British spy agency MI5 is actively monitoring citizens that leave the UK to join Islamist groups fighting in Syria, with heavy insurgent recruitment efforts currently taking place. The Internet has provided the perfect recruitment tool, with propaganda posted online by Islamists wooing citizens from western nations.
It’s believed there are between 400 and 500 UK citizens currently picking up arms for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), currently fighting in Syria and Iraq. It’s unfortunate to see how effectively ISIS and other groups use the Internet, specifically social media and YouTube, to recruit young, rather naive Muslims to leave their homes and join the battlefield.
In a recent video posted online, Nasser Muthana, 20, was a medical student, while his younger brother, Aseel, 17, is reportedly fighting alongside him.
Here is what the UK Home Office said regarding current ISIS and jihadist online recruitment efforts:
“We do not tolerate the existence of online terrorist and extremist propaganda, which directly influences people who are vulnerable to radicalization. We already work closely with the Internet industry to remove terrorist material hosted in the UK or overseas.”
Syria has proven to be a difficult political mess for the United States and the UK, because both countries are struggling to quell growing ethnic tensions in the region. It’s more pressing for the UK, with the Muslim community being targeted by Islamist groups in the Middle East and Somalia.
Thank you to The Independent for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Mirror