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個人的にヨーロッパの国籍の若者が義勇兵としてISに参加しているというのは衝撃でした。Newshour, EconomistとWall Street Journalがそれぞれ興味深い報道をしてくれていました。なかでもEconomistの全体をまとめる取材力・分析力は圧巻だと思います。

HARI SREENIVASAN: So some of this is coming into, or across our radars, because these people understand English.

We’ve had this larger conversation of Westerners becoming radicalized, but it’s also because they know the difference of what the West is talking about.

SHADI HAMID: So there’s an important distinction here. The Head of the Islamic State, al-Baghdadi, it’s not as if he himself is tweeting or any of the senior figures around him.

We’re talking about the younger fighters on the ground, many of whom are English speaking and many of whom are European, even a few that are American.

So for them, they grew up with Twitter, they grew up with Instagram, and Twitter is about something you just do during the day.

So, they go on the battlefield, there’s been a big fight, their instinct is to tweet about that.

日常的にTwitterやFBを使いこなしている若者が英語で自然に発信していることがうかがえます。WSJはこのような対アメリカの動きにシンパシーを感じていたShiraz Maherという研究者を紹介しています。911を悲劇と捉えるのではなく、アメリカの当然の報いと捉えた心情から記事を始めてます。

Inside the Mind of the Western Jihadist
Shiraz Maher, a British citizen who lived the experience, describes the allure of the Islamic State for young Westerners and the deadly peril it poses.

Aug. 29, 2014 6:49 p.m. ET

On 9/11, Shiraz Maher thought to himself: "Yeah, you Americans deserve this. For meddling in the Arab world. For supporting Israel. You shall reap what you sow, and this is what you've sown for a long time."

Within days the college student would quit alcohol, dump his girlfriend and join Hizbut Tahrir, a radical Islamist group he describes as the "political wing of the global jihad movement." He quickly climbed the ranks before eventually leaving the U.K. Islamist movement and rededicating his life to countering it.


The typical British Islamic State terrorist is male, in his 20s and from a South Asian background. "He usually has some university education and a history of Muslim activism," Mr. Maher adds. The fighters broadly fall into three personality types.

The first is the adventure-seeker. "They're in jihadist summer school or camp," Mr. Maher says. "I'm with my buddies, we're hanging out and we have these great weapons—AK-47s, RPGs." The adventure-seekers are often involved with U.K. gangs or drugs, and they might consult "Islam for Dummies" before traveling to Syria. They publish photos of themselves eating fast food, swimming and playing soccer in al-Sham. The message they telegraph to friends back home is: "We live better lives here than we were in London—come."

Then there are the "really nasty guys," Mr. Maher says, "the ones who will show off a severed head on Facebook and say, 'Yeah, I just beheaded this son of a bitch.'" These guys, Mr. Maher adds, "should definitely never come back.'"

The third type are "what you might call idealistic or humanitarian jihadists for want of a better phrase," Mr. Maher says. "They would say, 'Look, haven't you seen what's happened to the women and children of Aleppo?' " Over time, they become hardened and no longer mention the innocents they came to rescue. "The land belongs to Allah," they now say. "We're here to impose Islam."

Mr. Maher himself fits the third type most closely, and had he been born a decade later he might not be sitting across from me at a restaurant eating steak tartare and sipping Guinness. "If I were younger and instead of 9/11 it was the Syrian conflict," he says, "there's a very, very good chance I would go. Instead of studying them, I would be the one being studied."


European jihadists
It ain’t half hot here, mum
Why and how Westerners go to fight in Syria and Iraq
Aug 30th 2014 | CAIRO | From the print edition

Yet Western fighters do not shy away from battle. Some have taken part in slaughtering those labelled kuffar (unbelievers), including Sunnis deemed too moderate as well as Shia Muslims, who are all deemed apostates. They help fight for dams, military bases and oilfields. They carry out suicide missions such as the bombing in Aleppo, Syria’s second city, perpetrated in February by Abdul Waheed Majid, a Briton.

Westerners are useful for other reasons, too. Hostages released from IS’s clutches say they were guarded by three English-speakers. Foreign jihadists can e-mail the families of hostages in their own language to ask for ransoms.

Western fighters often seem to jump at the chance to take part in a fight or help build a new Islamic state. The Soufan Group, a New York-based intelligence outfit, reckons that by the end of May as many as 12,000 fighters from 81 nations had joined the fray, among them some 3,000 from the West (see chart). The number today is likely to be a lot higher. Since IS declared a caliphate on June 29th, recruitment has surged. Syria has drawn in fighters faster than in any past conflict, including the Afghan war in the 1980s or Iraq after the Americans invaded in 2003.

女性も参加しているというのには驚きですが、貧困とかではなく、the desire to escape the ennui of home and to find an identityが参加の理由ではないかとEconomistは見ています。

Poverty does not explain the lure of jihad for Western fighters. Many of them are quite middle-class. Nasser Muthana, a 20-year-old Welshman who goes by the name Abu Muthana al-Yemeni in IS videos, had offers to study medicine from four universities. Nor does a failure to integrate into the societies around them. Photographs of Muhammad Hamidur Rahman, another British fighter thought to have recently been killed, show a young man in a snazzy suit with a slick hairstyle. He worked at Primark, a cheap retailer, in Portsmouth, a city on the English coast. His father ran a curry restaurant. Nor does religious piety. Before leaving for Syria, Yusuf Sarwar and Mohammed Ahmed, two young men from Birmingham who pleaded guilty to terrorism offences in July, ordered copies of “Islam for Dummies” and “The Koran for Dummies” from Amazon. Some fighters are religious novices, says Mr Maher.

More plausible explanations are the desire to escape the ennui of home and to find an identity. “Some individuals are drawn out there because there is not a lot going on in their own lives,” says Raffaello Pantucci, an analyst at the Royal United Services Institute, a London think-tank. Images of combatants playing snooker, eating sweets and splashing in swimming pools have sometimes suggested that jihad was not unlike a student holiday, without the booze. For young men working in dead-end jobs in drab towns, the brotherhood, glory and guns seem thrilling. Many of Belgium’s fighters come from the dullest of cities, where radicals have concentrated their efforts to get recruits.


So far the responses of Western governments to their citizens’ self-deployment have varied. America has cracked down on anyone it suspects of going to fight. It can afford to do so, argues Mr Hegghammer, because its Muslim population is smaller than that of many European countries, as is the fear of a political backlash. European governments have been more cautious. Their citizens have travelled out with ease. Harsher penalties might deter some. But prosecute too widely and governments may end up boosting the flow of recruits. And prisons have proved fertile recruitment grounds for Muslim radicals.

It ain’t half hot here, mumという記事タイトルに疑問を持った方、イギリスの第二次世界大戦時のインド駐屯の英国軍を描いたコメディテレビ番組のタイトルのようです。こんなの知らないですよね。。。