ISIS Puts Out Desperate Plea For Doctors

A letter from the Islamic State reveals severe lack of trained doctors and medical staff

Jan 03, 2016 at 12:33 PM ET

ISIS is calling on doctors and medical students in the West to come join the Islamic State. The call comes via an open letter posted on one of the terror group’s main online forums.

The message, titled “A Letter To Muslim Doctors In The West,” offers a rare glimpse into the state of medical care in areas controlled by the Islamic State. The letter was originally published in April by the British ISIS recruiter Omar Hussain, 27, and recirculated in both English and Arabic late Saturday by members of the forum, where Vocativ obtained it.

“This is a letter to all the doctors who are living in Dar Al-Kufr Wal-Fasaad (the land of disbelief and corruption),” the letter begins. “When the Jihad in Syria started, many doctors fled the country to live in Turkey or other countries. This caused an insufficient number of remaining doctors to treat the wounded.”

ISIS ramped up propaganda efforts stop the mass exodus of skilled professionals who’ve fled the group’s advance for Europe. A flurry of videos and articles by the group call on doctors and medical professionals, along with teachers, oil field professionals and others, to come join.

In this letter, Omar Hussain details the unequipped and understaffed hospitals. “I have been to the hospitals up and down the State and so many hospitals lack not only man power but also doctors who are qualified for their jobs. I have seen many trainees training others on how to treat wounds, and many errors are committed by these untrained, unqualified, inexperienced helpers.” He writes of “errors” he’s seen in care, bad hygiene and procedures performed by people without the skills to do them safely.

“You do not need to be an expert in your field to make a difference here, even someone with a year or two of studies is a big help,” Hussain writes. The letter concludes with a religious call to potential new recruits.

“You may be getting a high wage in the West, but what about the high rewards in the hereafter? The wage here may not be as much as you get in the west but do we live for this life or do we live for the hereafter? Is money more important than the life of your Muslim brother?”