01 Nov 2006

The Hunters and the Huntees.

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Josh Manchester, at TCS Daily,

Sometimes I think evil is a tangible thing — with wave lengths, just as sound and light have. An evil place can, so to speak, broadcast vibrations of evil.
— Richard Connell, The Most Dangerous Game

What is the most dangerous game of Connell’s short story? It’s the hunting of men by other men for sport. Connell might be surprised today to learn that it’s not fiction.

There are hundreds of websites featuring dozens of professionally produced videos of violence against US forces in Iraq. Dubbed with loud monotonal music for an extra creepy effect, at the point of the attack, the filmers usually erupt into cries of “Allahu akbar!”

The US might film its own missions for forensic or debriefing purposes sure, but that is a far cry from reveling in them. So what might motivate someone to be so twisted as to film and celebrate death?

One answer: recruitment.

A recent story in The Australian detailed the means that terrorist groups use to bait and attract new adherents:

Young Western-born Muslims recruited in universities, mosques and on the internet are increasingly being turned to jihad by terrorist networks, which train them in Islamic countries to support and conduct attacks on their homelands . . .

. . . “They are looking for them in mosques … in the youth centres … on the web … relying on social acquaintances and also family ties and universities,” Dr Ganor told a conference hosted by the institute in the resort city of Herzliya yesterday.

He said terror organisations used psychological strategies to win the hearts of “specific” young Muslims through either indirect recruitment platforms such as the internet, and direct ones such as combing radical mosques and prayer halls.

Read the whole thing.

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