US trying to battle al-Qaida attempt to recruit English speakers

Al-Qaida is targeting Americans and other western youngsters in English; State Department responds with a campaign of its own.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
December 5, 2013 13:47
1 minute read.
Twitter picture from anti al-Qaida campaign

anti al-Qaida campaign 370. (photo credit: Twitter screenshot)

The US State Department is stepping up a campaign to battle an al-Qaida attempt to recruit english speakers, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

A small team of analysts and bloggers are trying to understand how to prevent Western and American youngsters from being lured into al-Qaida operations. "We need to be ready to blunt their appeal,"' said Alberto M. Fernandez, who advises the state deparmtment on the project.

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The State Department is saying al-Qaida and afflitated groups are now using English subtitles in their videos, and writing posts in English on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. Inteligentce officials say dozens of American have travelled to Syria to fight along rebels against the Syrian regime in the last 3 years, and now the al-Qaida branches in Yemen and Somalia are trying to recruit those English speakers as well.

The State Department team is trying to understand what inspires potential recruits to join these extremists groups, and attempting to find ways to detter them from doing so.  An online messaging campaign is aiming to create a competeing narrative to the extreme Islamist narrative.
Twitter picture from anti al-Qaida campaign
"How can slaughtering of the innocent be the right path?" asks one post, and another warns: "Think again. Turn away".

State Department officials acknowledged that the program is still just a modest attempt  to battle al-Qaida's sea of Youtube, Twitter and Facebook campaigns.


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