Australia’s Jihadis

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More than half of Islamic State’s recruits are foreigners, and they’ve got one thing in common. They don’t know much about Islam.

Most are recent Islamic converts with minimal connection to Syria or Iraq.

Another common denominator is their search for a meaningful cause and reason for their life. To belong to a common moral ground and fight for a religious belief, however disillusioned it may be, is a large attraction to these disaffected individuals.

Melbourne teenager Jake Bilardi perfectly fit this profile.

Going from his suburban bedroom, to a role as an Islamic State “martyr” in a matter of months, Jake was targeted with Jihad Da’wa — an ‘invitation to conduct jihad.

Most likely, he was in contact with Al Hayat, the IS social media unit. The unit is highly sophisticated and polished. The high quality and choreographed nature of videos indicates the people behind them have western training. This social media campaign is a large part of what attracts foreigners to the Islamic State cause.

And it’s likely IS’s capture of Ramadi, only 90 minutes from Baghdad, will make stemming western recruitment even more difficult.

The Islamic State is no longer operating as an insurgency – the Islamic State is conducting a war. The group now controls an area larger than some European countries. With a fully formed government that provides all the necessary civil services to those under their control. IS has evolved as a terrorist organization and those combating this group must also evolve if they hope to succeed. To overcome Islamic State, we must understand how they operate.

THE COMMON DENOMINATOR IN WESTERN RECRUITS

Islamic State recruits are from all walks of life and education, however a common denominator is their ignorance of Islam; with the majority of western recruits being recent Islamic converts with minimal connection to Syria or Iraq.

Another common denominator is their disillusionment with their current life, and their search for a meaningful cause and reason for life. To fight for a common belief, however disillusioned it may be, is a large attraction to the recruits.

FIRST STEPS TO RECRUITMENT

The first step for potential IS recruits is to source, either online or in person, a spiritual leader with hard line Islamic views. These spiritual leaders or mentors most likely have a connection with or know someone who has joined IS ranks. These spiritual leaders will then introduce the IS hopeful to a recruiter either via Twitter, Skype or Facebook ahead of an interview process to evaluate the interviewee’s commitment to the cause…Click HERE to find out more about this article

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