As the days go by IS, formerly known as ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) ramps up their foreign recruitment efforts. It is very important to a radical group like IS to bring together Muslims from all over the world to fight for their cause. They have a variety of propaganda tactics that might appeal to foreigners living in Canada, the United States, or western Europe.
Social media is the main outlet for these recruiters to reach western citizens. They have a variety of messages that mainly convey the idea that if they do not join the cause they will be killed for siding with the “infidels”. Although many different countries manage to block some of these messages there are always ones that get through. The United States, Canada, and England have a number of individuals who have either gone to Syria and came back, or are believe to have been contacted by IS recruiters. Many of the recruiters are actually living in the west. In Canada we had a number of men who had decided to travel over, and in one specific case five individuals came from the same mosque. A man named Mubin Shaikh is currently a national security operative in Canada and he was previously a Taliban recruiter. He says that just by looking at the videos that IS are using to recruit people one can tell these individuals had to have been trained in the west.
The more research that is done on the recruitment of westerners we can see that it is not life long Muslims that are necessarily being targeted. Instead recruiters are often targeting recent converts who might not know the religion that well, or even non-Muslims. This tactic is very smart because recent converts might have a conflict with parents or family over the choices in their life. If a Christian family has a child that all of a sudden breaks from the norm and decides to join Islam there could be a number of issues and one might feel secluded and alone. Finding companionship and brotherhood is one of the things that these IS recruiters use to their advantage. They use it to spread propaganda. One individual might appeal to this and tell a friend or companion that is having the same issues and now this radical Islamic group has spread a message to more than one person.
The majority of recruits that decide to pledge to IS are men who do not know that much about religion at all and these are easy targets for recruiters. They will often have the recruits meet up with a religious leader of sorts and have religious meetings. Once they know you have pledged your allegiance they can begin the journey. They often have somebody who will meet you in Turkey and get you across the border where you will meet another individual who will take you to meet your friends. The message again is brotherhood. Often times the new recruits will spend a number or weeks doing small tasks for IS like collecting taxes until they have given up their passwords and contributed to recruiting more individuals and have successfully proven their allegiance to the cause. Once an individual has showed their drive to eliminate infidels they are often assigned to sacrifice their life in the most honourable way, a suicide bomb attack.