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The Bizarre Viral Story Of The Professor Who Hired Mercenaries To Rescue A Student From ISIS


Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

An epic and unheard of story of a rescue operation to free a graduate student from ISIS captivity is grabbing world headlines after it was revealed that a professor at a Swedish university financed and put together the whole plan by hiring mercenaries for the high risk venture of entering Islamic State territory.

In 2014 a chemistry PhD student named Firas Jumaah returned to his native Iraq while on break from Lund University, located outside of Malmo, Sweden. He returned in order to help his family escape ISIS, which at that time was sweeping northern Iraq, especially decimating the ethno-religious Yazidi community, to which Jumaah’s family belonged.

The Bizarre Viral Story Of The Professor Who Hired Mercenaries To Rescue A Student From ISIS

ISIS captured Mosul in the summer of 2014, via Reuters

In a cryptic text message Jumaah notified his graduate professor in Analytical Chemistry, Charlotta Turner, that he would not be returning to his studies. ISIS had advanced so rapidly that Jumaah and his family were trapped behind Islamic State lines.

According to Sweden’s The Local, which broke the story, Jumaah notified Lund University that he and his family were “hiding out in a disused bleach factory, with the sounds of gunshots from Isis warriors roaming the town reverberating around them.”

Though little in the way of details have been given, the professor along with Lund University’s then-security chief Per Gustafson took matters into their own hands, reportedly hiring a private security company to enter Iraq to search for Jumaah and his family. A team of mercenaries was then dispatched into Islamic State territory, which at that time stretched across Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul.

The Bizarre Viral Story Of The Professor Who Hired Mercenaries To Rescue A Student From ISIS

Fox News: “Firas Jumaah texted his professor to tell her that he’s unlikely to be able to finish his PhD as he was stuck in a town being surrounded by ISIS militants.”

“It was almost as if he’d been waiting for this kind of mission,” Turner told the university magazine, according to FOX. “Per Gustafson said that we had a transport and security deal which stretched over the whole world.”

For his part, not knowing the extreme measure the university had to taken to put a rescue team on the ground, Jumaah told Lund’s University Magazine LUM, “I had no hope then at all.” He added: “I was desperate. I just wanted to tell my supervisor what was happening. I had no idea that a professor would be able to do anything for us.”

Professor Turner said in interviews that she couldn’t just let her student die without exhausting all measures: “What was happening was completely unacceptable,” she told LUM. “I got so angry that IS was pushing itself into our world, exposing my doctoral student and his family to this, and disrupting the research.”

The Bizarre Viral Story Of The Professor Who Hired Mercenaries To Rescue A Student From ISIS

Firas Jumaah and Charlotte Turner at Lund University, Sweden

After the team of mercenaries were dispatched — perhaps the first in history to be hired to enter an active war zone on behalf of a university — they were quickly able to locate the graduate student, according to The Local:

A few days later two Landcruisers carrying four heavily-armed mercenaries roared into the area where Jumaah was hiding, and sped him away to Erbil Airport together with his wife and two small children.

Though Jumaah and his immediate family made it out, many of his other relatives did not. Jumaah is currently back in Sweden working for a pharmaceutical company in Malmo.

As for the bizarre and unlikely nature of the whole operation, the university security chief that first reached out to the mercenary team, Per Gustafson, said, “It was a unique event. As far as I know no other university has ever been involved in anything like it.”



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  • You can call me Al

    Another libtard brings 1 back.

    • Barba_Papa

      Have a little heart, people were saved from the clutches of ISIS. How can that be bad? Nobody deserves to be under ISIS rule, except neo-cons.

      • You can call me Al

        He volunteered and went there on his own free will. Shoot him.

        • Barba_Papa

          To rescue his family? Who wouldn’t? As a Yezhidi it wasn’t like he was going there to volunteer to join ISIS. He’d be killed on sight and his wife sold as a sex slave.

          • You can call me Al

            3 ….My apologies – I have re-read the article and I was wrong.

        • Promitheas Apollonious

          Al you do the same I think if your family was there. At least I would. Obviously from the comment I read he seem to be an important asset to a chemistry research, meaning in my opinion, military funded research. At least is how I read it other wise is no explanation why a university will pay a minimum of 1/4 of a million to save a student, with no fuss.

          • You can call me Al

            2 ….My apologies – I have re-read the article and I was wrong.

      • You can call me Al

        1 ….My apologies – I have re-read the article and I was wrong.

  • Garga

    It’s unbelievable. Not the part where a university professor cares for her student -for whatever reason, none of my business, as long as Firas is not an intelligence agent I’m willing to believe the professor did it innocently- but for the university to act upon very limited information they had and even the mercenary team. What would a mercenary expect to receive for such a mission?

    Universities all around the world are run by bureaucrats and almost everywhere is the same. They are happy to NOT do the things they must do in order to save a little bit of budget, let alone if it’s something like that.
    Such a mission can be done in less than 10 hours, given the team has sufficient information (the package whereabouts, timing, contact, etc). But about the mercenary. While there were many people with blue eyes, fair skin and hair in ISIS, the population in the region overwhelmingly have darker features. In parts of Iraq even an Iranian is easily recognizable, let alone a few “whities” who are not ISIS. I think we can assume that the mercs couldn’t be blond or with Nordic features, should be fluent in Arabic and aware of the general traditions, dialects and the religion (in Arabic, a native speaker can determine where are you from by just hearing you say pleasantries, like how do you do). So, a group of people with tanned skin, dark hair and eyes, military and even special forces training, able to speak Arabic with passable accent (at least able to pronounce different letters for S, Z, T and A in Arabic) and more importantly, motivated enough to do the mission.

    This information leads me to ONE place on earth: Israel, how about you? In this case, let’s return to the motivation part: Why? What made the student important enough? I sincerely hope the answer is “humanity”, but I must admit I doubt it.

    Anyway, interesting story. At least he and his family are alive and well. Cheers if everything is as innocent as it is presented.

  • Lazy Gamer

    Wow! A team funded by a University can accomplish more than some governments. Enrollment, highly recommended. They may have recruited Rambo. lol
    Just goes to show governments unwilling to take action.

  • To SouthFront:
    Where is my comment?