Cubs of the Caliphate

Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Gamal Nkrumah, April 16, 2015.

The recruitment techniques of the Al-Qaeda and Islamic State terrorist groups differ in Europe and North America and the Arab and Islamic worlds.  

Apocalyptic reasoning is a primary feature of many religions, whether monotheistic or polytheistic. And so is the unsettling ambiguity of violence. Islam has no monopoly on bloodshed. Nevertheless, in recent years Islamist terrorists have tarnished the image of Islam, particularly in the West where the religion is sometimes projected as being synonymous with bloodletting and terrorism.

Numerous questions continue to be unanswered. So traumatised have the victims and their families been by the ferocity of terrorist psychological warfare methods that the terrorists’ recruitment techniques that lure young people into their lairs have often left the world befuddled by precisely how the recruitment system works.

Paradoxically, warfare and terrorism were in some cases originally intended to champion the underdog. Ostensibly Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) groups recruit disaffected and disfranchised youth invariably from poverty-stricken backgrounds. Or so the myth says. It may be true in some instances, but it is certainly not always the case. Violence has metamorphosed into the terrorists’ alter ego.

The myth and its accompanying rituals of recruitment abound. The Islamic State group uses different tactics in recruiting young people depending on their different cultural backgrounds. Young people in the Middle East in particular are coerced into joining the terrorist movement. North Africa is somewhat different, as young people there are cajoled and captivated in a similar fashion to the methods used in Europe and North America.

Proactive assertions of religious sanctity are invariably re-enacted by attracting the young people to incarceration in the Middle East, especially war-torn countries such as Syria and Iraq. The religious texts have been taken over by zealots. It is the hereafter that matters, with the present being transitory if not entirely irrelevant.

Tunisia is a case in point. The country is the most westernised and secular in North Africa, and yet jihadist Websites tell a bloodcurdling tale. The Tunisian Interior Ministry estimates that at least 2,400 Tunisian citizens have been recruited by IS. They have left the country for the battlefields of Syria and Iraq. Others crossed into neighbouring Libya. Countless Tunisian young people have headed for Al-Qaeda-affiliated and Islamic State Libyan training camps … //

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… the Structure of Islamic State, on Spiegel Online International, by Christoph Reuter, April 18, 2015 (Photo Gallery): an Iraqi officer planned Islamic State’s takeover in Syria and SPIEGEL has been given exclusive access to his papers. They portray an organization that, while seemingly driven by religious fanaticism, is actually coldly calculating;

How the Federal Reserve Is Destroying Your Economic Future, on naked capitalism, by Yves Smith, April 18, 2015;

Critical Analysis: Why Oliver couldn’t find Americans who knew Snowden’s name, on Axis of Logic, by Glenn Greenwald and John Oliver, April 17, 2015;

End of democracy in Iraqi Kurdistan? on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Salah Nasrawi, April 16, 2015: The fate of Masoud Barzani’s presidency has put the nascent democracy of Iraqi Kurdistan to its biggest test yet;

Gorbachev: Putin saved Russia from disintegration, on Russia Today RT, Dec 27, 2015;

… et encore ceci:

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