The father of Atheer Ali stands beside his grave in Gogjali cemetery in eastern Mosul, Iraq, February 4, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Kalin
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"My dear family, please forgive me," reads the handwritten letter discarded in the dusty halls of a Daesh (ISIS) training compound in eastern Mosul.In several cases this involved carrying out suicide attacks – Daesh's most effective weapon against a U.S.-backed military campaign to retake the group's last major urban bastion in Iraq.His letter never reached his family. The militants also left a handwritten registry containing the personal details of about 50 recruits. Akeedi's entry says he pledged allegiance on Dec. 1, 2014, a few months after the militants seized Mosul.Akeedi rarely visited his family after joining the militants. On his last trip home he told his father he was going to carry out a suicide attack in Beiji, an oil refinery town south of Mosul where the militants had been fighting off repeated offensives by the Iraqi military.A few months later, Akeedi's family was told by the militants that he had succeeded.Ali was shy and slim, lacking a fighter's mentality or build, Abu Amir said in an interview at his eastern Mosul home, sifting through family photos.
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