He met a girl, the young man explains, a conventional opening for a saga that soon veers into the realm of the sinister. An Iraqi girl. It was she who led him astray, he implies.
“I made a bad decision to go with the girl and go to Mosul,” he says matter-of-factly, referring to the northern Iraqi city under control of Islamic State extremists. “At the time I made the decision to go, I wasn’t thinking straight.”