ISIS Disrupted: Pirate Radio Takes Command of Airwaves into Mosul [VIDEOS]

ISIS Disrupted: Pirate Radio Takes Command of Airwaves into Mosul [VIDEOS]

ISIS Disrupted: Pirate Radio Takes Command of Airwaves into Mosul [VIDEOS]

Since invading Mosul, Iraq, in 2014, ISIS has made the ancient city a virtual hell.

The Iraqi Army is steadily making its way into Mosul, after taking the city of Kirkuk days earlier. But don’t cheer yet — US and Kurdish forces both caution that it will be a long haul to liberate Mosul. ISIS knows its control of the city will end, but it plans to leave a scorched earth behind. Recently ISIS has been using civilian human shields from Mosul, and executed nearly 300 men and boys.

Then on Saturday, ISIS forces torched a sulfur plant in the city, leaving civilians gasping for air.

Yet an inspiring story of heroism in Mosul’s quest for freedom has emerged. It doesn’t involve bullets or bombs, but a man armed with music, microphones, and truth.

In a secret location in Kurdish territory, Mohamad Al Mawsily and two business partners are manning a pirate radio station. Broadcast into the beleaguered city of Mosul, the station — named “Alghad,” meaning “tomorrow” — defies ISIS by providing a million residents what it forbids: music, and the truth about radical Islam.

Al Mawsily (not his real name) fled Mosul with his parents in June, 2014, as ISIS troops rolled into town, waving their black flags and their machine guns. The 28-year-old, who was educated as a computer scientist at the University of Colorado, was fortunate enough to have the finances to start a new life relatively easily. But he remembered his hometown of Mosul, and wanted to somehow let a bit of the outside world break through. He cobbled together enough financing through donations and his own funds to launch a sophisticated operation with high-end equipment, and even leather chairs.

Alghad began by broadcasting music and commentary challenging Islamism and the authority of the caliphate. It also allowed Mosul residents to call into the station, relating how ISIS had turned their once-diverse city into wretchedness.


ISIS began jamming Alghad’s signals. But Al Mawsily was undeterred. He bought four powerful transmitters, two of which are used to broadcast. A third is used to block ISIS’s propaganda. The fourth has been jammed by ISIS.


And the people keep calling, and tales of life under ISIS keep pouring in.

They report ISIS building walls in neighborhoods, which they fear will trap them during the upcoming siege. They tell how ISIS is booby-trapping buildings and producing IED’s. A woman named Rahma described artillery and mortar fire along the Tigris River, which was confirmed by subsequent callers. All were frightened.

A woman named Zahra once called in, anguish in her voice, telling Ahmad Salim, one of the broadcasters: “There is no food. Life is hard. We are in a chaotic situation. But we don’t care if we starve. We just want liberation to come.”

Generated by IJG JPEG Library
Generated by IJG JPEG Library

Salim fought back tears during that call. Al Mawsily was also close to breaking down, recognizing that despite Zahra’s fears, she was the “spirit of Mosul.”

She was also valiant to make that call. As Al Mawsily put it, “Every caller from Mosul takes a risk to call in: Death.”

There is a spark deep within the human soul that refuses to be extinguished, despite deprivation and brutal oppression. That’s the desire to live free. A people who have once lived free cannot remain silenced and in shackles. The pirate radio station Alghad gives the people of Mosul the opportunity to speak out, and the hope that soon they will be able to determine their own lives once again. As Al Mawsily says, “When I sleep at night, I feel like I have done something.”

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

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