Who would dare stay in a five-star hotel run by ISIS, the Islamic State? The property certainly looks flash in the publicity shots – but it might turn out to be like the Hotel California in the Eagles’ song: “You can check out any time you like, but you just can never leave.”
The ISIS hotel is in fact the five-star Nineveh International hotel on the river Tigris. It has re-opened under ISIS management, with jihadi weddings a speciality.
Glossy pics of the Nineveh hotel are among shots taken in the city of Mosul in Iraq, now under ISIS control. A report at the weekend by Britain’s Sunday Mirror says Islamic State has posted the photos on social media to lure jihadists and newly radicalised recruits to Mosul, the city it took over a year ago.
ISIS is also running bridal shops, pizza outlets and shopping malls, the paper reports.
The paper says that any newcomers naïve enough to fall for the slick pics find reality in Mosul rather different, with public executions in the streets, beheadings and many other barbarities.
A former resident of the city is quoted as saying: “Theft is punished by amputating a hand, adultery by men by throwing the offender from a high building, and adultery by women by stoning to death.”
The phrase “You can check out any time you like, but you just can never leave” seems to apply to the whole city. The article says people in Mosul “live under strict rules and can only leave in exceptional circumstances”.
No rates for the hotel are available but in any case it is an offence for Australians to stay there or to visit Mosul, “an area in which a listed terrorist organisation is engaging in a hostile activity”.
Visitors to Mosul could find themselves jailed for a lengthy period on return to Australia, giving yet another meaning to that lyric: “You can check out any time you like, but you just can never leave.”
Written by Peter Needham