Opinion Piece: Terrorist Recruitment in Developing Countries

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By Parmita Protik Das, CNN  

 

(CNN)— The attack on Holy Artisan in Bangladesh changed the country for the worse: it caused widespread distrust, unfounded speculation and the spread of shapeless fear.

This situation is idyllic to terrorist organizations because it facilitates the spread of their message. They provide a false sense of security or prey on the isolation that the most vulnerable people feel. It is necessary to look at preventive measures such as having religious leaders publicly oppose the narrative of the terrorists and preach the correct interpretation of the religious scriptures that these terrorists forgo. The reason for this base level solution is because the religious leaders can earn the trust of the locals which other organizations may be privy to. They know who would be the most vulnerable to manipulation and offer the assurance of God’s unconditional love, which many of the victims look for.

It is also necessary to recognize the methods by which these terrorist organizations recruit: they find the people who are isolated from society and spiritually uncertain. They offer a support system and earn the victims’ trust before preaching any semblance of an extremist message. In this way, ISIS and Al- Qaeda align.

In some cases, the terrorist organizations offer both tangible and intangible benefits. For example, ISIS recruits through the propaganda of providing women in Syria and other disenfranchised nations with education and rights they do not easily obtain there. The men in ISIS may be more financially solvent than their counterparts who don’t join the organization. To tackle this aspect of recruitment, it is necessary to improve the framework of government services such as healthcare and education and to create jobs in the affected areas. Often terrorists recruit by threatening the safety and well-being of other family members of their prey, which is especially easy because law enforcement in such countries may not be equipped to deal with such situations. It is necessary to improve the tactical response of law enforcement in developing countries to face this issue.

In some countries, terrorists harp on the feeling of being oppressed that minorities possess. As such, UN can help countries suffering from terrorism to legislate better assurance of rights for affected minorities and create social discourse on minority rights.

 

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