After being captured by Kurdish forces while attempting a suicide bombing attack in an Iraqi town, an Islamic State fighter reportedly begged Kurdish troops to kill him right away. His reason – he was certain there was a 4 PM religious ceremony scheduled for him in heaven.
He was among the 50 assigned to bomb the Christian town of Tel Askuf, on an Islamic holy day, the “Isra and Mi’iraj celebration”, Peshmerga Lt. Col. Salim ak-Surji reportedly told the Turkish News Agency Rudaw: “They were supposed to commit suicide using their suicide belts because today is the anniversary of the Isra and Mi’iraj celebration….He told me ‘all of us must be in heaven by 4 p.m., kill me.”
The celebration marks Prophet Muhammad’s night journey to Jerusalem and temporary ascension to heaven, to receive sacred instructions from Allah, according to Islamic belief.
Surji said he he spotted one of the fighters still alive among the many his forces had taken down.
“I put my hand on his chest and found that he was breathing…He was also conscious and talking. His explosive belt had not detonated and he was hurt in his ankle due to the explosion of one of his comrades. He was able to walk. He told me ‘you are infidels, kill me.’”
‘Heaven’ is marketed as the ultimate getaway – a Daily Mail explains how there’s not only a lineup of 72 virgins, but “Seven Rewards”, which includes “forgiveness of all sins”, a “place in paradise reserved”, being “crowned with glory” with a holy stone, being spared the “suffering of the grave”, the “the horror of the Day of Judgment” and also “places reserved in paradise for 70 members of his family.”