"Most of the people who died were valid targets and those who were caught up in the attacks will be accepted by God." So says Abu Abdullah, a former ISIS suicide-bomb commander who agreed—perhaps under official pressure—to give an interview to the Guardian from his prison cell in Baghdad. Shackled and chained, moving slowly, and still bearing the scars of an old bullet wound to the head, Abdullah explained how he trained bombers in his workshop in the city's southern suburbs between 2011 and his capture last year. "I met them at the door, and first I would greet them and look at them to see if they were ready," he says. "Then we would sit down to pray and read the Koran." Never did one lose their nerve, he says, and only once did Abdullah have any regrets.
"A martyr I took to the market in Qadhimeya blew himself up near women and children and that troubled me, but the next day I was calm about it," he says. "I knew I had to be true to my ideology and I just got on with the day." Although a prison officer says Abdullah is less ideological than some inmates and "sang like a bird on the first day," the former ISIS leader—once considered the group's "emir" in Baghdad—gave his message to the West when guards left the room: "Islam is coming. What the Islamic State has achieved in the past year cannot be undone. The caliphate is a reality." Meanwhile, an ISIS suicide attack killed two Iraqi generals in Ramadi last week, the New York Times reports, and rumor has it that ISIS fighters have been purposely infected with HIV (from a Moroccan sex slave) as a way of marking them for suicide bombings, the Daily Beast reports. (Read more suicide bombing stories.)