SMALL WARS COUNCIL
Go Back   Small Wars Council > Small Wars Participants & Stakeholders > Adversary / Threat

Adversary / Threat One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Talk about (or with?) them.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-22-2006   #1
jonSlack
Council Member
 
jonSlack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 156
Default Studies on radicalization & comments

The French Path to Jihad - John Rosenthal

Quote:
How does one become a jihadist? Just how unprepared Americans have been to confront this question was made embarrassingly clear during the recent trial of Zacarias Moussaoui as large parts of the established media dwelt thoughtfully on Moussaoui’s broken family and childhood spells in an orphanage — as if such banal details could somehow account for the behavior of a man who has pledged allegiance to Osama Bin Laden, been found guilty of plotting to fly a jetliner into the White House in connection with the 9/11 plot, and testified to his readiness to kill Americans “anytime, anywhere”3 every day until his death. Moussaoui was apparently supposed to be just like you and me — the defense witness who recounted for the court the allegedly sad story of young Zacarias was a social worker from Greenville, South Carolina — only not as well-adjusted. At the other extreme, a current of opinion has emerged that is widely represented in the “new” media and that offers a ready-made and conveniently foreshortened answer to the question: one that spares the investigator all need to enter into the details of individual life histories. How does one become a jihadist? By being a Muslim. For the representatives of this current, whose more or less openly avowed “Islamophobia” can easily degrade into simple racism, the jihadist threat is entirely a product of Islam or the “Muslim world” and consequently wholly alien to “the West.”

It is a pity that, in effect, none of the media — neither the old media nor the new — took advantage of the unique opportunity provided by the Moussaoui trial to seek more convincing answers. To this day, for instance, despite the sensation created by Moussaoui’s decision to take the stand, the full transcript of his testimony has never been published. If Americans were able to consider the portrait of Moussaoui that emerges from his own words, what they would discover is a figure who is neither so familiar as the sympathetic psychotherapeutic accounts in the old media suggest nor so alien as the theories of the new media pundits would lead one to assume. Of course, it would be hazardous to attempt to generalize from the single case of Zacarias Moussaoui. But a just-published collection of interviews with suspected members of al Qaeda in French prisons, Quand Al-Qäida parle: Témoignages derrière les barreaux (When al Qaeda Talks: Testimonials from Behind Bars), provides us with an unprecedentedly large body of evidence on the backgrounds, worldview, and motivations of those who make the choice for violent jihad in the name of Islam.
jonSlack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2006   #2
Rob Thornton
Council Member
 
Rob Thornton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Fort Leavenworth, KS
Posts: 1,512
Default

That was a great read. There are some very telling revelations in what was said, many we should consider applying to our view of the future.
Rob Thornton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2006   #3
Tom Odom
Council Member
 
Tom Odom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: DeRidder LA
Posts: 3,949
Default Echoes Franz Fanon's Work

Quote:
Earlier, France was my model — even if I also resented this. But my ideal was to be French, to act like the French: to have my wife, my kids, my car, my apartment, my house in the country, to become an average Frenchman and live in peace. . . . [E]ven before I had French citizenship or I had work, in my mind, I wanted to conform to the image of the average Frenchman, to be like them, to make myself in their image. But at the same time I had the feeling that this was more or less impossible: they didn’t want me, even if I had citizenship and all the rest. They looked down on me, they treated me like I was nothing, they despised me. This contempt was killing me. Were we really so despicable? . . . I went back and forth between what I was and what I wanted to be: a little Frenchman. Whereas I was an Algerian. I was tortured by it. Some days, I couldn’t fall asleep, I had the impression that my life had no meaning, that my part in life had been unjustly denied me.
Interesting in that many of these exact sentiments fueled Franz Fanon in writing Wretched of the Earth as a statement of disillusionment with France and especially his realization that as an Martinique born citizen of greater France he would never be accepted as French. I have to believe that Rosenthal is playing on that parallel with his paragraph heading French masks, Muslim faces because Fanon's first book was titled Black Skin, White Masks,. Fanon advocated communism as the answer to colonialism. Rosenthal makes the point that the French Jihadists advocate radical Islam as an answer to French "racism".

Best

Tom
Tom Odom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2006   #4
taillat
Council Member
 
taillat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Castillon-Massas, Gers, France
Posts: 12
Default

Three points:
-first, I don't think that french are racists. French with arabian origin maybe feel themselves as "discriminates".However, this is a widespread feeling that must be explained.
-This feeling rely on the a fact. French society has failed to challenge the multiculturalist turn 30 years ago. Since French society has universalist claim (which means a belief in the superiority in the so-called "Enlightment") it could never understand outer-european culture. This is linked with the colonisation. It was long seen as a civilisationnal task for us, and a deep humiliation by this proud arab culture. Universalist habit dressed in humanitarian concerns (antiracism whose result was the acceptance of islamic customs) failed to integrate arabs when they came in France. Furthermore, its arrogance doesn't convince the second and third generations of arabs born in France (and thus having french nationality) that French culture and french social model was worthing to fight for it. The consequence was growing violence, ghettoism, and reject of laicity and french identity. If France is responsible of growing vocations in terrorism, it is due to its incapacity to structure a coherent national identity for the young arabs (who are french!!!). For example, teachers must teach France's history through a critical lens, with more and more repentance about the past, seen as "dark moments of our history". The french-arabs have no idea of the pride to be french. Furthermore, they feel not to share a common identity with other french communities. European tragedy lies here: we failed to transmit what our ancestors gave us. Our universalist ideology betrayed us.
-in an other way, these young terrorists had the possibilities not to become such. I usually encountered young french-arabs in french army. Reports (which couldn't rely on ethnic statistics, because it's forbidden by law to ask someone for its ethnic origins) learned us that they are well integrated, even if they are mosque-going. I think that these young french who became terrorist had no landmarks about their country (who is France.When they "came back" in Algeria, Tunisia or Morocco, they are considered as French and rejected also). This is the result of a thirty-years-old policy based upon antiracism (and acceptance of foreign customs) without true integration (which could have relied on a national indentity). In the other way, this is also the result of misperception about other french. Because they were born in France from arabian parents (or grandparents), they believed they are rejected. Because secularity is well-advanced in France, they weren't able to recognise in such a society (as for the catholics today who are truly persecuted). The sole way is violence against us and against West which is seen as responsible for their "mal de vivre".
To sum up, french terrorist with arabian origin are not victims of racism. They are the result of a policy. This policy consisted of national identity filled with guilt-feeling about the past. It has confused tolerance with inaction. It has failed to integrate these foreigner to an universalist (but european-based) ideology which confused secularity with anti-religion. To conclude, terrorism has met frustration and lack of strong and pride identity
taillat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2006   #5
SWJED
Small Wars Journal
 
SWJED's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Largo, Florida
Posts: 3,988
Default Town that Breeds Suicide Bombers

25 November London Daily Telegraph - Town that Breeds Suicide Bombers by Fiona Govan.

Quote:
Their destination may be almost 3,000 miles away, but the draw of martyrdom in Iraq is proving irresistable for the young men of Tetouan.

American intelligence officials believe that the Moroccan town, less than 30 miles from the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, has become one of the world's most fertile recruiting ground for jihadists.

In the last eight months a group of young men, all worshippers at the same mosque, have left their homes to become suicide bombers in Iraq.

After DNA tests on their bodies, and Moroccan authorities asking families to provide samples, US intelligence traced at least nine of those responsible for recent suicide missions in and around Baghdad to Tetouan and its surrounding area in the foothills of the Rif Mountains.

Local reports suggest that another 21 individuals have left the area to seek martyrdom, following in the footsteps of five other Tetouanis who blew themselves up in a Madrid suburb when cornered by police, who believed they played a part in the train bombings in the Spanish capital in March 2004...
SWJED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2006   #6
Rob Thornton
Council Member
 
Rob Thornton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Fort Leavenworth, KS
Posts: 1,512
Default

You know I used to have a very narrow view of suicide jihadists, but after reading the post on the making of a French Jihadist, I realize I need to understand the different motivations better. Its not enough for me to say they are duped by an interpretation of religious faith to travel to another place and commit themselves to the fight as a human PGM. I feel like I don't know the enemy in this regard. Any thoughts by some of you who have done the tough research?
Thanks, Rob
Rob Thornton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2006   #7
Sarajevo071
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 278
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
You know I used to have a very narrow view of suicide jihadists, but after reading the post on the making of a French Jihadist, I realize I need to understand the different motivations better. Its not enough for me to say they are duped by an interpretation of religious faith to travel to another place and commit themselves to the fight as a human PGM. I feel like I don't know the enemy in this regard. Any thoughts by some of you who have done the tough research?
Thanks, Rob
No one is “duped” nor do they have “mercenaries” like some here like to think… Only mercenaries that I know of are those from private companies in Iraq and Afghanistan… Now about they “ideology” or “motivation”, no one can give one satisfactory answer since they motivations are different and somewhat complicated… Also, be sure that you make distinction between Islamic martyrs (suicide attacks) and Islamic jihadi fighters (guerilla that fights to live so they can fight other day). Also there are different motivations in older versus younger jihadi, different motivations in born Muslims versus converts, and different motivations between different schools of thoughts in Islam.

Hope this will guide you toward better understanding of this topic.

Last edited by Sarajevo071; 11-25-2006 at 06:56 AM.
Sarajevo071 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2006   #8
Rob Thornton
Council Member
 
Rob Thornton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Fort Leavenworth, KS
Posts: 1,512
Default

That is a great place to start. I think I can at least accept the Jihadist who comes to fight witht he intention of participating as an insurgent, freedom fighter, holy warrior or guerilla (all distinct enough to mention) because he has the intent of remaining alive even though his convictions allow him to face death.

The one I don't understand is the suicide martyr. Do they see it as suicide? How do they view their act? What is the conviction that allows them to prepare for the event (Mentally, Physically, Spiritually)? What is the attraction (maybe a poor choice of words)? This is not facing death, it is accepting death (or is it?).

It seems to me that if a village (or another geographically distant) location outside of Iraq can produce people who are willing to destroy themselves then it is important to understand why. It is their "will" to do so which interests me.
Thanks, Rob
Rob Thornton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2006   #9
aktarian
Council Member
 
aktarian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 83
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
That is a great place to start. I think I can at least accept the Jihadist who comes to fight witht he intention of participating as an insurgent, freedom fighter, holy warrior or guerilla (all distinct enough to mention) because he has the intent of remaining alive even though his convictions allow him to face death.

The one I don't understand is the suicide martyr. Do they see it as suicide? How do they view their act? What is the conviction that allows them to prepare for the event (Mentally, Physically, Spiritually)? What is the attraction (maybe a poor choice of words)? This is not facing death, it is accepting death (or is it?).

It seems to me that if a village (or another geographically distant) location outside of Iraq can produce people who are willing to destroy themselves then it is important to understand why. It is their "will" to do so which interests me.
Thanks, Rob
They don't call it "suicide bombings" but "martyrdom seeking operations". As suicide is prohibited they would go to hell. but if their act of killing themselves strikes a blow against the enemy they are martyrs and admited to paradise. think of it as modern day kamikaze rather than suiciders.

We had a debate about a year ago about this motivation. You might want to find it.
__________________
Historic-Battles forum moderator
aktarian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2006   #10
Sarajevo071
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 278
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
That is a great place to start. I think I can at least accept the Jihadist who comes to fight witht he intention of participating as an insurgent, freedom fighter, holy warrior or guerilla (all distinct enough to mention) because he has the intent of remaining alive even though his convictions allow him to face death.

The one I don't understand is the suicide martyr. Do they see it as suicide? How do they view their act? What is the conviction that allows them to prepare for the event (Mentally, Physically, Spiritually)? What is the attraction (maybe a poor choice of words)? This is not facing death, it is accepting death (or is it?).

It seems to me that if a village (or another geographically distant) location outside of Iraq can produce people who are willing to destroy themselves then it is important to understand why. It is their "will" to do so which interests me.
Thanks, Rob
It is not suicide. It’s sacrifice in the name of God and greater good having no other weapon except one’s own life, against powerful enemy with better weapons or bigger numbers… There is no fear of wining or loosing since either win (on the battlefield) over the enemy or being killed in that holly struggle is – win.

It is deep religious feeling and motivation, either from childhood or “newcomers” (converts) who are sometimes even more zealots trying to prove that they can be good Muslims like they brethren who was born in Islam… That’s reason why you see high number of converts doing martyrdom seeking operations…

Attraction are not virgins they are promised (like many westerners like to mock them) but promise of Paradise, of doing something great for Islam and they people (since not everyone can be martyr) and promise that to they souls would be forgiven any transgressions they did (and they families)…

They are not thinking in ways of “facing the death” or “accepting the death”, since they essentially not dieing… For them, being not Muslim is being dead.
Sarajevo071 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2009   #11
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 11,160
Default Studies on radicalisation & comments

Just found a new report on radicalisation / radicalization by a US think tank:
http://www.defenddemocracy.org/downl...ts_USandUK.pdf

On my first reading a nice easy read, with a literature review and an attempt to interpret the pathway taken by convicted terrorists in the UK and USA as a template. Some of the conclusions are different, notably that prisons should be a low priority in the struggle!

Refers to many previous studies e.g. NYPD report and the views of Sageman etc.

Of note are the six signposts, which could be used to enable assessment (sorry police thinking to the fore).

When downloaded, slow as one large colour image, appears as sixty-nine pages and do not despair many are blanks.

davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2008   #12
Jedburgh
Council Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,097
Default Studies on radicalisation & comments

Danish Institute for International Studies, Feb 08:

Studying Violent Radicalization in Europe I: The Potential Contribution of Social Movement Theory
Quote:
Why do some apparently well-integrated youth in Europe become attracted to Islamist militancy? Why and when do people cross from violent talk to violent action? What prevents others, exposed to the same political, ideological, and socioeconomic influences, from crossing? When and how might people de-radicalize and draw back from violent action? What policy initiatives would be called for to limit the spread of radical ideas, counter the factors that spur violent radicalization, and strengthen those, which pull in the other direction? In sum: When, why, and how do people living in a democracy become radicalized to the point of being willing to use or directly support the use of terrorist violence against civilians, and what can be done about it?

These questions have been at the center of both academic and public debate over the past years. Yet, there is still a scarcity of empirically based knowledge and no consensus with regard to which theories and approaches to apply to the study of violent radicalization and mobilization.

This working paper explores the potential contribution of Social Movement Theory to throw light on the question of violent radicalization in Europe....
Studying Violent Radicalization in Europe II: The Potential Contribution of Sociopsychological and Psychological Approaches
Quote:
The subfield of socio-psychological and psychological approaches to terrorism studies is, like the overall field of terrorism research, characterized by a variety of competing approaches with different explanations of what causes terrorism and violent radicalization. For the sake of overview this paper groups them into sociological approaches, individual level approaches, and group process approaches.

Sociological theories focus on overall structural factors impacting large groups, group process approaches focus on mechanisms at play in smaller groups, and psychoanalytically inspired and cognitive theories focus on factors at the level of the individual personality. Sociological and psychoanalytical approaches focus on relatively stable factors – be they structural conditions or individual dispositions – hypothesized to cause radicalization and terrorism. Group process approaches, in contrast, take a dynamic view and focus on processes and stages through which violent dispositions emerge. Some approaches rely on a psychology of needs (what psychological or group psychological traits make individuals or groups prone to violence?); whereas others instead rely on a psychology of rewards (what do radical groups offer the individual?)....

Last edited by Jedburgh; 03-27-2008 at 01:50 PM.
Jedburgh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2008   #13
Jedburgh
Council Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,097
Default

Kings College London, Dec 07:

Recruitment and Mobilisation for the Islamist Militant Movement in Europe
Quote:
This report presents a comprehensive overview of the methods through which Islamist militants in Europe mobilise their supporters and find new recruits. It finds that Islamist militant recruitment efforts have largely been driven underground, with little overt propagation and recruitment now occurring at mosques. Prisons and other ‘places of vulnerability’ continue to be a great cause of concern. Rather than ‘radical imams’, who have lost some influence, the report points out that ‘activists’ are now the ‘engines’ of Islamist militant recruitment. They often draw on recruits from so-called ‘gateway organisations’ which prepare individuals ideologically and socialise them into the extremist ‘milieu’. It also shows how Islamist militants skilfully exploit young Muslims’ identity conflicts between Western society and the ‘cultural’ Islam of their parents. Furthermore, the report highlights the role of the Internet which has come to play an increasingly important role in Islamist militant recruitment, either in support of ‘real-world’ recruitment or in entirely new forms of militant activism described as ‘virtual self-recruitment’.

The reports finds there to be clear differences between countries in Southern Europe, where Muslim immigration is recent, and those in which the second and third generation of European Muslims is reaching adolescence. In countries with no second or third generation of European Muslims, language is less of an issue, nor is the conflict of identity between Western society and traditional culture as pivotal. Across all countries, however, the environment in which Islamist militants seek support has changed. Especially after the attacks in Madrid and London, open recruitment has become difficult. The authorities and many Muslim communities have become more vigilant and willing to confront extremism, yet there are no indications at all that the pressure of radicalisation has ebbed away. Based on these observations, the report argues that the trend towards ‘seekers’ and self-starter groups will continue. It also predicts that, given the constraints now faced by Islamist militants in the ‘open’ environment, the significance of the Internet as a ‘virtual’ recruitment place will grow, with new forms of Islamist militant activism becoming more important.

The report proposes a series of measures aimed at countering recruitment. In the short term, governments need to prevent the emergence of ‘recruitment magnets’ which allow ‘seekers’ and ‘selfstarters to find ‘links to the jihad’ and deepen their involvement in the Islamist militant movement. Governments also need to pay urgent attention to the situation in European prisons, which are likely to become major hubs for radicalisation and recruitment. Intelligence and law enforcement strategies have to be geared towards identifying the ‘activist’ leaders of cells. The report challenges governments to tackle the problem posed by gateway organisations, and to be clear and consistent in doing so. It also calls for more attention to be paid to extremist activities on the Internet. In the longer term, mainstream Muslim communities need to be re-vitalised and empowered. Law enforcement agencies need to build and/or re-establish trust with Muslim communities. It is also vital for schools to address the narratives used by violent extremists as well as the ways in which they are likely to be drawn into their circles. A similar effort is required on the Internet. The report concludes by saying that even longer term measures aimed at resolving the drivers of recruitment will not bear fruit unless the causes of radicalisation are successfully addressed.
Complete 103-page paper at the link.
Jedburgh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2013   #14
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 11,160
Default

Just as the UK government advocates filtering extremist on-line content up pops Jamie Bartlett of the London-based think tank Demos, in a blog on The Daily Telegraph and mentions how hard this will be:
Quote:
...there is a bigger problem that no one wants to mention: we still don’t really know whether watching extremist material online actually radicalises people. In my experience, it is not sermons by frothing fundamentalists that radicalise, but mainstream BBC reports about Syria or Palestine.
At the end he writes:
Quote:
Dealing with extremism is difficult, and on the whole, we’re doing a remarkably good job. The internet is making this a little harder. But in the age of ever-increasing information and openness, reaching for the block button is not the answer.
Link:http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/technol...dea-heres-why/

Within is a reference and link to a RAND report, based on research in the UK, 'Radicalisation in the digital era: The use of the internet in 15 cases of terrorism and extremism'.

Link:http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand...RAND_RR453.pdf
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2013   #15
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 11,160
Default Review of Programs to Counter Narratives of Violent Extremism

Published yesterday by the London-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue: 'Review of Programs to Counter Narratives of Violent Extremism: What works and what are the implications for government'. Their explanation:
Quote:
..it provides an overview of the efforts made to push back on extremist content online, or ‘counter-narratives’. It involved background research and interviews with former violent extremists, policy-makers and civil society activists.
The work was funded by Public Safety Canada. The report is 49 pgs, cases studies amount to half. Link:http://www.strategicdialogue.org/Cou...ivesFN2011.pdf

After years of national and international counter-terrorist action it is remarkable that the report's summary states:
Quote:
It is important to stress that counter-narrative work as an area of public policy is in it's infancy.
Short of time? There is a short article by Rachel Briggs (co-author) here:http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/seba...b_4397982.html
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2014   #16
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 11,160
Default Why ISIS Is So Terrifyingly Effective at Seducing New Recruits

A short, detailed article based on an interview of Professor John Horgan, a British psychologist now @ UMass-Lowell:http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2014/08...-recruits.html

A key point:
Quote:
They’re offering an opportunity for people to feel powerful. They’re making disillusioned, disaffected radicals feel like they’re doing something truly meaningful with their lives.
Are we and others ready for this?
Quote:
Disillusionment is very, very common in every single terrorist and extremist group you can think of. That’s something that can be very toxic if those accounts get out and gather momentum.

Disillusionment is the most common reason why people voluntarily choose to walk away from a terrorist group. People become disillusioned if they feel that the group has gone too far, if they don’t seem to have a strategy beyond indiscriminate killing. Disillusionment can arise from disagreements with a leader, it can arise from dissatisfaction with the day-to-day minutiae. There are many directions from which disillusionment can arise, and it’s only a matter of time before those accounts leak out from ISIS, and I think we would do very well to be on the lookout for those kinds of accounts, because they offer an opportunity to dissuade further potential recruits from being involved.
__________________
davidbfpo

Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-21-2014 at 11:52 PM. Reason: Copied here from the current Iraq thread
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2014   #17
Bill Moore
Council Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,970
Default

http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...mes-foley.html

ISIS, Hip-Hop Jihadists and the Man Who Killed James Foley
Quote:
Anthropologist Scott Atran, who is frequently consulted by the U.S. government, has long argued that a jihadist’s motivations cannot be fit within a purely rational framework of costs and benefits, nor can they be understood as utterly irrational. Instead they work within the context of what they come to see as “sacred values,” which may be religious, or may have to do more with honor and respect and, perhaps, what the 18th-century political theorist Edmund Burke called “the sublime”: that “quest for greatness, glory, eternal meaning in an inherently chaotic world,” as Atran says.

“It seems like volunteers for ISIS are surfing for the sublime,” Atran wrote to me on Sunday. They are escaping “the jaded, tired world of democratic liberalism, especially on the margins where Europe’s immigrants mostly live.”
Not everything is governance, religion, or any of the other areas myopic theorists focus on, sometimes is just simple human psychology.
Bill Moore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2009   #18
goesh
Council Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,188
Default

My opinion on the proposition that prisons contribute very little to the radicalisation is that gangs are too dominant and powerful and personal survival often centers on some degree of attachment to an established group/gang. There probably isn't enough literal and figurative space for a radical Islamic cell to thrive. I also note that immediately after 9/11, there was a blurb in the news on how much money convicts in the prison systems had donated. The general prison populations may not be very accepting of a group whose power base is not related to drugs, extortion and profit. With a Quaran in every cell and an established prayer space on hand ( Masjid) it remains possible for a jihadist to at least keep his faith active and accept the inhibition of direct action imposed by confinement.

I found it very odd the huge conversion discrepancy between Europe and the US. Rouhgly 43% here at home had converted from Christianity to Islam compared to roughly 18% in Europe.
goesh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2009   #19
Ron Humphrey
Council Member
 
Ron Humphrey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Kansas
Posts: 1,099
Post If its in relation to prison population conversions

Quote:
Originally Posted by goesh View Post
I found it very odd the huge conversion discrepancy between Europe and the US. Rouhgly 43% here at home had converted from Christianity to Islam compared to roughly 18% in Europe.
numbers can be decieving when

There are given requirements for access to certain materials if you claim them

1- You get a prayer rug (Actually its an extra blanket because that's what they have, and its often pretty cold in the cells)

2- Attend worship meetings (There's usually a marked difference in the demographics at various services)

3-Different meals than others so invariably there's barter capacity built into that

There are a variety of other things which lead to "official" choice besides actually believing, Not always but quite often.
__________________
Quote:
Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur
Ron Humphrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2010   #20
Rex Brynen
Council Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 1,599
Default Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki

While the Somali context isn't handled very well, the NYT nonetheless has an interesting, lengthy case study of the radicalization of Omar Hammami (Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki).

NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE PREVIEW
The Jihadist Next Door

By ANDREA ELLIOTT
Published: January 27, 2010

Quote:
ON A WARM, cloudy day in the fall of 1999, the town of Daphne, Ala., stirred to life. The high-school band came pounding down Main Street, past the post office and the library and Christ the King Church. Trumpeters in gold-tasseled coats tipped their horns to the sky, heralding the arrival of teenage demigods. The star quarterback and his teammates came first in the parade, followed by the homecoming queen and her court. Behind them, on a float bearing leaders of the student government, a giddy mop-haired kid tossed candy to the crowd.

Omar Hammami had every right to flash his magnetic smile. He had just been elected president of his sophomore class. He was dating a luminous blonde, one of the most sought-after girls in school. He was a star in the gifted-student program, with visions of becoming a surgeon. For a 15-year-old, he had remarkable charisma.

Despite the name he acquired from his father, an immigrant from Syria, Hammami was every bit as Alabaman as his mother, a warm, plain-spoken woman who sprinkles her conversation with blandishments like “sugar” and “darlin’.” Brought up a Southern Baptist, Omar went to Bible camp as a boy and sang “Away in a Manger” on Christmas Eve. As a teenager, his passions veered between Shakespeare and Kurt Cobain, soccer and Nintendo. In the thick of his adolescence, he was fearless, raucously funny, rebellious, contrarian. “It felt cool just to be with him,” his best friend at the time, Trey Gunter, said recently. “You knew he was going to be a leader.”

A decade later, Hammami has fulfilled that promise in the most unimaginable way. Some 8,500 miles from Alabama, on the eastern edge of Africa, he has become a key figure in one of the world’s most ruthless Islamist insurgencies. That guerrilla army, known as the Shabab, is fighting to overthrow the fragile American-backed Somali government. The rebels are known for beheading political enemies, chopping off the hands of thieves and stoning women accused of adultery. With help from Al Qaeda, they have managed to turn Somalia into an ever more popular destination for jihadis from around the world.

More than 20 of those fighters have come from the United States, many of them young Somali-Americans from a gritty part of Minneapolis. But it is Hammami who has put a contemporary face on the Shabab’s medieval tactics. In a recent propaganda video viewed by thousands on YouTube, he is shown leading a platoon of gun-toting rebels as a soundtrack of jihadi rap plays in the background.

He is identified by his nom de guerre, Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki, “the American,” and speaks to the camera with a cool, almost eerie confidence. “We’re waiting for the enemy to come,” Hammami whispers, a smile crossing his face. Later he vows, “We’re going to kill all of them.”

In the three years since Hammami made his way to Somalia, his ascent into the Shabab’s leadership has put him in a class of his own, according to United States law-enforcement and intelligence officials. While other American terror suspects have drawn greater publicity, Hammami exercises a more powerful role, commanding guerrilla forces in the field, organizing attacks and plotting strategy with Qaeda operatives, the officials said. He has also emerged as something of a jihadist icon, starring in a recruitment campaign that has helped draw hundreds of foreign fighters to Somalia. “To have an American citizen that has risen to this kind of a rank in a terrorist organization — we have not seen that before,” a senior American law-enforcement official said earlier this month.

...
__________________
They mostly come at night. Mostly.
Rex Brynen is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
bosnia, counter terrorism, counter-radicalisation, counter-terrorism, counterterrorism, foriegn fighters, germany, iraq, isis, jihad, law enforcement, minnesota, policing, politics, prisons, radicalisation, radicalization, somali, spain, syria, terrorism, united kingdom, usa, yemen

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Strategic Studies Institute Seeks Visiting Professors SteveMetz RFIs & Members' Projects 0 10-26-2010 02:53 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 01:57 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9. ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Registered Users are solely responsible for their messages.
Operated by, and site design © 2005-2009, Small Wars Foundation