14 April 2015
Why is Islamic State (IS) so effective at recruitment, especially in the online realm? Recent discussions glean some insights for the Singapore and Southeast Asia context.
Islamic State’s demonstrable results – military achievements, territorial conquest and implementation of Sharia-based governance in conquered territories – have set it apart from jihadi groups that claim much but achieve little. Added to this is its ability to offer better organisational capabilities to would-be fighters in terms of money, training and equipment.
IS on its part goes all out to tout and prove that it is able to provide effective social welfare and public goods. It is essentially moving into areas where the legitimate state has retreated or has existed only in name to begin with. Inadequate economic opportunities, weak social welfare structures and poor governance contributing to a feeling of injustice have been cited as key reasons for those in the Arab world to turn to groups such as IS.
… Omer Ali Saifudeen is a member of the Online Radicalisation Research Community of Practice (ORRCOP) supported by the National Security Coordination Secretariat. ORRCOP comprises Singaporean practitioners and subject matter experts currently involved in research related to online radicalisation. This article, specially contributed to RSIS Commentary, is based on an ORRCOP discussion of Prof John Horgan’s insights on this topic (“Why ISIS is So Terrifyingly Effective at Seducing New Recruits”, NYMAG.com, ‘SCIENCE of US’, 18 August 2014).
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 16/04/2015