Now that’s student assistance squared!

An extraordinary tale has emerged from Sweden of how a Yazidi student from Iraq was saved from ISIS terrorists by his professor and her university colleagues.

A chemistry professor at Lund University [in Sweden] dispatched a team of mercenaries into an Islamic State (also known as IS, Isis or Daesh) war zone to free one of her doctoral students and his family.

Charlotta Turner, professor in Analytical Chemistry, received a text message from her student Firas Jumaah in 2014 telling her to to assume he would not finish his thesis if he had not returned within a week.

He and his family were, he told her, hiding out in a disused bleach factory, with the sounds of gunshots from Isis warriors roaming the town reverberating around them. Jumaah, who is from Iraq, is a member of the ethno-religious group Yazidi hated by Isis.

“I had no hope then at all,” Jumaah told Lund’s University Magazine LUM. “I was desperate. I just wanted to tell my supervisor what was happening. I had no idea that a professor would be able to do anything for us.”

. . .

But Turner was not willing to leave her student to die without trying to do something.

“What was happening was completely unacceptable,” she told LUM. “I got so angry that IS was pushing itself into our world, exposing my doctoral student and his family to this, and disrupting the research.”

She contacted the university’s then security chief Per Gustafson.

“It was almost as if he’d been waiting for this kind of mission,” Turner said. “Per Gustafson said that we had a transport and security deal which stretched over the whole world.”

Over a few days of intense activity, Gustafson hired a security company which then arranged the rescue operation.

A few days later two Landcruisers carrying four heavily-armed mercenaries roared into the area where Jumaah was hiding, and sped him away to Erbil Airport together with his wife and two small children.

There’s more at the link.

That’s got to be the most go-the-extra-mile (or few thousand miles) student assistance request in any university I’ve ever heard of!  Kudos to Lund University for stepping up to the plate.



  1. While in this country the professors and security staff actively support and defend the ISIS people.

    Hate this modern socialist-leftist controlled world…

  2. I'm a little surprised that a google of "Firas Jumaah" didn't turn up a couple gofundme 's for him. Article mentions the families paying back the cost of rescue.

  3. Roland was a warrior, from the land of the midnight sun…

    The eternal Thompson gunner still wanders through the night,
    now it's ten years later, but he still keeps up the fight.

  4. Wish I had such a committed doctoral advisor… mine thought that even telling me the time was a privilege I was unworthy of.

  5. The key sentence: "I got so angry that IS was pushing itself into our world, exposing my doctoral student and his family to this, and disrupting the research."


    That's a Real Scientist.

  6. Save the Yazidi student – yay!

    Import the Iraqi family into Sweden – Boo! They were safe when they got to Erbil.

  7. Kudos indeed. Why is it that I suspect that some U.S. Universities would send off an email to their favorite IS contact with details on the location of the student?

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