Three members of an outlaw motorcycle gang are currently in Iraq to fight terrorist organization Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL or IS. The three men are “stationed” in Mosul and fighting alongside the Kurds. Wars are raging throughout the Middle East and attract not just religious terrorists, but bikers and gangsters as well.
No Surrender MC is one of the Netherlands’ biggest outlaw biker clubs with membership numbers that rival the Dutch Hells Angels. The club was founded in 2013 by Klaas Otto. They became notorious for making several well-known Dutch gangsters prominent members, including Willem Holleeder, the man behind the kidnapping of beer tycoon Freddy Heineken, and Willem van Boxtel, founder and former president of the Dutch Hells Angels who was kicked out of the club.
The wars in the Middle East are attracting a wide variety of people with all sorts of motives. Young men from all over Europe, the United States, and as far away as Australia have joined up with terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq. Some of them did so to fight dictator Bashar al-Assad, others to fight the West and establish an Islamic State. In turn, mercenaries and Westerners joined up to wage war against ISIS, which is seen as the world’s premier terrorist threat.
This summer, a documentary showed how a Danish gang boss joined the fight against Assad. “On the streets of Copenhagen he is known as Big A, a convicted drug trafficker and the leader of one of Denmark's most notorious organized crime gangs. But on the frontline in northern Syria, Abderozzak Benarabe (left) is just another have-a-go jihadi, a man who joined the fight against Bashar al-Assad through a mix of restlessness, curiosity and a need for some kind of personal redemption.”