Former Christian Altar Boy Opens Up About Why He Joined ISIS, ‘Right of Revenge’


Islamic State of Iraq and Syria fighter Michael “Younnes” Delefortrie explained that “revenge” inspired him to join the terrorist organization and justifies brutal killings in an interview with the Clarion Project.

“The cruelty of burning and drowning people, it’s not literally in the Koran, but we reflect on the right of revenge,” Delefortrie told the Clarion Project. “That’s actually why it’s allowed.”

The Clarion Project is “a non-profit organization that educates the public about the dangers of radical Islam,” according to its website.

Delefortrie grew up in a middle-class home in Belgium and was baptized Catholic. He served as an altar boy in his local church, the Clarion Project reported Wednesday. Delefortrie converted to Islam when he was 16 years old, changing his name to “Younnes” which translates to dove in Arabic, Clarion reported.

Delefortrie joined radical Islamist group “Sharia4Belgium” in 2009 and traveled to Syria in 2013 to fight for ISIS, according to CNN.

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ISIS operates according to a mission of revenge, Delefortrie said. “(Revenge) is completely acceptable according to Islam, and this even goes further to the killing of women … and civilian casualties,” Delefortrie said in his interview with Clarion.

Delefortrie cited Jordanian pilot 1st Lt. Muadh al-Kasasbeh whom ISIS burned alive, alleging that al-Kasasbeh was given the same punishment as those the pilot killed on the ground with his bombs. A video of the pilot’s brutal murder surfaced in February 2015.

Burning al-Kasasbeh alive is retaliation for and representative of houses burning on the ground, according to Delefortrie. “He’s being punished the same way that he punished people on the ground,” Delefortrie said.

Delefortrie also justified the horrific incident by saying ISIS uses said methods because the group doesn’t have advanced weapons of war — F-16s and fighter jets — like the U.S and Europe.

Do you think Delefortrie should have been required to go through a de-radicalization program?

The ISIS fighter returned to Belgium after five weeks of fighting in Syria. He and 45 others were arrested and found guilty of terror-related charges in February 2015, Vice News reported. Delefortrie received only three years probation.

Delefortrie is free so long as he does “nothing that’s against national security,” CNN reported. Neither counseling nor a de-radicalization program was required as part of his probation, according to Clarion.

Delefortrie has been married three times and fathered a number of children, one of whom he named after Osama bin Laden, according to Clarion.

Numerous other ISIS militants have been arrested and convicted. U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Erik Kang was sentenced to 25 years in prison Dec. 5 for pledging allegiance to ISIS.

The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in California arrested suspected ISIS member Omar Ameen in August for the murder of an Iraqi police officer. Omar had applied for a green card and refugee status.

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The United Nations estimates that there are approximately 20,000 to 30,000 ISIS militants in Syria and Iraq.

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