November 8, 2016: ISIS massacre in Iraq

On November 8, 2016 ISIS massacred more than 300 people in the town of Hammam al Alil, just outside of the Iraqi city of Mosul

HAMMAM AL ALIL, IRAQ – Terrorist groups need to replenish their ranks all the time and don’t take no for an answer.

Of all the professions with a poor track record of employee satisfaction is there anything worse than terrorism? After all, violent extremist groups engage in seriously dangerous activity all the time and front line terrorists put their lives on the line – literally if you are a suicide bomber.

As a consequence, terrorist organisations need to find replacements. Recruiting is a whole aspect of modern terrorism on its own as we try to identify the means through which candidates are identified (online, in person…) and encouraged to sign up. Most of us may think that only a moron would elect to join such an outfit but the track record demonstrates that there are enough such people to keep these entities going.

I want YOU to join the Army of God! (Photo: By Hamid Mir, CC BY-SA 3.0)

You may assume that terrorist groups are picky in whom they reach out to, but I am not so sure that is true. After all, it does not take an inordinately qualified individual to strap on a suicide vest. Anyone with a pulse will do.

What then should someone do when approached by a terrorist holding out a ‘great’ welcome to the club package? Enthusiastically sign on the bottom line or politely decline? Sometimes saying no invites a bad response.

On this day in 2016

Islamic State (ISIS) massacred more than 300 people in the town of Hammam al Alil, just outside of the Iraqi city of Mosul. The town was about to be liberated by anti-ISIS forces when the terrorist group turned on the population. Many of the victims were either ex-Iraqi army or the parents who had refused to give their nine-year old sons to ISIS.

You know the angel of death was here, killing, killing, killing. No one knew why. They terrified the people, they horrified them. But they didn’t care.

Iraqi corporal

I suppose the citizens of Hammam al Alil were in a damned-if- you-do/damned-if-you-don’t position. Join ISIS and get killed; don’t join ISIS and get killed. Some choice.

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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