#ISIS Recruiting and Internet Jihadism

When I began writing my latest novel, Paladine,  it was supposed to a be my attempt to write a “normal” assassination thriller.  An ex-Special Forces commando goes into business as a mercenary.  His targets: terrorists.  However, when I got into the research I was shocked.  I knew there had to be radicalized jihadists living in the United States because the FBI has arrested many of them in sting operations.[1] [2] However, there is evidence, readily available from Internet sources, that Sheik Mubarak Ali Jilani, a sheik from Pakistan, a suspected terrorist which the U.S. government alleges is the founder of the terrorist organization, Jamaat ul-Fuqra[3], is also the founder of  Muslims of America, Inc.[4] which allegedly has established jihad training compounds in the States which are classified by law enforcement as “classically structured terrorist cells.” [5]  A storage locker maintained by the group in Colorado Springs was raided by local police in 1989, who found a cache of firearms, grenades, plastic explosives and target practice silhouettes labeled “Zionist Pig” and “FBI Anti-Terrorist Squad.”[6][7][8][9]

Claims have been made by the anti-Islamic group, Christian Action Network[10] that the MOA trains men and women to be jihadists and to take action upon Gilani’s order.[11]  Reports by the Anti-Defamation League indicate that the group’s emails and web sites have featured writings by anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers and advocate jihadist violence.[12]

The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) was established in 2004 to serve as the primary organization in collecting and analyzing all intelligence pertaining to terrorism possessed or acquired by the U.S. government.[13]  However, according to a 2011 Congressional Report, it is powerless to do any of its own enforcement and, instead, must rely on other government agencies. The report provides: “Arguably most important, however, is the capability of ensuring that analysts are integrated into the counterterrorism effort, that operational planning is shared with analytical offices so that particular reactions or threats can be anticipated and assessed. The most important “wall” may not be the one that existed between law enforcement and intelligence agencies prior to 2001, but the one that often persists between analysts and operators. The latter may lack the time and opportunity to integrate analytical efforts into their ongoing work, but if the country is aiming for a “zero defects” approach to terrorism, close attention to intelligence is a prerequisite. Some experienced observers maintain that “zero defects” is unrealizable, some failures are inevitable and argue that it is more responsible to minimize failures and limit their effects. The use of intelligence by policymakers and military commanders is in largest measure the responsibility of the Executive Branch, but some observers argue that the quality of analysis may be enhanced when analytical efforts are regularly reviewed by congressional committees and hearings are conducted to ensure that they are properly prepared and fully used.”[14]

President Obama held a briefing with his national security team at the NCTC in December 2015[15] but it was largely symbolic, resulting in no change in policy.  As an example of enforcement’s shortcomings, the terrorists in that case were on both watch lists – TIDE and TSDB – but were cleared as potential threats by the bureau – twice.  After they were cleared, they went on to commit one of the most horrific terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

There is a growing threat from the so-called “lone-wolf” attacks, such as we have seen in Nice and other parts of Europe, but there are also jihadists recruiters for the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Nusra using social media to connect with potential jihadists for financing and soldiering.[16]

What is most alarming is that most of the recruits are young people; many of them teenagers.[17]  While recruiting used to be face-to-face, many recruits to ISIS and other terrorist organizations come from social media, where the terrorist organizations all have Twitter and Facebook pages.  The teenagers are exposed to the terrorist propaganda, and by the time they make contact to sign up, they have already been radicalized.

Current economic and social conditions are putting more than usual pressures on young people.  The virtual reality of the Internet creates an escape from real life that can be more destructive than drugs.  When suicidal tendencies turn into homicidal tendencies, it is easy to see how more lone-wolf terrorist attacks like the Bastille Day attack in Nice on July 14th could occur, not only abroad, but on U.S. soil.

While enforcement is a problem that must be addressed on a national level by connecting up law enforcement with the latest data on suspected terrorists, the radicalization of young people is a local problem that must be solved within families, schools and peer groups.  Perhaps religious leaders of traditional Islam can do more to reach out to these young people, using the binary, technical language of their generation.

[1] Pfeiffer, Alex, 31 Suspected ISIS Terrorists Have Been Arrested in the U.S. In the Past Year, The Daily Caller, August 6, 2016

[2] Goldman, Adam, The Islamic State’s suspected inroads into America, The Washington Post, August 8, 2016

[3] Bocuher, Richard, Daily Press Briefing, United States Dept. of State, March 27, 2002

[4] Mauro, Ryan, Muslims of the Americas (MOA), The Clarion Project, February 12, 2013

[5] Brown, Carol, Muslims of America training compounds, American Thinker, September 20, 2015

[6] Hossenball, Mark, Another Holy War, Waged on American Soil, Newsweek, February 28, 1994

[7] Mauro, Ryan, Muslims of the Americas (MOA), The Clarion Project, February 12, 2013

[8] Brown, Carol, Muslims of America training compounds, American Thinker, September 20, 2015

[9] The Blaze, For the Record, Sleeper Cells Inside Our Nation?, Febraury 19, 2014

[10] Is There a Muslim Terrorist Training Camp Near You?, The Conservative Papers, May 7, 2013

[11] Brown, Carol, Muslims of America training compounds, American Thinker, September 20, 2015

[12] Muslims of the Americas: In Their Own Words, Anti -Defamation League, http://archive.adl.org/extremism/moa/

[13] NCTC website: https://www.nctc.gov/index.html

[14] Best, Richard A., The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) Responsibilities and Potential Congressional Concerns, December 19, 2011, Congressional Research Service

[15] White House, Office of Press Secretary, Statement by the President After Briefing at National Counterterrorism Center, December 17, 2015

[16] Bardin, Jeff, What it’s like to be recruited by ISIS online, May 22, 2015, Business Insider

[17] Geiger, Gloria, This is How ISIS Uses Social Media to Recruit American Teens, November 20, 2015, Teen Vogue

Described by critics as “one of our strongest thriller writers on the scene,” author Kenneth Eade, best known for his legal and political thrillers, practiced law for 30 years before publishing his first novel, “An Involuntary Spy.” Eade, an up-and-coming author in the legal thriller and courtroom drama genre, has been described by critics as “One of our strongest thriller writers on the scene and the fact that he draws his stories from the contemporary philosophical landscape is very much to his credit.” He is the author of the “Brent Marks Legal Thriller Series”, the fifth installment of which, Killer.com, won best legal thriller in the 2015 Beverly Hills Book Awards, and the “Involuntary Spy Espionage Series”.Said Eade of the comparisons, “Readers compare me in style to John Grisham and, there are some similarities, because John also likes to craft a story around real topics and we are both lawyers. However, all of my novels are rooted in reality, not fantasy. I use fictional characters and situations to express factual and conceptual issues. Some use the term ‘faction’ to describe this style, and it is present in all my fictional works.”

Eade has written fourteen novels, which are now in the process of being translated into six languages. He is known to keep in touch with his readers, and offers a free Kindle book to all those who sign up at his web site, http://www.kennetheade.com.

Email: info@kennetheade.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KennethGEadeBestsellingauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KennethEade1

Source: Internet Jihadism

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