An Islamic State leader has spoken out about his life as one of the world’s most wanted terrorists in a startlingly frank interview. In the sensational interview, Rachid Kassim claimed beheading ISIS prisoners was ‘a pleasure’ and said the saddest thing about fleeing France for Syria was leaving his pet cat behind.
He is one of the world’s most wanted men after he was linked to a string of terror attacks in Europe, including the murder of a Catholic priest near Normandy in France, and the slaughter of a policeman and his partner near Paris.
French-born Kassim also appeared in a propaganda video for Islamic State just six days after Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhel murdered 86 people in the July Nice terror attack, which took place in on Bastille Day.
In the footage he praised the attack, promised more atrocities in France, and beheaded a prisoner on film.
The 29-year-old is also believed to have run an encrypted app called Telegram, used by jihadists to share tips on how to carry out terror attacks. The app was taken offline by French security services in September.
Kassim gave the on-the-record interview to Washington-based academic Amarnath Amarasingam, who researches jihadism, the Mirror reports.
When asked how it had felt to behead a prisoner, he said: ‘To behead an animal, it would be difficult, with enemies of Allah, it is a pleasure.’
Kassim, also known as Ibn Qassim. also revealed that he fled France after being placed under constant surveillance because of his radical views.
He left for Syria in the middle of the night, taking his wife and young daughter with him with just 1,500 Euros in his pocket.
‘I thought of attacking France when I was there, and my family was afraid because of it,’ he said. ‘The cops knew about me. Every time I went jogging, there were always two cops following me. Then they hide. It was ridiculous. ‘We left everything behind. Especially my cat. I had a wonderful cat that I left in Gaziantep. It was one of the saddest things about my hijrah (migration to Syria).’