ISIS chief obtains identity and welfare benefits in Sweden
The head of the Islamic State’s women’s brigade in Syria, Fatin al-Mandlawi, 33, has returned to Sweden and now lives in Angered in Gothenburg, Fria Tider can reveal today. The Swedish tax authorities gave her the protected identity “Fatosh Ibrahim” which she uses to collect municipal social benefits and to run a black market where she offers to threaten people for payment.
– It’s a police matter. The role of the municipality is to offer support, explains Zan Jankovski, coordinator against extremism in the city of Gothenburg, to Fria Tider.
Fatin was born in Iraq as the fifth child of the Arab al-Mandlawi family of seven. During the Gulf War in the early 90s, the whole family came to Sweden and ended up in Eskilstuna. When she was ten, the family moved to Gothenburg.
In July 2000, the father of seven, Mostafa al-Mandlawi, was interviewed by Göteborgsposten about the difficulties immigrants face in finding work in Sweden.
– Yes, I hope to have a job. I lived in Sweden for ten years and looked for a job all the time. Six years in Eskilstuna and four years in Gothenburg. In Baghdad, I had my own factory, but here I sent a lot of application files, without anything happening, he said in the interview.
In the fall of 2012, as part of the so-called “Arab Spring”, Fatin’s big brother, Hassan al-Mandlawi, traveled to Syria to join an armed group close to the terrorist-branded al-Nusra Front.
After returning to Sweden, Hassan was sentenced in 2015 to life in prison for terrorist crimes for his involvement in the murder of two captured Syrian oil workers. According to the Gothenburg District Court, the motive for the murder of the workers was that they were employed by an oil company owned by the Syrian state. The verdict was then confirmed by the Court of Appeal.
As Hassan was on his way to Syria, his younger sister, Fatin, 25, also decided to leave the Gothenburg suburb of Angered for the Syrian town of Raqqa. There she joined what would later become the Islamic State.
In Syria, Fatin al-Mandlawi was called Umm Fidah, which can be translated as “Mother of the Restoration”. She married an ISIS terrorist from the UK in 2013. The man died the same year, while Fatin was expecting a child. In September 2013, she gave birth to a daughter.
Fatin al-Mandlawi was one of the first women to travel from Sweden to Syria, and she has become very active in attracting more women to travel there. In a 2015 interview with Kalla Fakta, terrorist researcher Magnus Ranstorp described “Umm Fidah” as a key person in ISIS’s recruiting work.
– She seems to be very aggressive. She acted outwardly as extremely brutal. Brutal in terms of sentencing, but there are also pictures of her holding a gun. She is trained in weapons, he said in the interview.
Fatin is no less well known as the initiator of the Islamic State’s Women’s Brigade.
“Can’t we create a brigade just for the sisters, fight the pigs and pray for martyrdom,” she wrote in an open Facebook post. The Women’s Brigade is called al-Khansa, an Arab metaphor for beauty.
Fatin was the leader of the newly created ISIS brigade and had between 60 and 70 women at most under his command. The main task of the Women’s Brigade was to ensure that other women living in the self-proclaimed Islamist caliphate abide by strict Sharia law.
In a photo posted by “Umm Fidah” on Facebook, it can be seen in a square in ISIS’s capital, Raqqa. On the ground lie the bodies of decapitated people. On a fence next to her, a severed head is mounted on a fence.
“What? Are you talking to me? Oops you don’t have a head! ‘ This is what we do with Bashar’s soldiers, “” Umm Fidah “wrote in English commenting on the photo.
Return to Sweden
In the spring of 2017, the Islamic State was collapsing. Outside of Mosul in Iraq, fighting raged and ISIS was forced to abandon the city in July of the same year. At the same time, the unofficial capital of the terrorist group Raqqa in Syria was surrounded by a coalition of forces hostile to ISIS. It was only a matter of time before the caliphate fell.
Fatin al-Mandlawi, who was pregnant again, decided to flee to Sweden. In October 2017, she gave birth to her second child. According to Fria Tider, the father was an IS terrorist who is currently in prison in Australia. Fatin al-Mandlawi changed his name to Fatosh Ibrahim and obtained personal data protected by the Swedish Tax Agency. She lives in Angered again.
While working on this report, Fria Tider has been in contact with the Swedish tax agency on several occasions over the summer and fall to ask why a former ISIS fighter was granted a protected identity. However, the authority denied the request, and we are not even allowed to examine the document in disguised form, as even a masked document could be used to discover that it is Fatin al-Mandlawi behind the identity protected from the authority Fatosh Ibrahim.
“The Swedish tax agency believes there are special reasons to suppose that Fatin may suffer if information about him (sic!) Is disclosed,” the authority wrote in its ruling.
– She’s covered by a pretty strong secret, explains Johanna Sjöberg from the personal protection department of the Swedish Tax Agency to Fria Tider.
Open to the ISIS context
However, according to several people Fria Tider has spoken to, the 33-year-old terrorist’s background is nothing that she herself is particularly keen to keep a secret.
– She told me she wanted to blow herself up. She said she saw when they set that Jordanian pilot on fire in the cage. She brags about being in ISIS, an immigrant woman who previously frequented circles around the IS leader told Fria Tider.
– We protect ISIS soldiers and they live off our tax money. I think it should be clear that our authorities are in fact protecting the IS terrorists who have been there and killed children and adults, innocent people, she continues.
– I think it’s terrible that there is an IS terrorist, free in the street, who posed in a square in Raqqa with severed heads. I don’t want a terrorist outside my door.
According to the woman, Fatin, or Fatosh as she is now called, said she received money from the security police and it was social services in Gothenburg that helped her with her protected identity. The reason given is that the authority felt that it might be more convenient for them not to be recognized as a terrorist in Gothenburg.
Reported for Threats
Back in Sweden, Fatin attempted to increase the social contribution by selling services marketed as a cross between Islam and voodoo, but which are in fact reminiscent of traditional bullying activities. On Facebook, she calls herself “Fatosh Montana” and uses her network of young girls to, among other things, try to make money on the black market by “casting spells” on others.
It is not clear whether the victims of the activity are actually at risk of crime, but the activity has been repeatedly reported to the police for, among other things, unlawful threats. However, all reports against the former ISIS terrorist have been dropped.
“She always walks around threatening young girls and says she’s going to ruin their lives,” said one of the women Fria Tider spoke to.
Zan Jankovski is the coordinator of work against violent extremism in the city of Gothenburg. He tells Fria Tider that the city’s tax-funded work is mainly to provide aid and support to extremists, not to support their possible victims of crime.
– We have a defector business. This defector activity has been around for a few years, it has been around for some time, he says.
– Then we talk about all the defined environments that exist.
Anyone threatened or exposed to other crimes by ISIS terrorists who returned from Syria, and whom the Swedish state has decided to protect, therefore cannot count on the help or support of the municipality.
– It’s a police matter. The role of the municipality is to offer support to people who need it, explains Zan Jankovski.