Tim Locks was once an imposing sight for British drunks, a beast of a man who served as a bouncer for Cheekies nightclub in Surrey who tossed out patrons when they got too unruly.
But now the 38-year-old has decided to take on a much bigger fight, selling his belongings and moving to Iraq to join the fight against ISIS. Locks, who also runs his own construction business, said he was moved when he learned about the plight of the Yazidi people, a small religious group pinned down by ISIS over the summer.
The group was trapped on Mount Sinjar, stuck without adequate food or supplies and subject to attacks meant at wiping them out. ISIS slaughtered scores of civilians and kidnapped women and girls to force them into sex slavery.
Tim Locks, sitting in his beautiful home, knew he had to do something to help.
“Last summer I was at home, watching the news and I saw pictures of Mount Sinjar,” he told the Daily Mail. “I just thought I have a great life, job, beautiful house and I thought it is time to help someone else.”
Locks said he’s not a religious man himself, but he was able to connect with a Christian militia called Dhekh Nawsha, which in Assyrian means “self sacrificers.”
“I had no specific wishes to join a specific group. I just wanted to help people out here. Any society which kills people, cuts people’s heads off needs to be challenged,” he said. “I put my home on the market and started to talk with a guy online. My house sold quickly and I met up en route with my friend from online.”
After a long journey, Locks reached Iraq and is now embedded with the militia group.
He may see some familiar faces when he engages the ISIS militants. Military intelligence officials believe there are hundreds of British citizens who have traveled to Iraq and Syria to fight alongside the Islamist extremist group.
Recently, three British schoolgirls are believed to be headed to the region to join the Islamist group, prompting friends and family to plead for them to return home.
“You had [a] bright future, so please return home,” read a statement from the family and friends of 15-year-old Amira Abase.
“Please come home Amira, everyone is missing you. You are strong, smart, beautiful and we are hoping you will make the right decision,” the statement added. “We miss you more tha[n] you can imagine. We are worried and we want you to think about what you have left behind.”
Tim Locks said he doesn’t regret his decision at all, despite leaving behind a very comfortable life.
“Back home I had TV in every room, a swimming pool, six to eight holidays abroad a year. I did what I wanted pretty much when I wanted,” he said. “Now I’m here helping people with next to nothing, with a group of guys I’ve known less than a couple of weeks but who feel like family already.”
Tim Locks said he is happy to trade tossing out drunks for fighting terrorists, saying, “any society which kills people, cuts people’s heads off needs to be challenged.”