Residents of ISIS’s former Iraqi stronghold of Mosul have warned that extremists were still living among civilians in parts of the city liberated by U.S.-backed troops.
“There are at least 30 ISIS terrorists in my neighborhood. We know them very well,” said Mohammed Sinan, an unemployed businessman who lives in the Al-Andulus area in eastern Mosul that was recaptured in January.
Zuher Al-Juburi, a government-appointed city councilor in Mosul, told NBC News there were hundreds of ISIS members living throughout the city. NBC News could not verify these accounts.
“The only thing they did is they shaved their beards and changed their clothes,” he said late Saturday.
Al-Juburi, who is also the spokesman for Nineveh Hashed, a Sunni militia that fought against ISIS in Mosul, told NBC News that ISIS members remain active in the city.
“It is wrong to say that these are sleeping ISIS cells, because they are active and launch terror attacks from time to time,” he said.
Not all of the ISIS members still living in Mosul are fighters, according to Al-Juburi. Some simply advocate the group’s extreme interpretation of Islam and support it with money, he said.
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SOURCE: NBC News, Saphora Smith