London Teen: How I Was Recruited for Jihad

Group meeting in mosque invited boy to outside gatherings
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 17, 2009 12:27 PM CDT
This undated photo provided by London's Metropolitan Police, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2008, shows Mohammed Hamid, a mentor figure to the teen.   (AP Photo/Metropolitan Police/ho)
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(Newser) – The Islamists approached him in the mosque, and before he knew it a 15-year-old Londoner was watching jihadist videos and being encouraged to train in Pakistan, the boy tells the Times of London in the “first inside account” of the recruitment process. “A lot of people think that terrorists are recruited in special recruiting grounds, but the truth is that it actually goes on in mosques a lot of the time,” says the teen, who is now in a special rehabilitation program.

“You’ll go to pray and there’ll be small groups of people just away from the main group in the mosque having their own discussion, talking about jihad,” he said. They talked to the teen about Iraq and “how all the people are dying,” and invited him to meetings in an abandoned house. “They showed us a jihadist video with the martyrdom flags behind the guy speaking, and the message I got was that I should prepare myself for martyrdom.”