After joining a far-left group, I discovered they’d been recruiting me in an organized, systematic manner for months. The same process happened to the Boston bombing brothers.
The media says the Tsarnaev brothers were self-recruited via websites (with help on the ground from an as yet unidentified person.) This isn’t really accurate. The recruiting is overt, deliberate, and skillfully done. It’s probably more accurate to say they were drawn in. For example, the far-left group had a number of front groups with websites ostensibly supporting various causes. Those showing interest were engaged with by party members to determine their views. Anyone showing radical interests were then steered to the group’s more overt websites and contacted by someone locally, if possible. After a months long process, suitable candidates were then asked if they wanted to join the party.
I’ve no doubt that Islamists use the same tactics to recruit via their websites. After an extensive vetting procedure, recruits may then be given access to the really hardcore sites, which are probably accessible only via the TOR browser on the Dark Web and are not indexed by search engines. You can’t find them on your own, you have to be given the URL.
I later left / was purged from that far-left group. The ability to uncritically accept dogma unquestioningly has never been one of my strong points. 🙂 I’m also able to do what many can’t, walk away from something without looking back. Although I have huge differences with that group, it’s important to note that they never came anywhere close to advocating violence. My point is the recruiting tactics are similar.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev influenced by mysterious radical.
Family of the Tsarnaev brothers say elder brother Tamerlan came under the spell of someone they knew only by first name and underwent a striking personality and lifestyle change. This sounds like what happens when someone is recruited by a cult.
“Somehow, he just took his brain,” said Tamerlan’s uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, who recalled conversations with Tamerlan’s worried father about Misha’s influence.
That’s precisely what organized recruitment from fringe groups often aims to do, take over your life.