Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Opinion: Remote-Controlled Terrorism | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55344194

People attend a protest to condemn an attack by a gunman at the beach of the Imperial Marhabada hotel in Sousse, Tunisia, June 27, 2015. Tour companies were evacuating thousands of foreign holidaymakers from Tunisia on Saturday, a day after a gunman killed 39 people as they lounged at the beach in an attack claimed by Islamic State. Tunisia’s Prime Minister Habib Essid said most of the dead were British, and its health ministry said eight Britons, a German, a Belgian and an Irish citizen were among the casualties of the attack at a hotel in the resort town of Sousse. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Terrorism hit three continents on the same day last week, causing dozens of deaths on a beach in Tunisia and a mosque in Kuwait as well as the beheading of a man at a factory in France where the murderer posed for a selfie with his victim’s decapitated body—an act betraying his mental derangement.

In fact, the triple attacks appear to have been committed by sick people exploited for the purpose of terrorizing the world in the name of an organization that has managed to establish a base in Iraq and Syria as a result of negligence on the part of the international community. This passivity has allowed thousands of militants from across the world to spread in those two countries in a bid to indulge in their sick hobbies, such as chopping peoples’ heads off and other disgusting acts of violence.

Another fact is that despite the many acts of terrorism and violence that take place in Iraq and Syria, they do not resonate as much as the ones committed elsewhere, such as the ones carried out last Friday by individuals in their early twenties who escaped the state radar. The perpetrators fell victim to the sick propaganda promoted by advocates of extremism and followers of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Many of the techniques ISIS uses to recruit and brainwash people have started to unfold, something which opens the way to defeating the group which is keen on recruiting Westerners by spreading its propaganda on social media websites. It appears that many lost souls, who are looking for an identity, a sense of belonging, or even adventures, find in ISIS’s sick propaganda some sense of self-achievement.

According to a New York Times report, many are willing to spend hours recruiting lost souls, such as a young American woman who found in her new friendships with terrorists she met online a refuge from loneliness. Many people said, according to another report, that boredom has led them to become attracted by ISIS’s propaganda, which aims at exploiting them to carry out suicide operations.

Is there a way to stop the barrage of recruits and prevent ISIS’s ideology from igniting a sectarian war in the region and terrorizing the world? The answer is definitely ‘yes,’ providing that everybody acts seriously enough to cut ISIS’s supply routes, sources of recruits, and the funding it generates from the sales of oil and antiquities. As for its online recruitment methods, they can be countered but it will take a long time.

Eliminating ISIS requires ideologically countering the worldview according to which it divides the world into Muslims and infidels who must be killed.