Simon Cottee

France shouldn’t fall for the Isis ‘matchmaker’s’ self pity

France shouldn't fall for the Isis 'matchmaker's' self pity
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Tooba Gondal, the so-called Isis “matchmaker” who acted as a megaphone and recruiter for the terror group, is reportedly on her way to France, as part of an initiative by Turkey to deport foreign jihadists in its jails.

Gondal, who holds a French passport but spent most of her life in Britain, travelled to Syria in early 2015, where she married three times, gave birth to two children, became mates with ex-punk rocker Sally Jones, posed with an AK47 on social media, boasted about her firearm training, and hung on to the bitter end in Baghouz, from which she miraculously escaped just before it fell to Kurdish forces in March. She was subsequently captured by the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) and ended up at the Ain Issa camp in northern Syria.

In October, Gondal’s tumultuous young life-story took another dramatic turn, when she made yet another escape: after the SDF deserted the Ain Issa camp following sustained shelling from Turkish forces, she fled with her two children along with hundreds of her fellow Isis foreign captives, ending up in rebel hands. She was then handed over to the Turkish military.

For the benefit of her new hosts-to-be in France and the French citizens who will be funding her upcoming sojourn, it's worth relaying what Gondal has publicly said about the country of her birth. On 22 November, 2014, she took to Twitter – one of her favourite pastimes – and penned the following demented tweet-thread: 

Out of all countries to be born in, I was born in the disgusting scum France.

I hate the racist French, who oppress any practising muslim and liberate those Arabs who have shamed Islam (drinking, prostitution...) filth

When "muslims" say they love France as a country. WaAllahi shame on you! That country has oppressed our niqabi sisters, shamed Islam!

They oppressed my mother, they stopped me from wearing the hijab in school when I was young living over there. Alhamdullilah we made Hijra [migration]!

Where we used to live, in Paris, Arabs drinking alcohol used to try humiliate sisters who are covered by calling them for prostitution!

Filthy scummy french imbeciles.

This hatred of France reached its apogee in Gondal’s hysterical rant on the day after the 2015 Paris attacks, where she expressed wolfish delight on hearing the news of the mounting casualties:

Gondal claims she is now a reformed character and deserves a second chance. Indeed she presents herself as a victim deserving of sympathy and support. 

‘I was a vulnerable target to Isis recruiters...manipulated and persuaded that it was an obligation as a Muslim to travel to Syria,” she wrote in an open letter in the Sunday Times.

In the same letter she ludicrously tendered her services as a counter-terrorism consultant:

“I offer to help prevent vulnerable Muslims from being targeted and radicalised.” 

Whether Gondal has similarly reformed her stringent views about France is unclear.

Perhaps she will pen some exculpatory drivel to the French people, claiming that she was “groomed” into making outrageous statements about their homeland.

Or perhaps, like some of her fellow British Isis detainees, who now proclaim a love of fish and chips, she will recover some repressed memory of happier times in France, when she would eat madeleines and whistle the “La Marseillaise” before bedtime.

Or perhaps, indeed, she will volunteer to have her brain scanned by French sociologists in search of the mysteries of radicalisation. Whatever she does, her role in Isis and the recruitment of other women to the group should be scrupulously investigated by British and French authorities, as should her fitness to mother her two children.