The sister of Abu Rumaysah, the man who is widely believed to be the masked executioner in a recently released Islamic State propaganda video, has just answered some very interesting questions about her brother.
Appearing before the Home Affairs Select Committee in Parliament, Konika Dhar answered questions from politicians who wanted to understand what made her brother, who was born to a Hindu family and named Siddhartha Dhar, convert to Islam and move his family to live under Islamic State rule.
These are the main points Dhar made to the committee.
- She believes her brother was brainwashed.
- She thinks he was a bit naive — but in a pleasant way.
- She misses her brother very much.
- It’s been very difficult to maintain a relationship with her brother since he became a terrorist.
- Dhar last saw her brother in 2014 — she said he seemed “OK.”
- Rumaysahm kept his “political movements” private.
She didn’t know he’d changed his name from his original Hindu name Siddhartha Dhar until after he moved to Syria.
Screenshot/parliamentlive.tvKonika Dhar appearing before the Home Affairs Select Committee.
- He used to ask her and her mother to wear Islamic dress when he met them. She thought he was joking.
- She started worrying that her brother had been radicalised three years ago, two years before he travelled to Syria.
- Dhar couldn’t pinpoint exactly why she thought he might have been radicalised.
- Her brother sent her an email from Syria saying he was happy with his life.
- She believes her brother is a “good man.”
Dhar was pushed hard by Conservative MP Victoria Atkins on how she could think that her brother was a “good man” even though he had joined an organisation that carries out murder, rape, and slavery. She struggled to answer the question, saying that as far as she was concerned, she grew up with a different person.
She emphasised to MPs that she doesn’t want to give up on her brother and wants him to come home. She “would like to think” that he could be rehabilitated.
Unfortunately the one question everyone really wanted to know, she couldn’t answer: does she think the man in the recent ISIS execution video is her brother?
“I think that’s a bit of an unfair question at the moment,” she said, before adding that she hopes it isn’t.
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