Terror Recruits Seduced by 'Jihadi Cool'

Al-Qaeda lures them with rap videos, promises of adventure
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2010 12:40 PM CDT
Terror Recruits Seduced by 'Jihadi Cool'
Colleen LaRose, aka "Jihad Jane" may have been enticed by the adventure of terrorism, not the religious cause.   (AP Photo/SITE Intelligence Group)

(Newser) – The strange case of “Jihad Jane” might just be the latest example of a new wave of terrorists attracted less by religious fanaticism than by a sense of “jihadi cool,” say counterterrorism experts. FBI officials tell NPR that the promise of travel and adventure is now a major part of militant recruitment pitches, luring a crop of terrorists that’s not particularly interested in the rigors of Islam.

The Internet has made making that pitch easier than ever. The web is littered with jihadi rap videos, and message boards like the ones that enticed Jihad Jane. “We have ethnographies where they actually ask militants what drew you to this movement,” says one Georgetown professor. “The top three answers were motorcycles, guns and access to women. You had to go pretty far down the list to get to religious motivation.” (Read more Jihad Jane stories.)

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