When Lives Collide
ISIS had found Jake.
The picture that the average Canadian or American has of an ISIS recruiter, is of a swarthy hooded male speaking Arabic sitting in an internet cafe in the middle east typing out his propaganda. This image could not be further from the truth. An ISIS recruiter is a white westerner with excellent computer skills, who is guided by a routine that would appear to have been created by an expert in psychology.
The public thinks in terms of al-Qaeda’s recruitment tactics which were successful. The Islamic State’s slick multimedia productions, its use of social media and personal “peer-to-peer” communication had set a new standard.
For Jake, it started when someone agreed with his negative comments about society. Jake never noticed that all that the recruiter was doing was mirroring Jake’s thoughts and comments. Before long Jake was being called “brother” and other inclusive terms that made Jake feel a part of something. The recruiter was also asking subtle questions. Jake did not understand how much info he gave out about himself. The recruiter heard the right information. Not much education, not too smart, no religious training and desperate for someone to agree with his views. The recruiter got three out of four right, but he was wrong about Jake not being too smart. Jake had learned that if people thought you were stupid, they would grossly underestimate you if it ever became important.
Eventually, Jake was made aware that he was talking with a terrorist recruiter, but he didn’t care. He was part of something and accepted. A meeting was arranged and Jake was expecting the swarthy foreigner and was shocked when a white, clean-cut guy showed up. He didn’t know it, but he was close to acceptance as a terrorist fighter. This meeting was the start of Jake’s indoctrination. The recruiter no longer mirrored Jake’s words and thoughts but introduced new ideas. If Jake balked it would be over. If he could be led now, then he could be led anywhere. Jake was more than pliable playing his stupid role. The recruiter had already decided that they would train Jake and eventually give him a one-time task in which he would become a martyr. The recruiter had decided that Jake was disposable material. In a previous age, he would have been called cannon fodder. However, he had made a serious miscalculation about Jake.
Since he was required to report to a parole officer, Jake’s training would differ greatly from the offshore training of terrorists in the past. It would be equally effective and deadly and it would start soon.
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