Journalist reveals testimonies of ISIS judge’s wife, secret witness behind his re-arrest

An ISIS militant who is believed to have ordered the burning of two Turkish soldiers in Syria, has initially denied having served as a judge for the group, but he eventually confessed to the charges, in the face of testimonies of his wife and a secret witness, journalist İsmail Saymaz wrote on Sept. 20. 

This file photo shows a group of ISIS militants in Syria.

Duvar English

In his testimony to Turkish authorities, Jamal Abdulrahman Alwi, who was acting as a Sharia judge for ISIS (known as qadi or kadi), initially denied his profession, saying he used to be an imam, journalist İsmail Saymaz wrote in a new column for Halk TV on Sept. 20.

Alwi is believed to have ordered the burning of two Turkish soldiers in Syria. Despite the gravity of the crimes, he was released from prison on March 2, 2021, after a mere nine months on the grounds that he had "no flight risk." But he was re-arrested by a court order early on Sept. 19, two days after Saymaz wrote that he was roaming free in Turkey's southeastern province of Gaziantep.

In his testimony to the Gaziantep authorities, Alwi reportedly said: “I was not a qadi in Syria. I was an imam. My code name was al-Haccac.”

However, the testimonies of a secret witness and Alwi's wife contradict the remarks of the ISIS militant. According to the secret eyewitness, Alwi took on the cases of opposition figures in Azez and handed down death penalties for many of them. One of these killed people was Mahmut Derviş, who was sentenced to death for violating the rule of not using smart mobile phones and for taking pictures.

The secret witness told Turkish authorities that he previously got a video from Derviş that showed Alwi going into an ISIS courthouse.

Just half an hour later after this video, the secret eyewitness received another video showing two Turkish soldiers being brought to the ISIS courthouse.

“Two hours later, we have heard that the Turkish soldiers were burned. When the prisoner swap offer was not accepted by Turkish authorities, they have martyred our soldiers with the help of Alwi,” Saymaz quoted the witness as saying.

Afterwards, Turkish authorities summoned Alwi's wife Nedya Wardi, who similarly confirmed that her husband was acting as an ISIS judge.

“In 2012, my husband was given the job of qadi in Azez. He did the job for five-six months. When he was a qadi, he took on several people's cases,” Wardi reportedly said.

Alwi initially refuted his wife's statements, saying: “My wife does not know how to read or write. She does not know the difference between a qadi and an imam. This is why I believe she has testified in a wrong way.”

However, Alwi eventually confessed to being an ISIS judge, after Turkish authorities recalled his testimony from a year ago.

When Alwi was caught on June 17, 2020 in Gaziantep, he had said in his testimony that he was indeed acting as a Sharia judge within ISIS territories before.

When the Gaziantep 4th Penal Court of Peace read out this testimony from a year ago, Alwi confessed to being an ISIS judge, wrote Saymaz.

“I was a qadi in simples issues such as theft, adultery and disagreements on land. There are four types of qadi. I was the qadi taking on cases concerning simple crimes,” Alwi said.

Meanwhile, a photograph displaying Alwi in the middle of ISIS militants with their long-barrelled weapons in hand has surfaced. Alwi claimed in his testimony that he was not fighting in combat for ISIS but was rather a “politician.”

The Gaziantep court arrested Alwi both on charges of being an executive of ISIS and ordering the burning of two Turkish soldiers.

“In the [court's] decision, it says according to the testimonies of witnesses and his wife, when Alwi was acting as a qadi for ISIS, he gave an order on Turkish soldiers or approved of it,” Saymaz wrote.