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Sunday, September 23, 2012

‘Counter Strike: The untold story of America’s secret campaign against Al Qaeda’ by Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker

Four phases
“The New York Police Department, after more than two years of reviewing cases of homegrown terrorism in the United States and around the world, offered one of the earliest explanations in a wide-ranging report issued in August 2007 that described a four-phase process that transforms what is called ‘unremarkable’ people into terrorists. In the first phase, or ‘preradicalisation,’ most homegrown terrorists are strikingly unexceptional; they have ordinary jobs, live ordinary lives and, for the most part, have had little if any criminal history. The second phase, ‘self-identification,’ occurs when individuals are influenced by external or internal events, often through the Internet, and begin to explore the jihadist brand of Islam on their own. This phase could result from losing a job, experiencing a death in the family, or feeling anger about the treatment of Muslims in international conflicts, such as in Afghanistan and Iraq. The third phase, ‘indoctrination,’ happens when an individual wholly accepts the extremist ideology and is willing to commit violence to achieve its goals. This stage is often facilitated by someone with spiritual influence, such as an imam or other respected figure with religious training or credentials, who sanctions the violent act as a religious duty. The final stage, ‘jihadisation,’ is reached when individuals or members of a small group accept their duty to commit violence in the name of Islam and begin preparing and executing a plot.”
(pp. 212-3, ‘Counter Strike: The untold story of America’s secret campaign against Al Qaeda’ by Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker – Pan Macmillan)

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