When you look at some of the extremists (and I don’t mean that all those going to fight against Assad are inherent extremists at all, only those committing atrocities in the name of Islam; many good Muslims have gone to Syria to fight a righteous jihad against the regime) that have crossed into Syria, it’s hardly a very faith-filled trip into a world of piety and fanatical, murderous dedication, contrary to what the Daily Mail and Fox News would have you believe.
In fact, when you look at the characters and actions of some people going to Syria, it looks more like a trip through Jeremy Kyle’s studio as opposed to a sacred pilgrimage. Don’t believe me? Take a look.
- David Souaan (Serbian-Syrian) arrived in Syria in 2013. He says he went to fetch his grandfather’s belongings, extensively posing for pictures with weapons. This could well have been true; he claims his grandfather fled with only the clothes on his back, as millions have. As someone who worked in Syria myself, I know that many who don’t fight also take photographs with arms to commemorate being there. He may have taken part in the fight if his bragging is to be believed. It is said in the Qur’an that it is best to conceal good deeds (e.g. if you’re fighting for the oppressed) to benefit you the most. Instead, Souaan went round his halls of residence bragging and showing off gun-toting pictures, because he wanted to look “cool”.
- Nicholas Teausant attempted to go to Syria to join Da’esh in March 2014, after being ensnared in an FBI sting, in which he claims that the FBI told him to join the terrorist cult, so they could subsequently arrest him when he did so (entrapping young Muslims is a systematic trend within US ‘law enforcement’). The gangly student claimed that he would be the only “white devil” to leave his face open to the camera, he would be a commander, on every news outlet… As it turns out, he spoke little Arabic, left a huge paper trail of bloodthirsty rhetoric all over the internet (in the age of post 9-11 hysteria) and grumbled about hurting himself in bed. He revealed in custody that he was diagnosed with mental health issues, making him vulnerable to fantasy.
In short, memebers of Da’esh claiming to fight in Islam’s name don’t actually follow Islam that well. In Islam, goodness to parents is of the utmost priority. Instead, all these young men joining Da’esh run off and leave their devastated families in the lurch; adding insult to injury by often lying to them about their intentions.
In fact, one study *actually* found that “a well-established religious identity actually protects against this sort of behaviour In other words, the more you actually know about the Islamic faith, the less inclined you are to commit terrorist acts (that is, against civilians).
What strikes you when you do some in-depth research is how little these people know about the faith that is ostensibly theirs, yet they somehow relish slaughter in its name. Despite the fact that Allah proclaimed: “and kill not anyone whom Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause (according to Islamic law*). This He has commanded you that you may understand.” (Al-Anaam, 6:151). Is there anything wrong with implementing shari’ah in a proper, just manner according to the Qur’an and Sunnah? Of course not. Is Da’esh doing it in the right way? Heck no.
In short, many self-styled warriors in the ranks of Da’esh are using religion as an outlet for venting their impotent fury, frustration, and blood lust.
When young Muslims see the injustices being done to Muslims around the world by the US and its allies, and the outright collaboration and disregard for their suffering by those who claim to be their “leaders”, it understandably makes them angry. Da’esh plays on this, telling them that they’re going to make the Islamic nations great again and repel the aggressors. Most, if not all, of their supporters begin with good intentions. That’s how they’re ensnared.
They think they’re fighting a jihad (that is, a war to spread Islam, defend the faith and its ideas and to defend your family, yourself and your wealth) by murdering civilians. In Islam, jihad involves a war in which two armed, opposing sides clash. Jihad does not mean random car bombs in packed markets, summarily executing civilians or ramming pedestrians with trucks.
Of course self-styled, attention-seeking behaviour of Da’esh members speaks for itself. Perverting Islam is no “jihad”, but is a ridiculous excuse for showing off, boasting, and bloody violence. Hence the bragging all over the internet, hence the ridiculous pictures, the profoundly un-pious actions… When jihad is performed, it should not be done with indiscriminate killing & savagery.
Of course it plays exactly into the hands of the governments they allegedly so despise, every single time. Every time they conduct some sort of abhorrent attack, the government of the nation in question uses it to score political points and justify more state-sanctioned snooping and more bombing of Muslim countries. No matter that only 2% of European terrorist attacks are committed by Muslims; the whole Muslim community is made to feel culpable for the actions of a few. What a great “jihad”.
Speaking of regimes, this brings me to the issue of entrapment. In the United States and elsewhere, many of these young men have been nudged by the government into attempting to either engage in domestic terror plots, or go overseas to do so. Then, when they’ve tried to engage in the plots that their own governments hatched (which they would otherwise have avoided), they’re arrested.
What makes this all the more obscene is that this is not just an occasional policy, but a systematic policy. A policy of inserting provocateurs and informers into mosques, schools, and other Islamic institutions. A policy of to sniff out the vulnerable, mentally unsound and the lonely, and incite them to terrorism, in order to create the fear and paranoia which is used to justify aggression against Muslim countries under the auspices of the “war on terror”.
Obama himself used the example of American extremists fighting in Syria (many FBI sting operations are now based around Syria) and potentially returning home “trained and battle-hardened” as an excuse to bomb the country and shield Bashar al-Assad.
The media works completely in tandem with the government in this regard. Whenever a fake plot is heroically foiled by the same men who created it, it’s convenient for both parties. The media gets a chance to pander to an Islamophobic, post-9/11 public by hysterically screeching about how another Muslim terrorist was stopped in his tracks. The government uses the media’s sensationalist coverage to spread the word that they were responsible for heroically foiling said false flag.
Statements of government ministers are quoted, officials stage press conferences and brag about the effectiveness of their intrusive policies and justify the alleged need for more. For See Murtaza Hussain’s work on one such case.
Take the case of Sinh Vinh Ngo Nguyen for example. The young American (with clearly noble intentions) went to Syria to fight with the opposition in order to “protect his brothers” after he heard about Assad’s actions. Somehow (probably due to online postings while in Syria) he gained FBI attention. He returned and began talking too openly to “associates” about his experiences. It was around that time that he had several meetings with “Amir” (August-October 2013), an informer he thought was a recruiter.
At the time of the initial meetings meetings Nguyen was still trying to procure training for his friends in Syria, enabling them to battle the Assad regime. Nguyen has a personality disorder bordering on schizophrenia (as was discovered during his incarceration). His trustworthy nature made him seem an ideal target for the FBI, which purposefully got his friend “Amir” to use a “skillful script” to persuade Nguyen to fly to Pakistan to train al-Qa’eda fighters.
The federal government guided him in the fake plot to the extent that the FBI agent not only incited him to join al-Qa’eda, but told him to commit a futher federal offence by filling out a false passport application. The agent actually led him up to the bus that would take him to his flight to Peshawar. He was then arrested.
His Facebook posts, and the fact that he fought in Syria was enough for him to be branded a “terrorist” (irrespective of his mental state) and put away for 13 years. The media and the FBI went into overdrive; the media reporting on evil terrorist plot being foiled, the government using the sensationalism to its advantage. They couldn’t put Nguyen away for fighting in Syria, so they engineered a means of doing so. One ABC article nonchalantly remarked that the FBI noticed his time in Syria and acted against him; “ultimately ensnaring him in a fake plan”.
Then there’s the case of Nicholas Teausant, the (also mentally ill) California student who publicly posted on Instagram about his desire to see America’s downfall. He was a fantasist who made idle boasts online, admitting that in actuality he didn’t “even know where to start”. The FBI dispatched an agent to tell him where to start. The agent did all the heavy lifting; Teausant, in the words of his own lawyer, “couldn’t provide material support to a pup tent”.
He forgot the name of Da’esh, he had to sell his laptop to get enough funds for a plane ticket, and plastered his intentions all over the web. He claims the FBI agent suggested the plan to him, and wouldn’t have even considered it otherwise.
These cases are only the tip of a huge, ominous iceberg that has been growing for decades. David Williams was a disenfranchised African-American living in Newburgh with a jailed father and a desperate need for cash to fund his brother’s liver transplant. An FBI agent contacted him and his friends and offered them hundreds of thousands of dollars, a new car and a free holiday in exchange for involvement in a bogus terror plot.
Williams and friends got 25 years in May 2009. In 2007, Shain Duka, Eljvir Duka, Dritan Duka, Mohamad Shnewer and Serdar Tatar, the “Fort Dix Five” were given life in jail for allegedly plotting to attack a US army base. An informant sold them rifles and offered rocket propelled grenades (which were never bought). The recordings of the actual exchanges seem to have been tampered with.
In March 2015, three men from Brooklyn were ensnared in an FBI sting for trying to provide support to Da’esh. Abror Habibov, Akhror Saidakhmetov and Abdurasul Juraboev were also accused of planning to kill the president and law enforcement officers. Like Teausant, they came to FBI attention through online posts. Again, their fake plot/s would have had no chance of succeeding without FBI help and incitement. Saidakhmetov apparently had a tendency for “bizarre and unhinged” ranting, openly telling FBI officers who visited him about his plans. This was despite the fact that couldn’t travel; not only did he have no money (which the FBI dutifully provided), but his mother had taken his passport.
In the words of Murtaza Hussain, “none of the three men was in any condition to travel or support the Islamic State, without help from the FBI informant”. The informant was the lynchpin, acting in the manner of a mature and responsible leader. He filled out Saidakhmetov’s new passport application, watched Da’esh videos with him, and gave advice. Just as was the case with Teausant, Nguyen and countless others, the informer either planned or directed the plot. Partly because the suspects were either too mentally incompetent or gullible.
Worse still are the statistics. It turns out that as of June 2014, practically all the high profile domestic terrorism cases in the United States have involved the FBI either instigating or assisting them. In a lengthy probe, the ensuing report concluded that nearly 50 percent of over 500 federal terrorism convictions relied on the use of an informant. In 30 percent of the cases they were “sting operations”. In other words, operations involving the informant playing an “active role”, often by actually instigating the plot.
In one case, a 17 year-old named Adel Daoud was actually gradually groomed by the FBI online to commit a terror plot, given a fake car bomb, and arrested in September 2012 when trying to detonate it. During his trial, the US government concealed the secret intelligence records for “compelling reasons of national security”. Worse , Daoud has learning disabilities, couldn’t talk until 5, and needed help in school.
His own mother described him as “Not the person with a complete mind”. As if not satisfied with only roping in Daoud, the FBI twent after his friend Abdela Tounisi. Tounisi was persuaded to agree to join al-Nusra by luring him in with a fake website.
It seems to have become the duty of the FBI to create a constant stream of fake domestic (Muslim) terrorist activity by sending informants into various Muslim places of worship and congregations to prey on vulnerable and isolated people, many with clear mental health issues.
This is has been (sadly) effective in causing Americans to see their own Muslim population as an inherent fifth column, resulting in widespread acceptance of ongoing wars in the Middle East; Islamophobia crafted from above. The same can be said of media sensationalism in Europe. Although, mercifully, a system of widespread entrapment and preying on the vulnerable doesn’t exist.
Since the hysteria surrounding the rise of Da’esh, we now see a new phenomenon; westerners are not just enthusiastically deriding Islam in response to sting operations and vilification. They’re literally travelling to the Middle East in the hundreds to kill the perceived enemies of their society. Their excuse is ostensibly to fight with “Kurdish” factions against extremism and terrorism. Which apparently justifies joining proscribed terror groups like the PKK and their affiliates. Granted, Assad is shielded by the media, but you would expect them to do some research.
One UK tough who worked as a bouncer moved to Iraq after watching mainstream news coverage (and now fights with a Christian militia) says what many won’t. He claims he’s there to fight a “society” which “needs to be fought”.
At this point the author is wondering what on earth westerners hope to achieve by joining a patchwork of often rabidly sectarian militias tearing the framework of Iraq apart. Aside from, of course, the thrill of killing.
This kind of disproportionate focus on one or two crazies as if they represent Islam is literally costing lives. People ignore a “secular” dictator who slaughters hundreds of thousands and focus on a group that has literally killed about 1/400th or more of his victims. Regardless of how genocidal you are, if you’re “secular”, the weight of the western world (ideological and military) will be behind you.
Worse still, they attribute the atrocities of Da’esh – comprising some 30,000 or more men – to all 1.7 billion people in the Muslim world as a whole, with lethal results. Acts committed by Muslim perpetrators are instantaneously branded as terrorism. Crimes committed by non-Muslims are attributed to mental illness. Or in the case of Chapel Hill, to a “parking dispute“.
Time will tell if and when the US public will come to realise that the majority of domestic bogeymen are churned out by the FBI. Or better yet, realise that the vilification of Muslims by government departments and media outlets is literally costing lives; these artificially-crafted domestic terrorists are used as an excuse for all kinds of imperialism, from haphazard drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan, to preserving Assad’s regime in Syria. The very prejudice induced in the population is motivating American citizens to loathe their Muslim neighbours. With lethal, tragic results.
* This could refer to a punishment for murder, adultery outside marriage etc (all of which have to be proved by four independent witnesses) or in combat. Islam does not allow haphazard murder of innocents.