Islamic State Recruits Entire Families

(Washington Post) Kevin Sullivan and Karla Adam - Siddhartha Dhar's first four children were born in London. Now he, his wife, and their children have arrived in Syria to live in an Islamic caliphate. Islamic State's leaders have encouraged doctors, nurses, lawyers, engineers, and accountants to join them in building the institutions of a new nation ruled by Islamic sharia law. Entire families have answered that call in numbers that have surprised and alarmed analysts. "These families believe they are doing the right thing for their children," said Melanie Smith, a research associate at the King's College International Center for the Study of Radicalization in London. "They think they are taking them to a kind of utopia." Analysts estimate that at least 15,000 people have moved to the Islamic State, including several thousand from Western countries. Islamic State uses family imagery in its highly polished online recruiting, including videos showing fighters pushing children on swings and passing out toys. However, recent reports from Syria and Iraq suggest that in Islamic State areas, people are enduring painful shortages of electricity, food, medicine and clean water.

2014-12-25 00:00:00

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