From hairdresser to ISIS fighter

Former ISIS militant tells why he fought 02:24

ISTANBUL, Turkey - In a small Turkish town, just two miles from the border with Syria, CBS News met a man who said he fought with ISIS.

He was too frightened to show his face on camera or give his name. He's a father of two children, and he used to be a hairdresser.

But when the Syrian civil war began three years ago, like many others he took up arms against the country's brutal dictatorship.

Before fighting for ISIS, the man was a hairdresser.

At first he joined the so-called moderate rebels, a rag tag group, who are backed by the U.S.

But he found them disorganized and corrupt.

In frustration, late last year he joined ISIS, because he said they're courageous on the battlefield and honest.

"When I joined ISIS, I gradually started to see the righteous path," he said. "They're fighting for the Sunni Muslims, and for Islam."

ISIS has a brutal approach to those who aren't Sunni Muslims. The group has massacred and crucified those who don't fit its narrow vision of Islam.

"Those found guilty get what they deserve," he told CBS News when asked about the group's brutality. "Massacres committed by the Syrian regime are ignored, but when ISIS massacres the infidels, everybody talks about it."

He doesn't behave like an Islamic extremist -- unlike most conservative Muslims he smokes -- but Syria's bloody civil war has radicalized him.

CBS News asked him about the murders of U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

"No one gets killed unless they're guilty," he said when asked if the two journalists deserved to die. "They must have done something wrong, otherwise why would they have been beheaded?"

Like many other ISIS fighters, he's used the Turkish border with Syria to cross into the war zone. Turkey is now mounting international pressure to do a better job of patrolling that border.