Jihad isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, say disgruntled Isis recruits

It ain’t half cold here mum. My iPod has packed up. All I do is the washing-up.

Some of the messages sent home to France by disgruntled Isis volunteers sound like letters from homesick school-children. A number of young French men and women fighting or working for Isis in Iraq and Syria have appealed to relatives and lawyers to help them to come home.

A selection of their messages, leaked to the newspaper Le Figaro, contrast bizarrely with the image of implacable and hard-hearted jihad peddled by terror websites. “I’m fed up to the back teeth. My iPod no longer works out here. I have got to come home,” said a message from a French fighter in Syria.

Another disillusioned volunteer said: “I’m sick of it. They make me do the washing-up.” A third appealed for clemency from the French authorities, who have a policy of arresting returning jihadis. “I’ve done hardly anything but hand out clothes and food,” he said. “I’ve also cleaned weapons and moved the bodies of killed fighters . Winter is beginning. It’s starting to get tough.”