Islamic State’s Best Strategy is to Recruit the Recruiters
As the Islamic State continues to push the size of its borders in the Middle East, it is expanding its reach across the world. Their social media exploits have been publicized as being a primary weapon to lure people to join their ranks, but the bigger threat they pose is in establishing supporters who can proselytize on their behalf from their home countries.
It isn’t the occasional recruits that they can con into joining their fight that should worry people. Since kids seem to be the most gullible to their ploys, it’s the responsibility of parents in the United States and abroad for making certain their children are not conned into something that they’ll regret. However, having “feet on the ground” is the bigger challenge. It’s idiocy to fall for social media and online communication ploys, but when a recruiter is in direct contact, the chances of losing people to the lie increases.
An example of this concluded today with a a guilty plea by 17-year-old Ali Shukri Amin. The Virginia honors student will likely face jail time for converting at least one person to radical Islam and helping a friend, Reza Niknejad, travel to join the Islamic State in Syria. His sentence will be decided on August 28. He faces up to 15 years.
The factors that can contribute to stupid moves such as joining the Islamic State or recruiting others to do it are very powerful in today’s western society. The general feeling amongst young people appears to be one of anti-Americanism, anti-democracy, and anti-Christianity. The romanticized variation of the story that the recruiters use can be appealing to the lost children who are face down in their smartphones and computers, disconnected from the realities of the world while maintaining a strong connection with the digital world. This can lead to isolation that makes them so susceptible to manipulation.
Under normal circumstance, we’re big proponents of the idea that “you raise you’re kids and I’ll raise mine.” The influence that kids seem to have over one another makes me a little more bullish on this particular subject. The biggest challenge with these domestic recruiters is that they can make things very bad in a hurry in our own lands if we don’t stifle the uprising immediately.
The moral of the story is this: we’re all responsible for the Islamic State. This isn’t a problem that the government can handle on its own nor would we want them to try. We have to teach our children what to notice amongst their friends. We must establish a level of trust with them so they will come to us with questions. We must be diligent about noticing changes in people without becoming unintended supporters of a police state mentality. This is a dangerous time to be in a western culture because the dangers are starting to form. It’s sad that we have to watch in every direction as the evils against us mount.