his father participated and he entered Jurf al-Sakher after it was liberated, he considered himself as a participant. Of course he did not participate in the battles in Jurf al-Sakher, do you think I would want death for my son? It is impossible.”
Interviewer: When was the last time you went to Norway?
Abbas: “I was there last in 2008.”
Interviewer: Do you intend to return to Norway and if so, when?
Abbas: “Yes I intend to return to Norway, after the war with ISIS ends.”
Interviewer: How many are in your family?
Abbas: “Some of them are living in Oslo, and I have another son who is a doctor in America. According to our beliefs, a person who leaves jihad is an infidel. We ask God to help us and support us.”
Interviewer: Is your wife pleased with what you are doing?
Abbas: “Yes my wife is proud of me because I am fighting with the good people against the enemies.”
Interviewer: What do you want to tell the Norwegian government and the European Union who might think that you brought your son to participate in war?
Abbas: “I did not and will not involve my son in war, I repeat that, I did not and will not involve any of my youngest children in war. They go to school.. just like in anywhere else. When we liberated the area, many people and journalists came and my son was one of those people. He wanted to wear my uniform, and I allowed him to. It has nothing to do with war. We fought him the Arabic traditions, such as shooting, horseback riding, and other simple things. If a war happens in Norway, God forbid, I am willing to fight alongside them. If Norway or Europe needs me to fight, I will definitely help them. Norway is my country and Iraq is my country.”
SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Boy) Hussein al-Assadi , Iraqi-Norwegian Teenage Fighter
09:17 – 12:19
Why do you not speak Norwegian?
I do not know how to.
I came to Iraq a long time ago and I cannot speak [Norwegian].
Did you not learn Norwegian at school?
I was young. When I came from Norway I was young. I had not gone to school.
How old were you?
About four years old.
Do you wish to return?
Why? Why do you want to return?
The country there is better and safer.
What are you doing in Iraq?
I study at the hawza [Shiite religious school].
In Iraq there are holy shrines which I visited. My father came here to practice jihad. He went to Jarf al-Sakhr. I am proud of him for practicing jihad. I went with him after they liberated the area. I wore his military vest and went with him.
That was after the liberation?
Yes, after the liberation was over.
I am proud of him. I am proud of my father and his position as an Iraqi military.
Do you feel scared sometimes?
Do you feel scared that ISIS is killing people in Iraq?
No. I do not feel scared.
You do not feel scared?
Are you scared of getting killed?
No, I am not.
There is nothing to worry about here.
Did you participate in any major battle?
No. I used to go with my father to [the battlefield] after the battle was over.
Do you not think that you are too young [to be part of an armed group]?
I have not fought. I used to go to a certain area after the liberation was over.
Do you think that young men of your age should come from Norway and other European countries to fight against ISIS?
Do you think that young men of your age should come from Norway to and other European countries to fight against ISIS?
I did not come to Iraq to fight. I came to study and be with my people and near the holy shrines.
Is there anything that you miss in Norway? Do you miss any people? Do you have certain good memories? Do you miss any friends or neighbors?
I miss them sometimes but we came to Iraq for the sake of the Imams and to study.