If a recruiter can talk a person into terrorism, it is also possible to talk him back out of it.
Recruiters continue to be prolific online, encouraging supporters to hope and work toward the Caliphate’s return and to seek revenge on those who destroyed it by mounting attacks at home.
While a Moldovan woman was certainly “rescued” from the well-documented dire conditions at al Hol, she was being held as a detainee in Camp al Hol as an ISIS fighter’s wife.
They were either brought, or born, into the terrorist group by their parents who served ISIS in various capacities.
Some died in Syria and some have made their way back home, but nearly 10,000 male FTFs, approximately 2,000 of them from Europe, are currently being held by the Syrian Democratic Forces.
The SDF acknowledges these escapes, most recently confirming Swedish news reports that ISIS women from the Netherlands, France, Finland, Switzerland and Sweden have all been smuggled out of the camp in recent months.
In an unusual twist, ISIS spokesperson Abu Hamza al-Qurashi broke ranks with previous statements by al Qaeda, its affiliates, and ISIS in singling out and threatening Qatar, rather than their usual targets Saudi Arabia or Western powers.
Defending violence as defensive in nature is in line with terror groups, but there are key differences.
In some of these returnees, violence has been forsaken for the time being, but this Takfiri mindset is still present.
Lessons for the world to learn about how terrorist groups use humanitarian crises to influence and engage youth.
When Ibn Adam was introduced to Awlaki’s virulent influence, Awlaki was already dead, drone killed in Yemen by the American forces. Yet Awlaki was still alive and well on the Internet.
Some commenters took the counternarrative and speaker having been from their country as an insult to their national pride and thus suggested that they did not find the speaker credible.
Of the 236 ICSVE interviews that have been translated and coded on 342 variables, 117 reported some element of Internet-based recruitment as part of their process of joining the group.
With COVID-19 we are dealing with an invisible stressor and the potentially traumatic threat of death to ourselves and our loved ones. Widespread feelings of anxiety and depression may, in the long run, cause a new kind of post-traumatic stress.
There are reports from all over the world of fanatical religious preachers representing fringe elements of most of the major faiths telling their communities to continue coming to worship, even to take religious pilgrimages, that God will not allow them to fall ill.
Western women had all sorts of reasons for joining ISIS, from seeking romance, falling in love, wanting an adventure, following a man, or escaping a bad family situation, to rejecting Western society where they felt rejected themselves.
The participants had vast variation in their educational levels and socioeconomic statuses, thus representing the broad range of people from all over the world who have joined ISIS.
The reluctance by EU member states to take responsibility for those who left from their territories to join ISIS is due to concerns about ISIS returnees constituting a danger to European society and inability to prosecute and imprison them.
Lisa went to Syria hoping to find freedom from alcohol and the “sins” that had plagued her life and to start anew deepening and following the Islam in which she found comfort. Yet she ended up repeatedly imprisoned.
This act of war may lead to exactly what Soleimani was aiming for – ousting U.S. forces from Iraq and diminishing U.S. influence there.