Why young people join al quaeda and similar groups
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 19, 2012 07:58AM

Corboy proposal:

One thing worth investigating might be this:

Islam offers some models of male dignity and decorum that can be highly appealing to boys and young males trying to gain some grounding.

I am an American citizen, love my nation.

Onet thing that does trouble me is that with some rare exceptions, dignity and good manners are no longer taught and demonstrated as norm for men (or for that matter, women)

I am not advocating a tight assed, joyless voyage through life.

I am speaking of groundedness, dignity, presence.

It may be that what leads some young persons to join the US Marine Corps may lead others in the direction of Muslim male decorum.

I have seen too many adult American men who behave clownishly.

A thoughtful adolescent might react by going for something that offers structure and dignified masculine role models.

And girls and women have reported that they feel less sexual pressure by deciding to wear Hijab.

Sadly by a very gradual process, one my start with these reasons for feeling attracted to Islam and then, by self isolating with extremist literature and companions end up sliding into Al Quaeda and other such groups.

Here is an article that offers other perspectives.


Interviews and personal histories of 2,032 “foreign fighters” show • that rather than be
recruited, young men actively seek out al-Qaeda and its associated movements.
• Al-Qaeda is more than just an organization; it is an ideology and a popular global brand
that spins a heroic narrative with an idealized version of Islamic jihad.
• Al-Qaeda’s ubiquitous message of anti-Muslim oppression and global jihad appeals to the
developmental needs of adolescents.
• To defeat al-Qaeda, it is crucial to understand who seeks to join and why.
• Common myths and misconceptions about why young men join extremist movements
ignore the proximate causes.
• Potential recruits have an unfulfilled need to define themselves. Al-Qaeda’s ability to turn
them to violence is rooted in what each seeks: Revenge seekers need an outlet for their
frustration, status seekers need recognition, identity seekers need a group to join, and thrill
seekers need adventure.
• To prevent radicalization, calm the revenge seeker with programs to vent his frustration
(e.g., sports, creative arts, political discussion outlets, young adult mentors); promote the
status seeker with opportunities to show off his self-perceived talents (e.g., local political
participation, international exchange programs, positive public media depictions of young
Muslims); give the identity seeker groups to join (sports leagues, model governments,
student societies, community service programs, adventure groups); and turn off the thrill
seeker by tarnishing al-Qaeda’s image.
• Fragmented efforts of public diplomacy, strategic communications, and information operations
are underresourced, poorly coordinated, and understaffed given the strength and
pervasiveness of al-Qaeda’s message.
• A U.S. Strategic Communications Agency should be established to consolidate efforts under
a cabinet-level secretary of strategic communications; execute a presidentially approved
national communications strategy; manage funding of all U.S. communications programs;
enable, empower, support, and reinforce credible existing voices in the Muslim world; build
U.S. message credibility with honest, transparent dialogue that closes the “say-do” gap in
recent foreign policy; and collect, synthesize, and analyze public opinion research.

Myths about recruits

Common Myths about Al-Qaeda Recruits
The al-Qaeda terrorist who, quite literally, explodes onto the world stage is in a much different
mental state from the impressionable young person who entered the recruiting and
training pipeline. Many al-Qaeda fighters appear to have led normal lives before leaving the
relative safety and security of home and family. When they become foreign fighters, they
travel great distances to kill innocent people they have never met, in the name of an organization
they may not even have joined, for a cause they may not fully comprehend. They
make a mental transition so that distant events seem so personal and so egregious that they
are compelled to join someone else’s fight. Each has his own motivation to join an extremist
movement, but there are five things that he is not.8
First, he is not crazy. After the radicalization and indoctrination process, his actions
may appear utterly insane and irrational to an outside observer, but the young person
who entered the process was mentally stable. As forensic psychiatrist and counterterrorism
expert Marc Sageman has noted, individuals who suffer from antisocial personality
disorders are untrustworthy and likely to compromise the security of a clandestine organization
such as al-Qaeda. They are either kicked out or choose to leave when they discover
that the essence of suicide terrorism is a willingness to sacrifice for the greater good.9
The difficulties of locating information and training, combined with the need to maintain
secrecy and interact reliably with other members during the vetting process, could not
be managed by an unstable mind. In a review of the social psychology of a wide range of
terrorist groups, Clark McCauley and M. E. Segal conclude, “The best documented generalization
is negative; terrorists do not show any striking psychopathology.”10 The foreign
fighters studied for this report who were in custody were all given full medical and psychiatric
evaluations, and they show similar results. Antisocial behavior was clearly present
in all, but they did not show signs of any clinical psychosis. This seems obvious when one
considers insanity and recruiting. If all al-Qaeda recruits were insane, there would be a far
smaller pool to draw from. And there would be far fewer potential recruits in the pipeline,
because clinical psychoses are not easily or quickly acquired. During processing through
the al-Qaeda pipeline, the recruit might well take on the outward appearance of instability
infused with zealotry, but true mental disorders were almost entirely absent.

Second, the al-Qaeda recruit does not fit easily into an economic profile. Some individuals
studied had been unemployed for years and were living in poverty, while others came
from privileged backgrounds and relative wealth.

(Corboy Some are the hope of their families and their families make great sacrifices to send them abroad for university study. When these sons desert their families, disappear and die for a Jihadist group, its a horrific wound for thier families, who often were never told their boy had dropped out. These terrorist groups pervert the teaching of the Koran which states that a son, especially the only or oldest son, must seek permission from parents before going on jihad. This goes back to the days when only the presence of sons could guarantee a family's economic and social survival.)

Those with the means financed their own
travel, and those without means found sponsors willing to pick up the tab. As Daniel Pipes of
the Middle East Forums notes, radical Islamic ideologies, like other contemporary ideologically
based movements, use the rhetoric of economic oppression to enhance their argument;
however, their subjects are generally not drawn from the ranks of the desperately poor.11 A
young Saudi captured while trying to cross into Iraq revealed that he was promoted at work
and in line for a substantial pay raise just before he joined a local jihadist group. His is not
an isolated case. Among the subjects studied, economic motivations were the least cited
reason for joining a terrorist organization.

Third, al-Qaeda recruits do not become terrorists because they are Muslim. They actually
have an inadequate understanding of their own religion, which makes them vulnerable to
misinterpretations of the religious doctrines. In general, they do not come from strong religious
backgrounds. Almost universally, they either had an incomplete religious education or
were raised in a household where the faith was routinely practiced but was not a dominating
force. Whether their instruction came from a poorly funded madrassa in Pakistan or radical
preaching at the only mosque in their small European town, they typically were exposed to
a very narrow interpretation of Islam. Their teachers and religious leaders valued memorization
of key phrases over rigorous analysis of the texts. They were not exposed to the
over 1,400 years of Quranic commentary and scholarship, nor were they invited to question
their instructors on finer points.

For al-Qaeda to insert a skewed view of Islamic teachings
into their heads, there was clearly some religious wiggle room in their early development,
because they did not clearly define themselves in terms of a particular sect or religious
dogma. As a result, they could become zealous adherents to an unorthodox and distorted
version of Islam. History is replete with examples of religious arguments being used to
justify the violent redress of grievances. Regardless of the primary religion involved, small
groups play up selected passages of religious texts into guiding principles to manipulate the
uninformed and justify violent behavior.12 The same was true in these cases.

The fourth myth is that these young men were initially approached by an al-Qaeda
recruiter. Partly because of their nomadic lifestyle, al-Qaeda cadres do not actively approach
potential recruits to join the movement. The young men studied in this project more often
followed the “bunch of guys” theory proposed by Marc Sageman, in which individual recruits
sought out information about al-Qaeda through friends and associates.13 The first step was
usually taken by the individual, not the organization.

To generate interest, al-Qaeda has developed and aggressively promoted a global brand.
Al-Qaeda is coterminous with the arrival of new media capabilities, most notably satellite
television and Internet chat, which have allowed it to create an aspirational brand identity
through careful public positioning worthy of the savviest product marketers. Individuals
become aware of the brand and seek more information about it long before they meet an
al-Qaeda member or recruiter.

The al-Qaeda legend portrays the group as the acme of jihad, and this legend is its greatest
asset. It is a glorious, wispy presence, just out of reach, which only the most dedicated,
most committed, and purest of heart can hope to obtain. The posters are much better than
the reality, but the legend is nonetheless pervasive and persuasive. Al-Qaeda does not so
much recruit as position itself for only the most driven; then it allows them to petition for
membership. The vast majority of subjects in this study had either approached a friend
or relative in the movement or independently sought information on the Internet or in a
mosque known for supporting al-Qaeda.

The rest of the article is well worth attention.

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Re: Why young people join al quaeda and similar groups
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 19, 2012 07:59AM

The Four Seekers
The potential al-Qaeda recruits who live in this highly charged media environment are vectorless
energy looking for guidance and direction. They want to understand who they are, why
they matter, and what their role in the world should be. They have an unfulfilled need to define
themselves, which al-Qaeda offers to fill. Throughout the interviews and in all the statements
of those who crossed the threshold and began the indoctrination process, the recurring theme
was that they all were looking for something. Al-Qaeda’s ability to turn them to violence is
rooted in the fundamental nature of their search. Based on what they are seeking, they fall into
one of four broad categories: revenge seekers, status seekers, identity seekers, and thrill seekers.
A discussion of what they are looking for leads directly into how their path can change.
It is important to note that these are categories of potential recruits, not of al-Qaeda
members or vigorous supporters. Once a young man has “crossed the threshold” and begun
the indoctrination process, his information environment changes dramatically. He is isolated
and indoctrinated and his worldview altered to a point of cultlike zealotry that makes him
psychologically unlike his preindoctrination state. Once a potential recruit has entered the
pipeline, he is no longer an appropriate target for counterradicalization through positive
influence, because he is unlikely even to hear an opposing message, and the chance that he
will be free to respond to it or interpret it objectively is minuscule.
Second, these are not homegrown insurgents rising up against their government to join
insurgent or separatist movements. Their willingness to leave their homeland makes them
distinct in their motivations and uniquely dangerous to the United States and its allies.
Problems of domestic terrorism or insurgent violence, although related, are drawn from
different motivations.
The Revenge Seeker: Looking for an Outlet for Frustration
The first of the four seekers, the revenge seeker, perceives himself as a victim in society.
In his logic, external forces are causing his unhappiness and making it hard for him to succeed.
More accurately, he doesn’t know why he feels angry, so he is looking for something
to be angry about. The flames of his anger can be fueled by any number of minor slights,
from a schoolyard rivalry to a romantic rebuff, until he is filled with frustration and rage.
Psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut described this as “narcissistic rage . . . the need for revenge, for
righting a wrong, for undoing a hurt by whatever means, and a deeply anchored, unrelenting
compulsion in the pursuit of all of these aims.”27 Many of the subjects interviewed for this
study initially claimed that their reason for fighting was to punish the West for its attacks on
Videos of past and future
volunteers; photos of martyrs
on leaflets, posters, and
calendars; and the reenactment
of martyrdom operations in
pageants and school plays all
serve to justify and glorify the
act of suicide bombing.
Muslims. As the discussions progressed, however, it became clear that they had been angry
with members of their families, especially their fathers, or had been involved in neighborhood
disputes and squabbles before becoming interested in al-Qaeda.
Middle Eastern Muslim culture expert Marvin Zonis notes that Arab societies value the honor
and dignity of the individual more than personal liberty. When the principles of honor and
dignity confront the devastating failures of many Middle Eastern states to achieve prominence
in the world, the result is a profound and omnipresent humiliation and rage that is palpable
throughout the region.28 Although separating the anger that they felt before joining al-Qaeda
from the anger generated by extremist rhetoric was occasionally difficult, it was clear in nearly
30 percent of the cases that young men had sought al-Qaeda because they were angry.
In many ways, the revenge seeker is similar to someone who joins a local movement,
whether political or militant, to try to change the political conditions he lives in. The major
difference is that the revenge seeker who becomes a foreign fighter must elevate his anger
to perceive a slight that he has never personally or physically experienced. To satisfy his
need for revenge, he must rage against something that he has only vicariously experienced.
Foreign fighters who fell into the revenge seekers’ category often showed signs of an inflated
sense of self-worth. They believed that only they could set the world aright. Al-Qaeda’s
propaganda fuels their anger and channels it toward the United States, giving them both
purpose and direction.
Since the revenge seeker is most attracted to al-Qaeda’s message of intent to lash out
against the West, which he sees as responsible for the ills of the Muslim community, he must
be shown other ways to vent his anger. To divert a revenge seeker from the path of violent
extremism, he must be given an outlet for his anger and a means to direct it toward meaningful
change in the world. Opening a channel of communication for the revenge seeker by
encouraging political discourse and participation, supporting the creative arts, and offering
sports programs can help him meet the need to release his anger.
The Status Seeker: Looking for Recognition
Whereas revenge seekers were more common among those living primarily in Middle Eastern
Muslim societies, the second group, status seekers, was more prevalent among the diaspora,
especially those living in the West. The status seeker sees a world that does not understand
or appreciate him as he perceives himself. His frustration stems from unrealized expectations
that he will be successful in his new home and recognized by his community. This
is especially prevalent in recent immigrants looking for work, and in international college
students looking to assimilate in a foreign country. They are often not shown the kind of
respect that they got before leaving their home countries.
Take, for example, the young North African who travels to Europe in search of better
wages or a better life. When he arrives, he finds only menial work, though the pay is much
greater than in his home country. He dutifully sends money home, all the while seething
over the fact that he is restricted to certain sections of town or certain jobs by a society
that is interested in him only as cheap labor.29 One young Moroccan proclaimed, “I was
like a slave in France. I could work in the kitchen but was not welcome in the dining room.
When I left my neighborhood, people avoided me on the street as if I were unclean.”30
Young men in these situations believe that they have value and abilities and a worth to the
world that their position in society doesn’t reflect. More than 25 percent of the fighters in
the sample were seeking either to improve their status in the community or to demonstrate
their prominence to the world.
Albert Bandura’s social learning theory is illustrative in these cases because young
men who are frustrated with their roles and development seek “high-status” members of
The revenge seeker who becomes
a foreign fighter must elevate
his anger to perceive a slight
that he has never personally or
physically experienced.
The motivation to define
oneself by the group identity
is almost universal among
developing adolescents. It
draws young people to street
gangs and chess clubs, to
marching bands and al-Qaeda.
the community after whom they can model their behavior.31 In ethnically divided Western
communities, these young men find few fellow countrymen who have achieved high status,
and they begin to perceive that prejudice and persecution is preventing their entire group
from improving its lot. This sets off an “I’ll show you” response and drives them to demand
acknowledgment of their intrinsic worth. Personal honor and respect are hallmarks of the
societies where these young men have grown up. They begin to feel that they must do
something to show the world their value. Racism and mistrust of Middle Easterners only
exacerbates the isolation and sense of undervaluation. With no other outlets or opportunities
to excel, they can easily be seduced to believe that al-Qaeda’s status would transfer to
them if they joined.
At this point, the legend of al-Qaeda presents its martyrs and operatives as glorious,
heroic figures who have gained great respect in their communities. Older Muslims living
among the diaspora, to enhance their own bona fides, may recount tales of personal glory
achieved while fighting in distant lands. Before long, the status seeker begins to perceive
that the surest route to respect is to join the global jihad. For him to turn away from this
belief, he must be reflected publicly in a manner more consistent with his self-perception.
Foreign exchanges that confer status, provide positive media depictions of Muslims, and
desegregate communities all help turn the status seeker away from al-Qaeda.
The Identity Seeker: Looking for a Place to Belong
Unlike the status seeker, who wants to stand out from the masses, the identity seeker is
more concerned with assimilating into a defining organization. Being part of something is
the principal motivation for the identity seeker. The strength and stability of one’s personality
rests on the formation of a satisfying and functioning identity, and the motivation
to define oneself by the group identity is strong and, indeed, almost universal among
developing adolescents. It draws young people to street gangs and chess clubs, to marching
bands and al-Qaeda. This springs from the innate need to internalize the behavior, mores,
and attitudes of a social grouping.32 The identity seeker needs the structure, rules, and
perspective that come from belonging to a group, because belonging defines him, his role,
his friends, and his interaction with society.
As a young man struggles to define himself, the norms of group identity and the acceptance
of his peers are crucial. Group identity also provides outward symbols of his affiliation,
announcing him to the world and defining him in the eyes of others. Identity seekers comprised
the largest percentage of foreign fighters studied. For them, al-Qaeda is more than
just a legend—it is the best possible club to join. As with other highly exclusive groups,
from fraternal orders to religious cults, al-Qaeda’s ideology demands strict obedience to a
state of mind and prescribes how members should think, feel, and behave. These clear rules
and coherent vision of the world appeal to identity seekers because they neatly package an
identity into the ideology. A young man casting about for guidance and direction finds it
in abundance with al-Qaeda.
The behavioral framework and guiding principles provided by group affiliation also
explain the culture of suicide and violence that exists within an al-Qaeda cell. Violence and
death become the norm. Anyone who rejects violence is cast out by the group and loses
the positive benefits and defining principles that came from belonging.33 Thus, it is critical
to turn young men away from al-Qaeda membership before they have joined. Once they are
inside, the dynamic of distancing from society and clinging to the group is continuously
Just as in the struggle against urban gang violence, the greatest challenge is to provide
viable alternatives and other groups to which a young man can belong. The United States
and its allies must support organizations that create positive identity groups, from community
service organizations to sports and adventure clubs. The structure and purpose of
an organized group, along with the symbols of membership, will make the identity seeker
less likely to fulfill his needs by joining an al-Qaeda cell.
The Thrill Seeker: Looking for Adventure
Thrill seekers represent the smallest percentage of those studied, accounting for less than
5 percent of the sample. They also represent a very distinct motivation from the other
three. The thrill seeker is filled with energy and drive. He wants to prove his manhood by
accomplishing an arduous task or surviving a harrowing adventure. Bored or unchallenged
at home, he looks for the next trial or newest adventure. Often from a middle- or uppermiddle-
class family, he has no interest in the family business or what he perceives as the
mundane life on his horizon.
The thrill seeker is often attracted to violent video games and the fanciful tales of
returning fighters. He is most impressed by the images of glory and adventure portrayed by
al-Qaeda propaganda. For the thrill seeker, al-Qaeda is a horror action brand that promises
spectacular violence and unimaginable glory.
The thrill seeker is also the most likely to quit the movement if the reality fails to live up
to the legend or he is not challenged. One young Syrian said in his interview that he spent
the first few months cooking, cleaning, and driving the other members around the city. “I
was like a woman for them; they did not trust me to do any real fighting.” In reality, most
al-Qaeda cells are initially suspicious of newcomers because they fear infiltration by intelligence
organizations. New recruits are often given menial work until they can prove their
trustworthiness. This makes it possible to dissuade the thrill seeker simply by exposing the
reality of life inside al-Qaeda.

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Re: Why young people join al quaeda and similar groups
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 31, 2012 08:52AM


CME Article--Abstract

Large-group Narcissism and Political Leaders with Narcissistic Personality Organization

Read Full Text Article
HTML Icon Psychiatric Annals
April 2009 - Volume 39 · Issue 4:
Massive traumas at the hands of “others” lead to shared humiliation, shame, fear of being assertive, and difficulty mourning for large ethnic, national, or religious groups. Large-group narcissistic injury may lead to a corresponding defensive increase of shared narcissism linked to large-group identity. Once the traumatic event is over — following the end of an occupation by the “other,” the removal of the oppressive regime, or the break-up of a political system — smoldering narcissistic injuries among the former sufferers and among their descendants through transgenerational transmissions can spark new large-group processes of “entitlement ideologies.” Such processes, with or without a change in function, may remain active for generations, at times with malignant and destructive consequences. When exacerbated, they play a role in the creation of an atmosphere that encourages leaders with narcissistic personality organization to reactivate and manipulate “entitlement ideologies” and related emotions within the large group. This, in turn, increases the shared narcissistic investment in large-group identity and changes its characteristics. Such leaders can function to repair old wounds, returning mature pride and confidence to the group, or conversely, narcissistic leaders with an underlying paranoid orientation can foment violence and massive destruction in the name of “ethnic cleansing” and genocide.

Vamik D. Volkan, MD, is Senior Erikson Scholar, Erik H. Erikson Institute, Austen Riggs Center, Stockbridge, Massachusetts. J. Christopher Fowler, PhD, is Director of Research, Erik H. Erikson Institute.

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Re: Why young people join al quaeda and similar groups
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 19, 2013 11:27PM

At this time, two suspects have been ID'd for the Boston Marathon bombing (three persons killed, more than 120 injured)

The two young men are described as being either from Chechnya or Kyrgyzistan.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, now dead, in his twenties

Dhzokhar Tsarnaev, 19, sought by the police.

Young Tsarnaev had been in the US for about 9 years, and had had excellent grades during his time at Boston Latin School, and two years ago, had been awarded a $2,500 scholarship, given in a public ceremony with news coverage. This young person fits a profile for the high achiever and had listed Islam as his world view, yet also listed ambitions for a business career.

His brother Tamerlan, older, claimed not to have any American friend, but had become proficient in mixed martial arts and was an avid boxer.

In light of the paper cited above, listing 4 types of Jihadi recruits, it will be interesting to see if the Tsarnaev brothers fit into any of these catagories.

There is no shortage of heartbreak here.

If Dzhokhar is one of the bombers, it is sad and terrifying that someone who had been here in the US for nine years, who had earned respect and recognition for academic achievement at a fine school, could have been persuaded to take his talents and turn the steering wheel onto the highway to hell.

For Tamerlan, an athlete himself, to have been involved in a manner of bomb attack designed to strike at the legs of marathon runners is a special cruelty. Usually among those who love physical fitness, there is a morsel of rapport, even if the sports involved are quite different. If indeed Tamarlan is one of the bombers, perhaps he hit at a sport event that mirrors America but also America as a group--and out in the open, in a public space, filled with energy and community on large scale. Assimilated, melting pot America, in all its glory.

And it is reported that Tamerlan had been arrested once for domestic violence.

Tamerlan appears to have been older, proud of his physical prowess, perhaps considered himself superior to his younger brother because of his age ranking--important in Eastern European and the Caucasian/Central Asian groups.

After emigrating to a First World country, it often happens that younger sibs adapt more easily while parents and older sibs may have greater difficulty learning a new language and making adjustments from the values of the home country and culture to those of a First World nation based on participatory democracy and in which women are fully visible and active in public life.

It will be very interesting to see which brother became radicalized first.

And it will also be interesting to see whether one brother converted the other to jihadism and which one was the prime mover in the pair.

Meanwhile, as we rightly mourn for our friends who went to participate in the Boston Marathon and instead met with horror, the Tsarnaev family has its special grief.

What can a family do when it places trust in its children to do well in a new country, and then discover that their boys threw their own lives away and ruined others lives in the name of an ideology.

"If you know what life is worth, you will look to yours on earth."

Bob Marley.

Bob was a humanist.

The jihadists have said, that this life is no better than a latrine, one doesnt spend more time in than necessary.

America was created by and for people who dont consider this life a dark place to shit in, but a neighborhood of curiosity and marvels, well worth finding friends and making a home in.

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Re: Why young people join al quaeda and similar groups
Posted by: Vera City ()
Date: April 20, 2013 11:24AM

You certainly have a compassionate and sensitive way at looking at this issue.
To me all the research that is on this website regarding cults and undue influence needs to become common knowledge to avoid Boston Bomber type incidents.

Islamist Preacher who influenced Boston Bomber

Additionally, in my opinion, the issue of "religion" is skirted and taboo in the case of Islam. One reading of the Koran informs us that it is certainly not a religion of peace. It is a fairly recent and derivative cult....erm ... religion. Religion only because it stuck around for a long time before the internet and was able to crush all opposition by killing all its enemies since its inception....
Just check out the history of West Africa past and present (Timbuktu)...

If you study Islam, and especially its globally trendy manifestations, using the template of how cults operate, you'll be armed with the preventative medicine against its modern violence.

This is not an idealogy that ressurects man's dignity. It deprives him of any shred of gentlemanliness and turns him into a worthless bully or worse. If a male follower succeeds in assimilating in modern society by keeping his real views constricted, he still ends up subsidizing and passively supporting a very destructive cult.

The so called "Golden Age" of Islam did not last long and occured only because of its tolerance of other cultures. Most of its history is bloody. These Chechnyan boyz were not de-balled by America, but by a dangerous cult.

I am not going to get into how women are treated in Islam or the ills of other religions or other geopolitical, senseless violence.

I am just addressing the myth of machismo in Islam along with other contradictions in a cult that disguises itself as a religion. Or perhaps Gert Wilders is right in saying that it is still young and has not gone through the tempering that older religions have undergone coming into the modern age.

see All About Islam

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Re: Why young people join al quaeda and similar groups
Posted by: Vera City ()
Date: April 21, 2013 04:27AM

More related info to the Islamization of the Bostom Bombers
Islam and the Boston Bombers

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Re: Why young people join al quaeda and similar groups
Posted by: Vera City ()
Date: April 27, 2013 05:46AM

Regardless of the riff between Ross and Hassan, this is a good interview on the topic of how people can shift so radically from being a normal citizen to a radicalized weapon of terror. Steve Hassan brings out points that do not differ from Ross's fundamental understanding of how cults work.
How Fast Can Someone be "Radicalized"

[from the interview on Here and Now - NPR - 4-26-13]


His personal experience, he said, could shed some light on what might have happened in the case of the Tsarnaev brothers.

“For me, I was recruited when I was 19 years old, and it took two weeks for me to drop out of my college, quit my job, donate my bank account and believe the messiah was on the Earth. It took me, I’d say, another year before I was willing to die or kill on command. But I can tell you in 36 years as a therapist, very intelligent, educated people from good families can be recruited and indoctrinated into something totally against their values system.”

And “loners” aren’t the only ones susceptible to recruitment, Hassan said.

“I was an extra-honors student and popular and was not interested in joining a group,” he said. “My girlfriend dumped me and three attractive women flirted, and then it was history.”

Hassan says there are ways to help prevent recruitment to cults or extremist groups.

“Masoud Banisadr, a former Iranian MEK [Mojahedin-e-Khalq] cult member came up with this idea – he said after a civil trial, there should be a sharia trial. An Islamic cleric should come in and basically try the person and say, ‘You’re going to hell, because the Koran explicitly states you should not harm women, children, elderly,’” Hassan said. “And I’d like to see ex-jihadists come and give lectures on campuses, at mosques and such. I’d like to see more people taught about how social influence works.”

Disclaimer regarding Steve Hassan

The Ross Institute of New Jersey/May 2013

See [www.culteducation.com]

The inclusion of news articles within the Ross Institute of New Jersey (RI) archives, which mention and/or quote Steven Hassan, in no way suggests that RI recommends Mr. Hassan or recognizes him in any way.

News articles that mention Steve Hassan have been archived for historical purposes only due to the information they contain about controversial groups, movements and/or leaders.

RI does not recommend Steven Hassan.

RI has received serious complaints about Steve Hassan concerning his fees. Mr. Hassan does not publicly disclose his fee schedule, but according to complaints Steve Hassan has charged fees varying from $250.00 per hour or $2,500.00 per day to $500.00 per hour or $5,000.00 per day. This does not include Mr. Hassan's expenses, which according to complaints can be quite substantial.

Steven Hassan has charged families tens of thousands of dollars and provided questionable results. One recent complaint cited total fees of almost $50,000.00. But this very expensive intervention effort ended in failure.

Dr. Cathleen Mann, who holds a doctorate in psychology and has been a licensed counselor in the state of Colorado since 1994 points out, "Nowhere does Hassan provide a base rate and/or any type or accepted statistical method defining his results..."

Steve Hassan has at times suggested to potential clients that they purchase a preliminary report based upon what he calls his "BITE" model. These "BITE reports" can potentially cost thousands of dollars.

See [corp.sec.state.ma.us]

Steve Hassan runs a for-profit corporation called "Freedom of Mind." Mr. Hassan is listed as the corporate agent for that business as well as its president and treasurer.

RI does not recommend "Freedom of Mind" as a resource.

RI also does not list or recommend Steve Hassan's books.

To better understand why Mr. Hassan's books are not recommended by RI read this detailed review of his most recently self-published book titled "Freedom of Mind."

See [www.cultnews.com]

Steve Hassan's cult intervention methodology has historically raised concerns since its inception. The book "Recovery from Cults" (W.W. Norton & Co. pp. 174-175) edited by Dr. Michael Langone states the following:

"Calling his approach 'strategic intervention [sic] therapy,' Hassan (1988) stresses that, although he too tries to communicate a body of information to cultists and to help them think independently, he also does formal counseling. As with many humanistic counseling approaches, Hassan’s runs the risk of imposing clarity, however subtly, on the framework’s foundational ambiguity and thereby manipulating the client."

RI has also learned that Mr. Hassan has had dual-relationships with his counseling clients. That is, clients seeing Mr. Hassan for counseling may also do professional cult intervention work with him.

Professionals in the field of cultic studies have also expressed concerns regarding Steven Hassan's use of hypnosis and Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).

Based upon complaints and the concerns expressed about Mr. Hassan RI does not recommend Steve Hassan for counseling, intervention work or any other form of professional consultation.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2013 09:09PM by rrmoderator.

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Re: Why young people join al quaeda and similar groups
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 29, 2013 04:22AM

Again, I suggest at a most important dimension to look at is a persons ability to acknowledge pain, fear frustration, maintain enough of a sense of self to examine this and then ask for help and come up with a problem solving plan.

A most interesting article in New York Times.

By now, it appears that much information points to Tamerlan Tsarnaev as having taken the lead.

It appears, if this NYT article is accurate, that Tamerlan invested his dreams, hope, sense of self in a hoped for career as a boxing champion.

And was then disqualified from competition by a change of rules.

Meanwhile, we have been getting reports that his brother, Dhzogar, though he was regarded as highly intelligent, had had an excellent record in high school, won a scholarship, but began having serious trouble with his course work after transferring from high school to university. His grades plunged.

It appears that both brothers encountered severe frustration in the areas where they had forged identities and invested their respective sense of self





At the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Dzhokhar began to struggle academically. According to a university transcript reviewed by The New York Times, he was failing many of his classes. The transcript shows him receiving seven failing grades over three semesters, including F’s in Principles of Modern Chemistry, Intro to American Politics and Chemistry and the Environment. According to the transcript, Dzhokhar received a B in Critical Writing and a D and D-plus in two other courses.

San, 22, a former classmate at the university who would identify himself only by his first name, said that Dzhokhar had told him he was having trouble in some courses.

“He was talking about how he wasn’t doing as good as he expected,” San said. “He was a really smart kid, but having a little difficulty in college because going from high school to college is totally different.”


It appears that one area where one needs to look when assessing whether a person is at risk of violence is--his (especially his) ability to hold, contain and endure pain and frustration when thwarted in an area important to self-identity.

Many people would react to academic trouble by making an appointment with the instructors and perhaps, having a consult with the campus tutor to ID where and why they were having trouble.

But what if someone just cannot hold and contain the pain and suffering of feeling failure and feeling thwarted and is unable to go and get help?

And, if one has run into self-insult and mortification, what better way to revive a mortified sense of self than by linking it to some "higher cause"?


A Battered Dream, Then a Violent Path

Glenn Depriest/Getty Images
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, right, lost at the Golden Gloves championships in 2009. A year later, a new citizenship rule blocked him.

Published: April 27, 2013
BOSTON — It was a blow the immigrant boxer could not withstand: after capturing his second consecutive title as the Golden Gloves heavyweight champion of New England in 2010, Tamerlan Anzorovich Tsarnaev, 23, was barred from the national Tournament of Champions because he was not a United States citizen.

The cocksure fighter, a flamboyant dresser partial to white fur and snakeskin, had been looking forward to redeeming the loss he suffered the previous year in the first round, when the judges awarded his opponent the decision, drawing boos from spectators who considered Mr. Tsarnaev dominant.

From one year to the next, though, the tournament rules had changed, disqualifying legal permanent residents — not only Mr. Tsarnaev, who was Soviet-born of Chechen and Dagestani heritage, but several other New England contenders, too. His aspirations frustrated, he dropped out of boxing competition entirely, and his life veered in a completely different direction.

Mr. Tsarnaev portrayed his quitting as a reflection of the sport’s incompatibility with his growing devotion to Islam. But as dozens of interviews with friends, acquaintances and relatives from Cambridge, Mass., to Dagestan showed, that devotion, and the suspected radicalization that accompanied it, was a path he followed most avidly only after his more secular dreams were dashed in 2010 and he was left adrift.

His trajectory eventually led the frustrated athlete and his loyal younger brother, Dzhokhar, to bomb one of the most famous athletic events in this country, killing three and wounding more than 200 at the Boston Marathon, the authorities say. They say it led Mr. Tsarnaev, his application for citizenship stalled, and his brother, a new citizen and a seemingly well-adjusted college student, to attack their American hometown on Patriots’ Day, April 15.

Mr. Tsarnaev now lies in the state medical examiner’s office, his body riddled with bullets after a confrontation with the police four days after the bombings. He left behind an American-born wife who had converted to Islam, a 3-year-old daughter with curly hair, a 19-year-old brother charged with using a weapon of mass destruction, and a puzzle: Why did these two young men seemingly turn on the country that had granted them asylum?

Examining their lives for clues, the authorities have focused on Mr. Tsarnaev’s six-month trip to the Russian republics of Chechnya and Dagestan last year. But in Cambridge, sitting on the front steps of the ramshackle, brown-shingled house where the Tsarnaev family lived for a decade, their 79-year-old landlady urged a longer lens.

“He certainly wasn’t radicalized in Dagestan,” the landlady, Joanna Herlihy, said.

Ms. Herlihy, who speaks Russian and was friends with the Tsarnaevs, said she told law enforcement officials that his trip clearly merited scrutiny. But she said that Mr. Tsarnaev’s embrace of Islam had grown more intense before that.

As his religious identification grew fiercer, Mr. Tsarnaev seemed to abandon his once avid pursuit of the American dream. He dropped out of community college and lost interest not just in boxing but also in music; he used to play piano and violin, classical music and rap, and his e-mail address was a clue to how he once saw himself: The_Professor@real-hiphop.com. He worked only sporadically, sometimes as a pizza deliverer, and he grew first a close-cropped beard and then a flowing one.

He seemed isolated, too. Since his return from Dagestan, he, his wife and his child were the only Tsarnaevs living full time in the three-bedroom apartment on Ms. Herlihy’s third floor.

Mr. Tsarnaev’s two younger sisters had long since married and moved out; his parents, now separated, had returned to Dagestan, his mother soon after a felony arrest on shoplifting charges; and his brother had left for the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, returning home only on the occasional weekend, as he did recently after damaging his 1999 green Honda Civic by texting while driving.

“When Dzhokhar used to come home on Friday night from the dormitory, Tamerlan used to hug him and kiss him — hold him, like, because he was a big, big boy, Tamerlan,” their mother, Zubeidat, 45, said last week, adding that her older son had been “handsome like Hercules.”

Not long after he gave up his boxing career, Mr. Tsarnaev married Katherine Russell of Rhode Island in a brief Islamic ceremony at a Dorchester mosque in June 2010. She has declined to speak publicly since the attacks.

His wife primarily supported the family through her job as a home health aide, scraping together about $1,200 a month to pay the rent. While she worked, Mr. Tsarnaev looked after their daughter, Zahira, who was learning to ride the tricycle still parked beside the house, neighbors said. The family’s income was supplemented by public assistance and food stamps from September 2011 to November 2012, state officials said.

It was probably not the life that Anzor Tsarnaev had imagined for his oldest child, who, even as a boy, before he developed the broad-shouldered physique that his mother described as “a masterpiece,” dreamed of becoming a famous boxer.

But then the father’s life had not gone as planned, either. Once an official in the prosecutor’s office in Kyrgyzstan, he had been reduced to working as an unlicensed mechanic in the back lot of a rug store in Cambridge.

“He was out there in the snow and cold, freezing his hands to do this work on people’s cars,” said Chris Walter, owner of the store, Yayla Tribal Rug. “I did not charge him for the space because he was a poor, struggling guy with a good heart.”

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was born on Oct. 21, 1986, five years before the dissolution of the Soviet Union, in Kalmykia, a barren stretch of Russian territory by the Caspian Sea. A photograph of him as a baby shows a cherubic child wearing a knit cap with a pompom, perched on the lap of his unsmiling mother, who has spiky black bangs and an artful pile of hair. Strikingly, she did not cover her head then, as she does now; she began wearing a hijab only a few years ago, in the United States, prodded by her son just as she was prodding him, too, to deepen his faith.

When he was still little, his parents moved from Kalmykia to Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic, where their other three children were born. They left there during the economic crisis of the late 1990s and spent a few brief months in Chechnya, then fled before the full-scale Russian military invasion in 1999. They sought shelter next in his mother’s native Dagestan.

In an interview there, Patimat Suleimanova, her sister-in-law, said the family had repeatedly been on the run from war and hardship in those days. “In search of peace, they kept moving,” she said.

Finally, Anzor Tsarnaev sought political asylum in the United States. He arrived first, with his younger son, in the spring of 2002. His older son, a young man of 16, followed with the rest of the family in July 2003.

Their neighborhood in Cambridge was run-down, with car repair lots where condominiums have since arisen. But the city has long been especially welcoming to immigrants and refugees; its high school has students from 75 countries.

The schools superintendent, Jeffrey Young, described Cambridge as “beyond tolerant.”

“How is it that someone could grow up in a place like this and end up in a place like that?” he said of the Tsarnaevs.

Unlike his little brother, who was well integrated into the community by the time he started high school, Mr. Tsarnaev was a genuine newcomer when he entered the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, from which he graduated in 2006. Enrolled in the large English as a Second Language program, he made friends mostly with other international students, and his demeanor was reserved, one former classmate, Luis Vasquez, said.

“The view on him was that he was a boxer and you would not want to mess with him,” Mr. Vasquez, now 25 and a candidate for the Cambridge City Council, said. “He told me that he wanted to represent the U.S. in boxing. He wanted to do the Olympics and then turn pro.”

Jumping right into boxing after his arrival in the United States, he called attention to himself immediately in more ways than one. During registration for a tournament in Lowell, he sat down at a piano and lost himself for 20 minutes in a piece of classical music. The impromptu performance, so out of place in that world, finished to a burst of applause from surprised onlookers.

“He just walked over from the line and started playing like he was in the Boston Pops,” his trainer at the time, Gene McCarthy, 77, recalled.

Having trained in Dagestan, where sport fighting has an impassioned following, Mr. Tsarnaev boxed straight-legged like a European and not crouched, American-style. He also incorporated showy gymnastics into his training and fighting, walking on his hands, falling into splits, tumbling into corners. So as he started working out in Boston-area clubs — and winning novice tournament fights — he made an impression, although not an entirely positive one.

“For a big man, he was very agile,” said Tom Lee, president of the South Boston Boxing Club. “He moved like a gazelle and was strong like a horse. He was a big puncher. But he was an underachiever because he did not dedicate himself to the proper training regimen.”

In 2009, Mr. Tsarnaev won the New England Golden Gloves championship in the 201-pound division, which qualified him for the national tournament in Salt Lake City in May. Introducing what would become his signature style, he showed up overdressed, wearing a white silk scarf, black leather pants and mirrored sunglasses.

Stepping into the ring, as The Lowell Sun described it, Mr. Tsarnaev floored Lamar Fenner of Chicago with an explosive punch that required an eight-count from the referee, and then he seemed to control the rest of the fight.

Bob Russo, then the coach of the New England team, said: “We thought he won. The crowd thought he won. But he didn’t.”

Mr. Fenner’s mother, Marsha, said her son had called her the night of his “bout with the bomber,” thrilled to have defeated an opponent he described as unnervingly strong. Her son, who died of heart problems last year at 29, ended up coming in second in the tournament and turning professional, she said.

If Mr. Tsarnaev was chastened by the defeat, it did not temper his behavior. During a preliminary round of the New England Golden Gloves in 2010, in a breach of boxing etiquette, he entered the locker room to taunt not only the fighter he was about to face but also the fighter’s trainer. Wearing a cowboy hat and alligator-skin cowboy boots, he gave the two men a disdainful once-over and said: “You’re nothing. I’m taking you down.”

The trainer, Hector Torres, was furious and subsequently lodged a complaint, arguing that Mr. Tsarnaev should not be allowed to participate in the competition because he was not a citizen.

As it happened, Golden Gloves of America was just then changing its policy. It used to permit legal immigrants to compete in its national tournament three out of every four years, barring them only during Olympic qualifying years, James Beasley, the executive director, said. But it decided in 2010 that the policy was confusing and moved to end all participation by noncitizens in the Tournament of Champions.

So Mr. Tsarnaev, New England heavyweight champion for the second year in a row, was stymied. The immigrant champions in three other weight classes in New England were blocked from advancing, too, Mr. Russo said.

Mr. Tsarnaev was devastated. He was not getting any younger. And he was more than a year away from being even eligible to apply for American citizenship, and there appeared to be a potential obstacle in his path.

The previous summer, Mr. Tsarnaev had been arrested after a report of domestic violence.

His girlfriend at the time had called 911, “hysterically crying,” to say he had beaten her up, according to the Cambridge police report. Mr. Tsarnaev told the officers that he had slapped her face because she had been yelling at him about “another girl.”

Eventually, charges against him would be dismissed, the records show, so the episode would not have endangered his eventual citizenship application.

But his life was changing. He married. He had a child. And he largely withdrew from Cambridge social life, and from many of the friendships he had enjoyed. “He had liked to party,” said Elmirza Khozhugov, 26, his former brother-in-law, who lost touch with him in 2010. “But there was always the sense that he felt a little guilty that he was having too much fun, maybe.”

In 2011, the Russian security service cautioned the F.B.I., and later the C.I.A., that “since 2010” Mr. Tsarnaev had “changed drastically,” becoming “a follower of radical Islam.” The Russians said he was planning a trip to his homeland to connect with underground militant groups. An F.B.I. investigation turned up no ties to extremists, the bureau has said.

In early 2012, Mr. Tsarnaev left his wife and child for a six-month visit to Russia. His parents, speaking in Dagestan, portrayed it as an innocuous visit to reconnect with family and to replace his nearly expired passport from the Republic of Kyrgyzstan with a Russian one. His father said he had kept his son close by his side as they visited relatives, including in Chechnya, and renovated a storefront into a perfume shop.

But American officials say Mr. Tsarnaev arrived in Russia months before his father returned to Dagestan and so did not have the continuous tight supervision described by his father.

Also, Mr. Tsarnaev, with no apparent sense of urgency about his travel documents, waited months to apply for a Russian passport, and returned to the United States before the passport was ready for him.

After his return, Mr. Tsarnaev applied for American citizenship, a year after he was eligible to do so. But the F.B.I. investigation, though closed, had caused his application to be stalled. Underscoring how detached he had become, he no longer had any valid passport, or international travel document, and Cambridge, to which he had a hard time readapting, was now his de facto home more than ever.

He grew a five-inch beard, which he shaved off before the bombings, and interrupted prayers at his mosque on two occasions with outbursts denouncing the idea that Muslims should observe American secular holidays. He engaged neighbors in affable conversations about skiing one week and heated ones about American imperialism the next.

At a neighborhood pizzeria, wearing a head covering that matched his jacket, he explained to Albrecht Ammon, 18, that “the Koran is great and flawless, and the Bible is ripped off from the Koran, and the U.S. used the Bible as an excuse to invade different countries.”

“I asked him about radical Muslims that blow themselves up and say, ‘It’s for Allah,’ ” Mr. Ammon said. “And he said he wasn’t one of those Muslims.”

Deborah Sontag and Serge F. Kovaleski reported from Boston, and David M. Herszenhorn from Makhachkala, Russia. Reporting was contributed by Michael Schwirtz, John Eligon, Ian Lovett and Dina Kraft from Boston; Andrew Roth from Makhachkala; Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Julia Preston from New York; and Andrew E. Kramer from Moscow. Kitty Bennett and Sheelagh McNeill contributed research.

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Re: Why young people join al quaeda and similar groups
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 29, 2013 04:44AM


Bought some decades old copies of the National Geographic.

Here is a quote from the November 1942 issue of the Geographic, Volume 82 #5

From an article, Japan Faces Russia in Manchuria by Willard Price.

Page 618 This subsection is entitled "Keeping Labor "Patient" -- with Opium, Buddhism, and No Meat.

"There are 10,000 men here, Chinese immigrants from Shantung, employed by the South Manchuria Railway to work on the piers. It is practically slave labor. They are paid from a tenth to a twentieth of what a Japanese would be paid for similar work.

The superintendant sought to explain things when the author stumbled upon a large windowless room full of frail workers smoking opium--a sight the superintendant had tried to keep an outsider from seeing. In a later section Willard Price wrote:

Willard Price continues

"The policy of keepingthe men patient with opium, Buddhism and no meat seems to have succeeded. A more listless lot could hardly be imagined. Thier muscles were stout enough for their work, but their spirit seemed dead. Most of those off duty were smoking cigarettes. The smoke betayed the presence of opium in the tobacco...Japan's deliberate campaign to drug the Chinese people into a state of lassitude is too well known to be described in detail here...And it is always dirt cheap. The benevolent conquerers see to it that no one, not even the humblest coolie, cannot afford a pack of heroin cigarettes "

But in a conversation with this superintendant, another yet more interesting point emerged. Some belief systems were too stimulating of human dignity; others were better for inculcating patience.

"In your country (America) you have many strikes, yes? Here we have no strikes. This smoking -- it helps to keep the men patient. And we give them no meat. Meat makes labor trouble. It is too strong. If you would not give your American workers meat...

"Now we go see the temple. It too has a very good effect on the men."

The small Buddhist temple contained a tarnished Buddha whose toe had been almost completely kissed off. There was also a money box. (Corboy--The workers were already woefully underpaid!)

The Japanese (superintendant) looked about with satisfaction.

"Very good for the men" he said.

"It keeps them patient." I suggested.

He agreed cheerfully. "Yes, yes. Buddhism makes quiet. Christianity no good. It makes every man think he is important. The religion of Mohammed -- it is no good. It is a war religion. Buddhism is very good. It makes men look on every small insect as their brother."

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Re: Why young people join al quaeda and similar groups
Posted by: Vera City ()
Date: August 18, 2013 11:57AM

I would suggest that this is mind control and propaganda on an unprecedented level, right under the United Nation's noses.
This is one way to get youngsters to engage in radical movements and manipulate world peace organizations to support a dangerous Uber Pan-cult.

Ban Admits UN Biased Against Israel

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