Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Forget the Internet – You Need People To Stop ISIS Recruitment

Lawfare, an on-line site publication had an article on August 16, 2016, “To Stop ISIS Recruitment, Focus Offline” (see: https://www.lawfareblog.com/stop-isis-recruitment-focus-offline). The article seems counter to the popular believe that the Internet is the major recruiting source for ISIS.

There is no doubt that the Internet can provide information, act as a communications medium, and serve as a refuge for some. It can also be a communications medium where views and information are exchanged. The article states “A review by the Program on Extremism of the 100 ISIS-related legal cases in the United States shows that, with rare exceptions, friends, families, and romantic partners tangibly influenced the radicalization process.”

The level of influence from person to person contacts is probably higher than that in the virtual world. The article and others point to live social interaction as a starting point for relationships that grow into support and recruiting efforts.

The Islamic community in Minneapolis, the subject of the article, has been profiled in other articles such as the CBS Evening News, November 19, 2015 (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/minneapolis-community-struggles-with-isis-recruiting-tactics/, which is also the photo source).

A key tread is the isolating felt by youth in the community. Isolation can be assuaged through friendships made over basketball or other social activities. Once the individual’s trust is earned, then the recruiting can begin in earnest perhaps starting with propaganda videos and Internet activities.

The impact of the Internet should not be doubted. Here’s another piece first published by CNNMoney on September 30, 2014 (see: http://money.cnn.com/2014/09/30/technology/isis-recruiting/) which does a nice job addressing the Internet side.

Reader comments encouraged.

I’m also looking for any feedback on the use of MISO Companies to support BCTs rather than MISO Companies supporting divisions.



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