Eesti Elu
An Estonian as a “terrorist”? Estonian Life
Rahvusvahelised uudised 20 Sep 2014 EL (Estonian Life)Eesti Elu
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Laas Leivat

Maybe, some three decades ago already.

There’s currently authoritative speculation as to how many citizens of western democracies have joined the ranks of terrorist organizations such as the ISIL. Canadian officials state that 130 have travelled abroad to join groups like the ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, aka ISIS – Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). US authorities put their figure into the thousands.

With many precedents to draw from, it’s feared that these ‘jihadists’, gaining training and experience in the middle east could return to their ‘homeland’ bursting with suicidal fervour to kill their fellow citizens. Many governments consider this to be an urgent concern.

Recruitment? An analysis of 48 foreign fighters in al Queda ranks, who had been captured and interviewed by Western intelligence has shown that most had little or no education, nor military experience. All came from large families and getting attention was a prime motivator for joining. Most were reluctant to tell their families for fear of disapproval. Al Queda targets young men whom they perceive as impressionable and lonely at their jobs or at mosques.

ISIS skilfully uses social media to reach out to potential recruits. A Western intelligence specialist says, “ISIS is used for intimidation, for the fear factor and as a tool to attract young men who are mesmerized by violence and successes in the battle field.” A young boy holding the severed head of a Westerner is a typical enticement of new recruits. “It’s a vicious cycle that plays into the narrative that they are fearless, ruthless fighters for their cause which they wrap in religion.” The recruited Westerner is told their destiny is to be martyrs for the cause. It’s their duty to become suicide bombers. Statistics confirm this. Some 90% of suicide bombings in Iraq are carried out by foreign terrorists.

When one mentions the role that religion may play in the terrorist’s motivation, he might be labelled a religious bigot for suggesting an undistorted Islamic connection. They argue that “the religion itself is a political project, and in fact an imperial project, in a way that modern Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism are not.” They say that apologists insist “that militant Islam is a distortion of Islam, but that is not true. It emerges out of the religion, constituting a radically new interpretation. Jihadist terrorists are religious believers: that much is undeniable. They invoke Allah and the Koran, they denounce their targets for being unholy, they speak of a divine calling and a scriptural obligation to avenge the ‘crusader’ and the ‘infidel’”. (Pikemalt Eesti Elu 19.sept. 2014 paberlehes)
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