This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Irresistibility of Jihad

"I think getting in and joining [ISIL] is just as easy as it always was. You enter ISIL territory, you are put through Shariah courses and military training, and so on."
"What has changed is how difficult it is to get out of your country of origin, particularly Western countries. The Turkish border region is also much more difficult to cross these days than it was even a year ago. So while joining ISIL is still easy, getting to ISIL territory is more difficult."
Amarnath Amarasingam, Dalhousie University, Resilience Research Centre
Less than a month after his arrival in Syria, Farah Shirdon was already the star of an ISIL video.
YouTube   Less than a month after his arrival in Syria, Farah Shirdon was already the star of an ISIL video.

Leaked internal ISIL documents containing hundreds of names of recruits and the responses they gave to routine questions, included the identities of six Muslim Canadians who had left Canada to fight abroad. While this trove of documents may be useful to intelligence agencies, it by no means represents close to what the entire ISIL memberships consists of; six names and their responses may be represented on the documents, but these documents appear to be stale, unrepresentative of more recent recruits' presence.

When Canadian Security Intelligence Service director Michel Coulombe gave his testimony to the Senate committeem on terrorism he made it quite clear that well over a hundred Canadians are now in the war zones of Islamist jihad. Radicalized Canadians, although not of the numbers that streamed out of France or Germany or other European countries where their families settled as immigrants and refugees and many became citizens are not to be compared as representative of far greater European numbers.

Irrespective of the numbers, what these jihadis represent is potential threats to their home countries when and if they return, with the experience of conflict, the practised use of arms and their training as jihadis brought back with them. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, like all fanatical Islamist jihadi terrorists recognize no boundaries for their plans of conquest. They may be fighting in Africa, in east Asia and the Middle East, but their goal is the world to be dominated by Islam.

Regardless of where the foreign jihadis now fighting in Syria and Iraq, in Somalia and Nigeria came from, they obviously faced few constraints in their  travel plans and found it simple enough to reach their destinations. Since then, with the advent of far greater numbers planning to join them, many countries, Canada included, have  made a concerted attempt to identify their purpose and to stop them.

No government appreciates learning that one of their citizens has decided to leave the country to fight in a brutal foreign war meant to be exported to their own country, nor to hear one of their own citizens speak directly to the public through a 'public relations' video posted online to state: "We are coming and we will destroy you, with permission from Allah the almighty".

The Syrian news site Zaman Al Wasl had obtained the ISIL documents, presumably from a defector from Islamic State. Zaman had then made the papers available to the British press, and to all countries whose nationals were involved in recruitment and training leading to conflict participation. Of the 1,736 documents obtained "some time ago", according to deputy editor Ethar Abduhaq, all required authentication, before being shared.
Sky News/AFP
Sky News/AFP  Reputed ISIL personnel records said to have been stolen from the head of ISIL’s internal security police

 Recruits from over 40 countries have been identified on the documents, themselves questionnaires recording the fighter's name, nationality, their choice of suicide bombers, date of entry to ISIL territory and who had recruited/guided them. Most happen to be Canadian students of Somali origin, and one is a Lebanese Canadian pipe fitter. None had any experience in violent jihad, but all were eager to learn and to participate.

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