Redes sociales y jihad islámica

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Muy buena nota de un experto en radicalización política, en la publicación británica New Statesman, con el título: From Portsmouth to Kobane: the British jihadis fighting for Isis. 

Es u n informe muy extenso realizado por un académico que está en contacto con varios de estos “guerreros”. Por eso es una excelente fuente para entender ese proceso de radicalización. A continuación cito aquello que tiene más relación con medios de comunicación:

* “The use of the internet by jihadists is hardly new but the manner in which its potential is being harnessed has vastly changed. During the Iraq war, sympathisers of al-Qaeda needed access to password-protected forums, where they could learn about events on the ground. These forums were not easy to find and access was harder to gain. Crucially, most of the conversations were in Arabic, a language alien to most British Muslims”.

* “Social media has changed all this, empowering individual fighters to become recruiting sergeants in their own right. What makes them so powerful is their sheer ordinariness. Indeed, most fighters tend to stress their unremarkable nature: “There’s nothing special about me,” they might say. “I just decided to come. If I can do it, you can do it.”

* “The effect of social media is to normalise the experience, while also motivating and inspiring potential recruits. Perhaps most significant is that the conversation runs two ways. In the past, al-Qaeda would issue unidirectional edicts and vague instructions to followers to “do something” at home. Today, you can talk to fighters directly and have a proper conversation”

* “These interactions help prospective fighters overcome lingering fears and emotional barriers. Fighters are asked, for example, how they broke the news to their parents and how their families are coping with their decision. Others ask what living arrangements are like in Syria, or how to cross the border safely”.

* “Bizarrely, some have even asked whether hair gel is available in the IS stronghold of Raqqa. Lots of practical advice is forthcoming: bring good hiking boots, waterproof clothing and a warm coat; don’t pack radical literature; medicine for an upset stomach is also a good idea; and an iPad is recommended, for keeping in touch with family and inspiring others to make the same journey. (Hair gel, in case you were wondering, is available on the inside.)”.

* “The network of fighters taken to Syria by Jaman is one of the best known in foreign fighter circles today. The group became minor celebrities after Jaman gave a Skype interview to the BBC in November 2013 from inside his IS training camp. Several foreign fighters have told me that they were directly inspired by that interview and it has been such a successful recruiting tool for IS that the group has even used it in its own propaganda videos”.

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