In the late 1970’s I had a good friend who, as a major in an Army Military Intelligence unit out of West Germany, visited a school in the Soviet Union. A Catholic, he remarked how Soviet schools were like Catholic schools in that students had to take a “religion” class every semester, only the religion was Marx-Leninism. His job was to determine how deeply those religious teachings appeared to sank in.
The lesson that day was how capitalism exploits the masses by cheating people and stealing from them. My friend said the lesson was filled with outrageous lies…but generally the class appeared uninterested. Their body language belied any real belief in any of that, proving the kids knew better. (Thank Radio Free Europe and samizdat network.) Like most 15-16 year old kids, they only wanted to pass the exam. But he went on to say the Soviets also knew this. Their real purpose was to identify in the class the more enthusiastic students who would gooble that crap up and someday make good Party apparatchiks. They would be steered into programs that would lead them into careers in government as part of the apparatus. (Organizers of the Occupy Movement used similar processes to recruit from the mish-mash of millennial debris who showed up to their events for free beer, drugs and partying. Very effective, and I’ll bet our FBI hasn’t a clue as to how many of them are now on the Left’s payroll.)
But they were also looking for the few who would likely become criminals, kids who believed every lie they were told about capitalism, only saying to themselves “Yeah, exploiting the people is for me!” In America they would have been sitting on the back row, in black leather jackets, blue jeans, duck tails, and boots up on the desk when the teacher wasn’t in the room. The Soviets looked upon these as we did…drop-outs just waiting to turn of age, anti-social, anti-establishment, alienists.
After 1991 they swarmed ashore in America under the cover of a Russian-style Mariel boat lift, and make up the core of Russian crime in the US.
ISIS and the Alienists
What this has to do with ISIS is their method of profiling for recruitment is similar. ISIS is actively seeking a certain type of alienist….and America is producing them at a much higher rate than the USSR could ever have dreamed.
Preferably, recruitment comes from alienated Muslim-American youth, who, in America, have traits ISIS would very much like to exploit, but also with shortcomings ISIS will find difficult to overcome.
The preferred type are like Nadir Soofi and Elton Simpson, who were put down by a single cop in the Garland Texas attack some days ago. They represent both the pro’s and con’s for ISIS recruiting in America. Both were middle class, both were considered gentle people to their circle of friends, (real sleepers) and were dedicated believing Muslims, one born that way, the other a convert, attending mosque regularly. How they were radicalized and alienated is unknown and can only be speculated, except to say, like the Soviet schools, every mosque has trained observers who look for certain signs to use as a basis for recruitment.
This group is ISIS’ first choice for recruitment, for being young Believers, they already buy into in that whole 72-virgins thing, so are more able to cross over that fear-bridge about being killed, or that guilt-bridge for taking mass numbers of innocent human life. For poor Muslims of the Middle East, the process of rationalizing this sort of sacrifice and slaughter isn’t that difficult for older men like bin Laden or the AQ-ISIS leadership to sell, that a quick passage to meet those virgins is a better deal than waiting for girls who are not all that pretty that often in their villages. (The Old Man of the Mountains, from 12th Century 3rd Crusades fame, and founder of the Assassins sect, is credited with beginning this practice, and even put on displays for Christian visitors, by asking some of his men to jump to their deaths off high precipices.)
This willingness to die, adapting to the mindset of a suicide bomber, is where the rubber meets the road in terror-recruitment, for this is a hard swallow for the average American hater we find on the internet, who seems to revel in the pain inflicted on Christians and Jews, but can’t really pull the trigger or put their own skins at risk. They mostly envision themselves as a part of management, like Adam Gadahn (Abu Suhayb Al-Amriki) who was killed in January in Pakistan by a drone strike. I don’t think American kids like one-way missions that much.
But the utter failure of the Garland “mission” in Texas highlights the shortcomings of recruiting this type of terror candidate without some hands-on training. Still, rather than an embarrassment, ISIS will make all the hay out of this event as they can, for while they likely had no direct hand in authorizing or managing the operation, they figure such acts can add to the general mix of public hysteria they’d like to create, with the help of a media who have already succeeded in nearly burning down two cities over what may very well have been two innocent police-related deaths. If they could convince 100 a month to go out and waste their lives as easily, even without a single American fatality, I’m sure they would consider it a major propaganda coup.
But they clearly want to draw blood.
Only recruiting from among non-Muslim alienist groups will be more difficult, for while American children are now openly trained to hate America, most are also self-indulgent, especially in the pleasure categories, and the idea of blowing themselves up in order to get even with people they don’t like is just not their idea of fun.
What ISIS would like to do is marry these young Muslim-Americans kids, who accept the rules of the road, with the street savvy and native cunning found in the environment Freddie Gray grew up in, the inner city, where a kid is raised in a war zone, and to get by even as a petty criminal, he must develop a native intelligence for strategic thinking, sneaking down dark alleys, and become a greater risk taker, and less fearful of being shot or being killed, while better able to think on his feet during a fight. ISIS would love to bottle this for their neophyte recruits, for the Garland Two were woefully lacking in every aspect of a ground operations.
ISIS hopes to flood America with trained soldiers carrying US-European passports, but probably not only as operatives but recruiting and training cadre, for then the threat will be exponentially greater. Only where? Out of sight and sound?.
And they must also find the alienist-psychopaths, like Dylan Kliebold, Eric Harris and James Holm, people with a “hole in their soul” as was once said of Johnny Ringo, the pistolero who rode with the Cowboys outlaw gang in the 1880s’ The American media had nearly deified them already, so imagine if they had killed in the name of Allah and jihad instead of a loss of television privileges? They would become poster-icons like Che Guevara in the modern America.
If ISIS can arrange for training either in the US (such as partnering with the inner city gangs…after all all, they don’t need a lot of territory for their kinds of missions) or in the western hemisphere, under the protection of criminal cartels, where trainees can leave and then re-enter the US by ground transportation, this problem can escalate quickly, and exponentially.
I do hope the FBI is out ahead on this, for tracking emails and Tweets, and standard profiling techniques may not be enough. ISIS will try to come here in a thousand different ways.