How do jihadists recruit peaceful Muslims? By making the case from Islamic sources that jihad warfare is their religious responsibility. And they make this case on the Internet, making it easier for them than ever before to reach their target audience. They don’t have to deal with law enforcement officials in majority-Muslim countries who may be trying to put a lid on the jihad; they don’t have to cross borders or find hideouts or hazard open activity in areas where it might be viewed unfavorably. All they have to do is go online.
“The Internet’s Role In Fort Dix Plot,” by Robert Windrem for MSNBC :
Six men described by federal prosecutors as “Islamic militants” were arrested on charges they plotted to attack the Fort Dix Army base and “kill as many soldiers as possible,” authorities said Tuesday.
A former senior U.S. intelligence official tells NBC News do not lose sight of the role the Internet played in inspiring these prospective jihadis. The FBI affidavits note that among the materials used in organizing, training and proselytizing the jihadis were al-Qaida training videos, the video wills of two 9-11 hijackers, and videos of U.S. soldiers being killed in Iraq….
He noted that the Internet also helped in the recruitment and inspiration of jihadis who planned terrorist attacks in places like Singapore and England.
“The guys in Singapore, all middle class, were all recruited off the network of jihadi Web sites,” he added.
What is missing and needed, he added is, a “countervailing message” from moderate Islamists.
“Where is the countervailing message from Islam on the Internet?,” he asked. “They aren’t going to believe anything we in the West have to say. It has to come from Islam.”
Quite so. And where is that countervailing message? Why isn’t it out there? That’s the 800-pound gorilla in the room that no one wants to notice.