For the past months since the extremist group ISIS came into power in Iraq and Syria, several Westerners have joined the group. So what prompted these young promising individuals to leave behind a great career and future and join the terror group?
Recently a group of Westerners joined the ISIS. These were medical students coming from America, Great Britain and Canada. This story is not new. Several young people give up their comfortable lives in the democratic West to join the terrorist group that forcefully declared itself as the governing body of the Islamic state in the Middle East.
Last February, it was also reported that three teenage girls from United Kingdom were en route to Syria in hopes of joining the radical group. There was no news that followed regarding the whereabouts of the three girls.
To date, at least 3,400 Westerners have already made their way to Iraq or Syria to take part in the cause of ISIS. This data was given by the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Nicholas Rasmussen.
Given the overwhelming statistics, one cannot deny that ISIS has been successful in their campaign to lure the Westerners in joining them. How did they do this?
ISIS has eyes on the new generation
Most of the recruits of ISIS are young, vigorous, ambitious and adventurous teenagers trying to find their purpose in life and trying to make a unique mark.
ISIS campaigns to find new recruits by painting a picture of camaraderie, purposeful endeavor and respect. This propaganda is designed to boost the group’s self esteem and attract friends, colleagues and random teenagers to join the cause. An inviting adventure trip sets the trap for most of these youngsters.
What is even more alarming is that there are many recruits of the group that come from well off families and are educated. One recruit, Abu Anwar from Britain said that he had a good life in his hometown. Life was easy. He had a car and grew up in a middle class family. The problem was that you cannot practice the religion of Islam freely in Britain. He further pressed that he sees evil around him: homosexuality, rape, pedophiles and other crimes. For him, joining ISIS would be the most logical step to solve these societal problems.