Much has been said about the whys and hows of extremist recruitment. Reports, documents, opinions, videos and more suppose to know their methods. The following link is one such site: https://sites.google.com/site/jihadismstudiesnet/jihadism-studies-at-ffi/radicalisation-and-recruitment
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Episode 1 – ISIS Recruiting Techniques on Social Media and Offline
The below information is taken directly from their handbook on recruitment. The information defines their step-by-step approach to targeting, engaging and building relationships in a measured and surveyed method to recruitment. For the detail on recruitment steps, read through or scroll to the bottom to access the PDF.
A graded, practical program for recruiting via individual da’wa.
To leaders and scholars of Jihad in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Algeria, Somalia, Chechnya, and everywhere. To the next Salafi-Jihadi generation in Palestine, Jordan, Libya, Egypt, Islamic Morocco (Morocco, Algeria, and Tunis), and the Arabian Peninsula.
To the Islamic State of Iraq, the Islamic State of Khorasan, and the Islamic State of Chechnya. To souls of the martyrs of the jihadi groups throughout history
To Muslim prisoners in the jails of the disbelievers and the arrogant Tawagheet .
To Wafa Constantine, Sabrina Al Janabi, and the girl of Mahmoudiya, and to all of our sisters whom we disappointed by our laziness of not joining the Caravan (of Jihad).
To the internet Mujahideen and the media Jihadi knights
In the Name of Allah and prayers and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah.
A lot of brothers – and (at one time) I fell into this group – consider the idea of Da’wa to be that candidates who merely listen to a jihadi cassette or a motivating lecture, etc. will suddenly stand up and shout out or say with motivation, ‘We want to be a troop and go to fight against America!’, without considering the gradual stages that the candidate must pass through. And also, he (the Da’ee) tends to be careless with security that is needed.
Many times we speak to a person who is not fundamentally qualified to work with us (to become a Mujahid). And many times we avoid a person who is qualified and can convert (to become a Mujahid). However, they are among us, but we think that Allah (SWT) doesn’t want good for these people.
For this reason, we present this humble book to: support our brothers, ensure their safety, contribute to the ‘Ghuraba’ (strangers), support the one who feels lonely, and to create a source of ideas for the Mujahideen.
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We have created a graded practical program for recruiting via a method of individual da’wa which has some advantages.
So don’t pass through one stage to another without achieving the goals of the previous stage, or without the candidate having taken a step forward in the direction of the path of the blessed jihad.
You should know this book was organized to be suitable for Islamic societies which are similar to each other, (i.e. Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Libya, etc.), especially those societies who are not directly occupied by the Crusaders, and have not opened the gate of Jihad yet. Also, we can use this book in the West for the same purpose.
My Mujahid Brother, you have to adapt or develop some things in this book to make it suitable for your da’wa. But essentially, all of the basic principles of da’wa can be used everywhere, taking gradual steps is a condition of individual da’wa. And these gradual steps add an excellent feature of security.
And I want to mention that I published this book in a hurry, and I should have taken more time to prepare it and to collect the speech of the leaders of Jihad and the scholars. And I should have written some articles about some points which needed commenting and suggestions, etc. But, in my opinion, I was looking to complete this book before Ramadan, or on the first of Ramadan so that it can be used by the brothers during Ramadan so that they can benefit from it. This will allow them to be active in inviting the people to the path of Tawheed and Jihad through the use of individual da’wa. This individual da’wa will be easy and safe by the Protection of Al Mawla (Allah). So we know that Ramadan is the time of obedience and during this time the heart of the servants of Allah are close to Allah. Also at the end of every Ramadan we receive a new group who are repentant and leave the path of Shaytan to the Path of Ar-Rahman. Usually the shayateen of the humans and jinns take these people (who have newly repented) or the people who we think didn’t take the Path of Ar-Rahman, and the results would be that the people who follow the path of Islamic monotheism lose one from their group because of their ill-planning and because they failed to have a plan for recruiting. Because I had to rush to complete this book, I was unable to use any references, especially the book called “Da’wat Al Muqawamah Al Islamiya Al Alamiya” (The Global Islamic Resistance Call). So I had to write from my memory due to this specific situation that prevented me from using any references at that time and also prevented me from proof reading
I ask Allah (SWT) to help me publish another edition before the next Ramadan 1430AH, which will be better than the first issue.
I hope that Allah will make this program the first seed of activation and service of the book “Da’wat Al Muqawamah Al Islamiya AlAlamiya” (The Global Islamic Resistance Call). I also hope that it will be the connection between the general populace and Jihadi work by using a curriculum of the book above. I ask Allah to accept the invocation of Sheikh Abu Mus’ab Al-Suri (which was to make us part of his men). I also ask Allah to make it easy for us to prepare. I also ask Allah to prepare us by His Hand and under His Eyes. I ask Allah to release Sheikh Abu Mus’ab Al-Suri and all the Muslim prisoners.
In conclusion, my dear brother, if you find something good in this program, then it was from Allah. And if you find something other than that, then it was from myself and the shaytan. I ask any brother who reads this book and finds benefit to make a sincere du’a for me in my absence. If he doesn’t find any benefit, then I ask him to ask Allah to forgive me, my parents, and all the believers. General notes about the program:
-If I mention a specific period for a specific stage, then I mean an estimated period. It may be increased or decreased according to the needs of the one who receives the da’wa (the candidate). So the first priority is to fulfill the goals of this stage, not just to finish the stage.
-This graded program is tailored for the people who are not very religious. However, the religious people must be taken through the first and second stage in order for the da’ee (caller) to feel tranquil and sure about them. After this, the candidate can be taken through the stage of iman wakening (stage three) and he will pass through this stage faster than the others. You must know that this stage is continuous. You should take precautions against the religious people whom you invite, because maybe they will reject the da’wa and end up being the reason for our defeat.
-The complete jihadi Islamic education doesn’t stop with the convincing of the candidate, nor does it stop with the jihadi work. The jihadi Islamic education must accompany the Muslim for the rest of his life.
-You should know, my dear brother, the aim of the program is to invite people to the Path of Allah and the path of truth. In case something causes the program to fail, then it was sufficient that you took that person from darkness to light. And you have done the job of the prophets and messengers. There is no doubt that it is more beneficial for you than a red camel, and you are taking a step in the Path of Allah. In addition, jihad is obligatory and also a tremendous blessing from Allah because maybe the da’wa opens the Door of Acceptance to Allah, which will be a reason for Him to be satisfied with you. And (in fact, the reason for Him to be satisfied with you) is Jihad in the Path of Allah.
Important Advice before Starting the Work
-I advise the brother to read the whole program before starting the (recruiting) work, and this reading will not take a lot of time. Reading it first will give you a general idea of how the (recruitment) work should be performed. Also, maybe something towards the end of the program will help you at the beginning of it, or maybe certain steps further into the program will help you to adjust your actions and decisions later in the program.
-Read the table of criterion for every stage before starting in order to know what the goals are for the candidate in that particular stage. Don’t proceed to the other stage before the candidate gets the best score in this table.
-Don’t criticize the candidate’s behavior. -Thank him for any help, even if it is just a little. -Caution: don’t disregard his opinion or his manner of thinking, but let him express his opinion even if it opposes yours in a welcoming manner, because this is the Islamic way. -Don’t try to make him a carbon copy of yourself, but let him keep his independency, individual character, and natural personality.
-Don’t separate him from his family, society, or his lifestyle. However, let his family, society, and lifestyle continue to be a part of him; just help him to increase his imaan (which will enable him to deal with everything in Islamic fashion). And a heart which is fascinated with Islamic work loves goodness for all of humanity.
-Don’t invade his privacy thinking that it will bring him closer to you and love you. Avoiding such actions will increase your ability to do da’wa to him.
-Be close to him in order to get to know more about his character.
-Observe his behavior while he is in the company of others to get to know his character and his habits.
-Try to help him in every way possible.
Be careful of the following:
First, be careful of trying to replace his personality with yours, causing him to become a carbon copy of you. Also, don’t make yourself the only role-model for him because you will not attain happiness from this and you will never achieve the objectives of the program. The outcome is that one of the two things will occur: firstly, he will have an independent opinion and it will be clear when you two are thinking about something together. Secondly, he will oppose your opinions and this is evidence for independence of his opinion, and his freedom for his own decision.
Secondly, be careful of talking about the problems of the Muslims from the beginning (of the relationship) so as not to make the relationship appear as your recruiting him; he will say to himself, ‘you are doing all of this with me, just to recruit me, etc.’ Also, don’t rush anything because there will be a proper time for everything.
Thirdly, make sure that you are a Da’ee in all facets of your life, and invite all of the people, i.e. for performing the obligatory prayers, for the Qiyamul Layl (late night prayers), for Jihad, etc. The type of da’wa will depend on the needs or condition of the person. All of this will get you used to working righteousness, and Allah will give guidance (to the people) through you. Also, this will not make the candidate hesitant or afraid, or make him ask himself ‘why did he select me, specifically?’ or ‘why does he care about me, specifically, yet he doesn’t care about anybody else?’
Fourthly, be careful not to talk about Al Qaida, Salafi Jihadis, or any specific jihadi group in the first stages, but the da’ee should speak about the mujahideen and the resistance fighters in general, because maybe this candidate loves the mujahideen but the media has distorted their image, especially Al Qaida..
Fifthly, and finally, be careful not let the candidate know your other da’ee or mujahideen brothers during these stages. However, if the situation necessitates that he should know them, then allow the candidate to know them as only normal brothers.
What does individual da’wa mean?
This is personal and direct contact between the da’ee and the candidate to increase the value of his Islamic commitment so as to make him into a righteous Muslim and to make him ready to fulfill his obligations of calling to Allah and performing Jihad in the Path of Allah by joining the ranks of da’ees/mujahideen.
The sequence of individual da’wa
Statistically speaking, if you make da’wa to one person every year, and this person makes da’wa to one person every year, then after 30 years the number will be 1 billion – imagine, my brother!
The importance of individual da’wa
The importance of this sort of da’wa stems from the importance of calling to Allah in general because calling to Allah with sure knowledge is an obligation for all the Muslims. This is because Allah said, “Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam) enjoining Al Ma’aruf (Islamic monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful.” (Sura Al Imran, 3:104). And Allah said, “Invite to the way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Revelation and the Qur’an) and fair preaching” (Sura Al Nahl, 16:125).
And in the two most authentic books of hadith (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim),
“On the authority of Obada ibn Al Samit (rah), we pledged allegiance to the Messenger (sws) to hear and obey (a Muslim ruler) whether it is convenient or inconvenient for us, and at our times of difficulty or ease. And to be obedient to the Muslim ruler and give him his right even if he didn’t give us our right, and not to fight against him unless we see him having clear kufr, for which we had a proof with us from Allah” (Bukhari Vol.9, #178, Ch.2, Pg.146, and Summarized Muslim Pg. 672, Hadeeth #1221)
The virtues of calling to Allah in general
A lot of ahadith mention the virtues of calling to Allah. Among them is:
1 Collected in Sahih Muslim, on the authority of Abu Hurairah (rah), that the Messenger of Allah (sws) said: “Whoever calls to guidance will have the reward like the one who followed him, without decreasing anything from the reward of his follower.” (Muslim 16/227)
2 Collected in Sahih Bukhari and others, that the Messenger of Allah (sws) said to Ali ibn Abi Talib (rah) when he sent him to Khaybr, “If Allah guides one person through you, it will be better for you than red camels.” (Al Fath 7/7)
The advantages of individual da’wa
1 Individual da’wa refines a person completely. It doesn’t concentrate on only one facet of Islam and neglect another; this is called thorough refining.
2 Individual da’wa creates a relationship between the da’ee and the candidate to prepare the candidate to respond to the call. There is no doubt that this is better than collective da’wa, because this collective da’wa cannot foster a close relationship between the da’ee and the candidate.
3 The da’ee can use individual da’wa in order to follow up the actual application of the instructions which the individual receives. The da’ee can make an accurate observation on the individual, but the same cannot be done through collective da’wa.
4 Through individual da’wa you can respond to doubts which the individual might have, this is something which cannot be done through collective da’wa.
5 Through individual da’wa you can establish principles of jihad which cannot be mentioned publicly. You can talk about these principles seriously and clearly at the proper time; that is to say, each principle can be discussed at its proper time. Also the da’ee can guide the candidate step by step, and can give the candidate what is suitable for him in every situation.
6 Through individual da’wa you can convey the truth to the people whom the media has caused to hate the Mujahideen. Nowadays you will find a lot of people who think that the Mujahideen are takfiris or that the Mujahideen tarnish the image of Islam. Also, some of the people accuse the Mujahideen of being the reason for the recent wave of insults launched against the Messenger of Allah (sws). And (many Muslims believe) if (the attacks of) September 11th didn’t occur, then the un-believers would not have insulted the Messenger of Allah (sws); and there’s no might nor strength except with Allah.
7 This sort of individual da’wa is a safe way to recruit individuals for creating cells, because we know that the pillars of jihad work consists of three elements money, men, and weapons, and after that (doing individual da’wa to create cells) the problem (of not having men) will be solved.
8 This sort of da’wa can be done by anybody and at any time, it depends on the da’ee; (i.e. individual da’wa is very flexible). The da’ee specifies who he will do da’wa to and when.
9 This individual da’wa gives the da’ee experience and knowledge of the condition of the people, and breaks down the imaginary barriers between the da’ee and the people. Therefore, the mujahid brother must know the condition of the society in which he lives. Most probably, he (the da’ee) will perform jihad in this society.
10 Individual da’wa will incite (the da’ee) towards knowledge and good deeds, so he will be a good role model for the candidate. So, my dear brother, the da’wa purifies your soul and this is a requirement for any Muslim who wants to ride the peak of the deen (i.e. Jihad).
The supportive factors which make the individual da’wa successful
There are many useful factors which the da’ee can use to make his da’wa successful. The most important of these factors is to:
- Be sincere to Allah (SWT).
Any form of worship has two conditions before it is accepted by Allah:
- Sincerity to Allah
- The Following of the Messenger of Allah (sws)
- The relationship between the da’ee and Allah (SWT)
If you repair the relationship between you and Allah (SWT), then Allah (SWT) will repair the relationship between you and the people. So the brother (da’ee) has to make a chart to keep track of self improvement in the deen. He should use this chart to preserve the continuity of the sunan (practices of the Prophet (sws)), the qiyamul layl (involuntary night prayers), sadaqah (spending in charity), and the other good deeds which are necessary for whoever wants to be married to the Hur al Ayn (beautiful maidens of Paradise) and whoever wants to enter the Paradise.
- Religious knowledge
You should at least have knowledge of what you are inviting to, and the da’ee must be a student of religious knowledge or try to study a little because the time will come when doubts will arise that can only be cleared up with religious knowledge. Also, my dear brother, you must know…that one doubt is sufficient to take a person away from the path, especially if the candidate is in the beginning stage. Also, be careful not to say (to yourself), “I don’t have religious knowledge, so I will not do da’wa to anybody”. This will be a reason for you to be lazy. You can distribute the religious lectures (of scholars via cassette or cd) and you can give Islamic booklets as gifts and you can participate in the da’wa efforts with your (da’ee) brothers.
- The necessity of knowing the candidate’s personality
You should know that everyone has good and bad qualities. You must get to know the (candidate’s) virtuous qualities and support them. Likewise, you must get to know his vices, then make a plan to rectify them.
- The gradual steps in da’wa The da’ee must not try to change the candidate suddenly because this is not according to the sunnah of Allah and not according to the way of the prophets (as). However, some people do have the ability to change immediately. If we find such a candidate who can change rapidly without having a negative effect on himself, then we must not delay the da’wa; we must help him change according to his own pace. As for the candidate who can only change himself in gradual stages, we must take him through the priorities of da’wa in sequence because maybe a rapid change may have a negative effect on him; and perhaps he will return to the period of ignorance.
- The follow-up and observance Individual da’wa requires a lot of effort and the follow-up is a condition in this type of da’wa. This is because life is difficult and there are a lot of shayatin of the humans. Maybe you help to instill in him a specific value, but after you leave him you might find that his faith has decreased or his motivation has dwindled. For example, maybe he knows that jihad is fard al ayn (obligatory on every Muslim), but it doesn’t make any change in his behavior or life. Is this one who neglects his duty for Jihad equal to the one who makes every effort in preparation for Jihad? Is he equal to the one who goes to gates of Rafah with hopes of crossing for Jihad, yet does not have a way to get in? Is this neglectful one equal to the one who went to the Syrian-Iraqi border without any guide with the sole intent of freeing himself before Allah from being blamed and charged for negligence of duty? Nay, by the Lord of Honor and Majesty (Allah) they are not equal.
- Find a good environment for the candidate In the beginning you have to remove him from his bad environment. Second, search for a good environment for the candidate which will serve to promote his imaan. If you don’t find this environment, you must occupy as much of his time as you can. You should also make a schedule for him to listen to at least one lecture daily. These lectures, books, and pamphlets must become his best friends.
- Give no consideration to his previous life (of ignorance) Don’t remind him of his previous behavior (in his days of ignorance). Allah (SWT) says: “Even as he is now, so were you yourselves before, until Allah conferred on you His Favors (i.e. guided you to Islam). Therefore, be cautious in discrimination. Allah is Ever Well-Aware of what you do.” (Surah Nisa; 4:94)
- The variety of methods and tools of da’wa We will mention some of them in this program and we will leave the rest for your personal creativity.