The daily lives of young IS fighters
June 24, 2017 4:41 AM   Subscribe

They died as fighters, but they died as fools. Pity should be reserved for the people they once lived among, who were abused and killed as the young men sacrificed all around them, for their caliphate.
The secret lives of IS fighters. Trigger warning: some descriptions of killed people.
posted by MartinWisse (16 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
Here's a fun fact about the little girl with the raised index finger: "when ISIS uses the gesture, it is affirming an ideology that demands the destruction of the West, as well as any form of pluralism. For potential recruits around the globe, it also shows their belief that they will dominate the world."

In other words, the terrorists don't want to change your way of life - they just want to kill you.
posted by sour cream at 5:10 AM on June 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


Great reporting by Quentin Sommerville, Riam Dalati, the Beeb.
posted by Mister Bijou at 5:44 AM on June 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


Excellent story. Thanks for posting.
posted by Loudmax at 7:18 AM on June 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


That piece is an excellent accompaniment to What to do with Islamic State’s child soldiers, a really upsetting Economist article about children raised to be violent jihadis.
posted by Nelson at 8:18 AM on June 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


I'm reminded of Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror. Like Umberto Eco, she implied that the post-modern society dominated by boomers was similar to Medieval Europe which was also characterized by young leaders and an abundance of young men without purpose.
If anyone really wanted to end islamic terrorism, they would work to create sustainable societies in the Middle East and Central Asia. What ended post ww2 left-wing terrorism was that potential recruits got jobs and were engaged in their communities - in everyday life. (And also that the Soviet Block fell down and no longer funded their activities but that came later and was just the period to a decade of slowing down).
I guess the Arab Spring and the Obama support for it was an attempt to go that way, but it was not nearly enough. The Marshall plan after WW2 was not a lot more expensive than what has been done by the US in the ME, but it was better planned by magnitudes. No rich kids in their 20's sent out to manage countries, but a whole thought out plan for reconstruction, aligned with the establishment of NATO and what became the EU. And still we got the Baader Meinhof and the Red Brigades, terrorists undermining democracy, if not at the level of today's right wing and islamist fanatics.
posted by mumimor at 10:50 AM on June 24, 2017 [10 favorites]


"an abundance of young men without purpose" Yes, the whole thing is a tragedy, and maps to so many parts of the globe at the moment.
posted by marvin at 11:10 AM on June 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Chilling but well worth the reading. Thanks.
posted by spitbull at 11:15 AM on June 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


The poor kids, the poor families of those kids, and the poor people who these kids are in turn fucking up.
posted by zippy at 11:49 AM on June 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


The terrible humanization of people who have done inhuman things. And, behind it, real corruption in the sense of monsters remaking children and the young, who could have been many things, into more monsters.

"When IS came they were children, we don't recognise them as men.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:54 PM on June 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Poor things! They're so young. Thanks for this link. Really interesting read, but so sad.
posted by Ziggy500 at 2:58 PM on June 24, 2017


The index finger salute just means "there's only one god and it's Allah". Loads of people do it, it's not an ISIS thing.
posted by liliillliil at 3:23 PM on June 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


"an abundance of young men without purpose"

I think of self-described haters of feminists and discussions that come up on ask about how to cope with/reach out to/deprogram/break from someone who has just gone over the edge and ... I imagine some of the families and friends of these kids had similar discussions.
posted by zippy at 7:24 PM on June 24, 2017


The index finger salute just means "there's only one god and it's Allah". Loads of people do it, it's not an ISIS thing.

Actually, some people think that it's very much an ISIS thing: For followers of ISIS, a single raised index finger has become a sign of their cause, and it is increasingly common in photographs of militants. Some have even gone so far as to call the symbol “the jihadi equivalent of a gang sign.”
posted by sour cream at 12:14 AM on June 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Something about this report is odd to me. If nothing else, the pictures seem to tell a very different story than the words.
posted by ethansr at 12:23 AM on June 25, 2017


sour cream, the link you quote also includes this:

"Muslims have long associated a single index finger with the shahada in a variety of contexts, ranging from daily prayers to conversions."

Which is precisely liliillliil's point.
posted by mediareport at 4:09 AM on June 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


Interesting, but the Economist's UI left a lot to be desired. It just made the article hard to read.

And, yes, I did complain to them.

posted by pjmoy at 2:26 PM on June 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


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