I did not know that men of courage as ‘Lwanda Magere’ and ‘Koitalel Arap’ Samoei who fought with zeal still exist in this generation. Not once or even twice have I thought of a lion whenever I hear of the Iraqi’s Shiite militiaman Ayyub Faleh Hassan al Rubbaie commonly known as Abu Azrael aka ‘the angel of death’. Abu Azrael is a commander of the Kataib al-Imam Ali, an Iraqi Shi'a militia group of the Popular Mobilization Forces that has been fighting ISIS in Iraq. To me, he is the real definition that fear is not what characterizes bravery but boldness amid fear is bravery. His dauntlessness and dedication to see an ISIS free Iraq has grown him into a fearless and mighty warrior determined to fight evil.
With only a sword and an ax which are old school fighting tactics, Abu Azrael in 2015 while on a mission to protect and save abducted Christians slaughtered 1500 ISIS terrorists armed with modern sophisticated weapons synonymous to the Biblical tale of David killing a fully armed Goliath with only a sling and a stone.
He further became famous following the 13 November 2015 terror attacks by ISIS militants in Paris, during which nearly 130 people were killed. A high number of casualties and the heinous acts perpetrated by the terrorists left many people across the world feeling powerless to avert future bloodshed. This came to a halt when stories about Abu Azrael’s stamina spread across the globe hence counter-weighing that fear, providing the comforting vision of a man who better understood the attackers while deftly hitting and pursuing them to their hiding cages.
His ability to strike fear into the terror group through sharing social media posts of him burning and mutilating the bodies of the terrorists, like shawarma, terrifies ISIS members to an extent they never wish to hear his name and are even prompted to revenge with a similar act on captured Iraqi officers.
They may come to us with grenades, bombs, IEDs, guns, etc., but all we need is fearless spirit and determination to defeat them.
Behind Azrael’s ever-smiling face, bald head, and prodigious beard lies a lion-hearted man ready to tear apart its prey at its slightest provocation. His catchphrase ‘Ella Tahin’ meaning ‘grind to dust’ perfectly describes his fierce ability to pulverize his enemies ISIS into powder and has earned him popularity among many citizens who’ve used the slogan to brand t-shirts, body tattoos and even inspiring music videos.
To date, the former lecturer, a father of five and a one- time Taekwondo Champion also known as the ‘Iraqi Rambo’, vows to continue holding the bull by its horn to ensure no more ISIS even if death eventually comes. He is the angel of death to matters terror not worried about being a target of ISIS extremists. Abu Azrael has become an icon to many, boosting fellow fighters’ morale whenever he shows up at a battle. We need several such heroes who are willing to put an end to these violent extremist gangs popping up now and then! As terrorism continues to pose a threat to the security of every country in the world, the courage and determination of Abu Azrael should be in the bloodstream of everyone in combating violent extremism. This war cannot be won if we allow fear to dominate us. Let us not relent or surrender in the defense against the shedding of innocent blood by the merciless terror groups. They may come to us with grenades, bombs, IEDs, guns, etc., but all we need is fearless spirit and determination to defeat them.