Saturday, December 31, 2016

Recruiting Minds Into Jihad

"There is a lot of firepower hanging around in this line-up. Tension would be a good way to describe it, for sure."
"You know that every time one of them [Iraqi and coalition warplanes] goes off lives are being taken [in besieged Mosul]."
"It is a situation of: 'Who do you trust?' I am sure some of these people do have ugly pasts and have committed some pretty horrible crimes."
"I am not here to judge but to provide health care to the people. That is what I go by."
Ian MacKay, nurse, Samaritan's Purse, Hassan Sham-1 UNHCR Camp, Iraq
Matthew Fisher/Postmedia
Ian MacKay, a nurse from Squamish, B.C., who is working in Iraq with Samaritan’s Purse: “I am not here to judge but to provide health care to the people.” Matthew Fisher/Postmedia

A Kurd spoke briefly with a five-year-old child refugee from Mosul who with his family and thousands of other Sunni Iraqis rescued from Mosul from the control of Islamic State, had once been a member of the Kurdish special forces. He was responding to the little boy's shouts of "Allahu Akbar", as he ran about the camp with a toy rifle. Dressed all in black, the boy looked like a miniature version of an ISIL jihadist. And  he was certainly emulating their familiar presence in an unfamiliar theatre of the conflict between the Iraqi military and ISIL, routing the jihadist group from Mosul.

The boy's mother described to the Kurdish interrogator how dreadful it had been for them all, living under ISIL in Mosul. She spoke of her husband cursing their fearsome presence in their city and how her husband "would show them no mercy", could he confront them. She described the miserable passage of the family out of Mosul, at the first opportunity that had presented itself. This, in the face of facts that much of the city's Sunni population welcomed the Sunni jihadists. Who, moreover, set up teaching centres in the city, where children were indoctrinated into their violent doctrine.

The little boy and his older brother were dressed entirely in black, the colours preferred by ISIL. Yet another indication that among the refugees that had been 'rescued' from Mosul so that they might not become further victims of civilian casualties that might arise from the Iraqi and Kurdish forces battling the ISIL jihadis in the city, augmented by U.S.-led airstrikes over Mosul. As acknowledgement that would seem logical enough, that among the refugees would be those infiltrators who represent ISIL.

Matthew Fisher/Postmedia
Matthew Fisher/Postmedia   
Mustafa and his brother, Ahmed, dressed entirely in black — the preferred uniform of ISIL jihadists

The former Kurdish soldier swiftly determined that the little boy was yet another of those who had "been brainwashed", leaving for speculation who else might have been, since cladding a child in black would not occur without the concurrence of the child's parents, let alone tutoring an impressionable child that emulating the actions and speech of an Islamofascist group is not generally considered the hallmark of a civilized society, much less providing him with a look-alike toy.

These are refugees, obviously seeking assistance to obtain the bare necessities of life, to substitute for the normal life they left behind them in the city of their birth. They require food, water and shelter, their minds obviously crowded confusingly with some level of concern over the manner in which fate had left them without all those necessities of life, taking away from them their security, their possessions, their view of the future.

But invariably, among those are others who were also rescued from the confines of a city embattled who appeared to have been well nourished, seemingly having no problem coming to grips with what had unfolded around them. Whom, it could be conceived, were co-conspirators and aids to the ISIL jihadists, sharing a vision of a world dominated by rigidly-exclusively domineering Sunni extremist, responding to the Shiite domination they witness and live under.

For the time being, humanitarian groups and UN agencies struggle to care for another 100,000 homeless civilians in need of care; medicine, health assessments, and guidance to food distribution centres.

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