Does this convince any of you?
From Syria with love
Helsingin Sanomat reports contact with a Finn currently marooned in the village of Atma on the Syrian-Turkish border. “Daniel” says he moved to Syria in 2013 partly out of a feeling of duty to help his Muslim “brothers and sisters”, and partly out of guilt at the comfortable life he led in Finland.
He is the target of an investigation including three other Finns who left for Syria, including one who died fighting for ISIS. Daniel says he’s happy to return to face the music, but does not want to leave his Syrian wife and three-year-old daughter behind. They have no travel documents and to get them they would have to travel from their home in rebel-held Idlib province to government territory in Damascus, an extremely perilous journey.
If Daniel crossed the border into Turkey he could easily get to Finland, either by acquiring a passport from the Finnish embassy or via arrest and deportation by the Turkish authorities, but his wife and child would be left behind.
So he stays in Syria. He says he is paid for teaching English to aid workers, including the White Helmets group, but does not comment on what he did before that. He denies ever joining ISIS, and says he parted ways with a Finnish friend who joined the infamous group. Daniel says he spent more time with Syrians, while his friend gravitated towards foreign fighters.
He says he has no need of any help in abandoning radical ideologies.
“It could be that there are some who need such help,” said Daniel. “But personally I don’t need any de-redicalisation process, as I don’t represent any extremist group or their ideologies.”