In my previous article about the refugee camp in Calais, France—known colloquially as “The Jungle”—I mentioned how happy people appeared to be there but like everything that looks too good on the surface, there is a darker side to the camp trying to claw its way out.

It was my second day in The Jungle, and I had made some friends who opened up to me about life in the campSome revealed why they refused to move or stay in other camps around Europe.

One of the young lads who was willing to talk with me was Stavan, from Kurdistan, age 21 from Sulaymina, Iraq. He once had family in Mosul but they were killed by ISIS. Stavan’s story was different from others because he still has family in Iraq, but does not want to live there anymore. He fears the government and hates the president. He goes on to tell me, “that our president is a dictator and he oppresses our people, he fixes the voting. I do not want to be there when it all goes bad.”

He had made the rough journey from Iraq through Turkey, then Greece, into Germany, and finally to France. He went on to tell me he was in Germany for while where he was finger printed and processed by the police. They also still have his passport. When I asked him why he did not want to stay in Germany he replied, “Because it’s not safe there. ISIS is there in the refugee camp. I know no Kurd who wants to be there. If they find out I am a Kurd, I am dead. You don’t realize that ISIS has spies everywhere. It’s not safe.”

I ask how do you know there is ISIS spies? “Come on man, you are not a stupid man, do you honestly think that ISIS fighters are not smuggling themselves into Europe with us? We hear things in the camps along the journey and there I hear many talk of ISIS spies in the camps.” My answer was, well how do you know they are not here in this camp? “I don’t but there is a big Kurd community in this camp, they could be here who knowns.”

We talk and walk around the camp. He was showing me some more areas to the camp and how it was laid out. To the north were the Sudanese and other Africans, to the south the Kurds, and in between were a mix of Afghans, Iranians, and Pakistanis. We head to a makeshift cook house ran by an older Afghan man and a younger man, in true old school fashion I want to seem like a friendly chap so I order some food. “Chicken and rice with some of that good Afghan nan.” I can say this, I never saw any chickens and when my food rocked up it was not chicken on the plate maybe cat. Who the hell knows, I tucked in all the same. Just for record the nan was amazing.

We get talking, but he looks nervous now with some other Middle Eastern men sitting around the cook house. He goes on to tell me, “it’s not safe to talk here. There are some bad people in this camp and when they see us talking with white people they don’t like it.” I said to him, what do mean bad people? “There are bad people, you know, like smugglers and drug dealers. If they see us talking to people like you it’s not good. They are scared that I will tell on them.” After this, two guys came over and wanted to see my camera so I said ueah, sure boys, help yourself sitting there smoking a cigarette like a boss in a makeshift hut in the middle of the jungle.