Monday, November 30, 2015

Paris: Merely a Litmus Test?

The front page story of The New York Times today explores the finances of the terror group ISIS. With reserves in the millions and perhaps in the billions and an estimated 900,000,000 in regular annual revenue, the group isn't likely to be going anywhere anytime soon.

I think the bigger message from the article is that ISIS is learning from the model of the West. Tickets for broken tail lights? That trick is straight out of the West's playbook. How many times have people gotten a speeding ticket only to complain afterward that the police should be out there stopping real crime? ISIS has studied how the West (particularly its local, state, and national governments) has inflated its coffers and successfully duplicated its practices. 

The real question now is: What else are they learning from the West? 

Awful as it sounds, I can't help but think that Paris may have been merely a litmus test for these guys. Station several hundred operatives across the world's major cities, attack Paris, and see what happens. Which services go down first? How fast? How many? Is there a pattern to it? How much is reported on the news versus what people are seeing in person?

Write it all down, report back to HQ.

What really strikes me is how detailed the process must be. I mean, tail light tickets? Folks, ISIS is taking notes. Really detailed notes. And while I applaud efforts to "study the enemy," I think trying to understand how they understand us is at least as relevant.

Monday, November 23, 2015

More Ideas About Curtailing ISIS Recruitment

ISIS recruits members from the West. They look for the downtrodden, of which, unfortunately, there are many.

I don't know the numbers, though. They might be getting more people who are just showing up on their doorstep rather than people who are actively sought out and lulled into the group. The real danger, as the various attacks around the world have shown us, is converting an otherwise ordinary citizen into a harbinger of unspeakable atrocities in the place where they're living.

To address this internal threat, governments have been monitoring, monitoring, monitoring. Sure, do some more of that. There's no telling when intelligence will become crucial. No argument here. But these ISIS trolls still appear to be finding young people and convincing them of their ideology. This has got to stop.

Here's a radical suggestion: encourage high schoolers to reach out to ISIS.

Right now, ISIS is finding these young people around the world because they're easy to find. But what if there were 1,000,000 more fake personalities out there crying for help? It would be seriously difficult to find the real people susceptible to extremism with a deluge of fakers.

Our government doesn't have the time to pull off a plan like this. They don't have the manpower either. But teens? I can't think of a group with more time to kill. Train them, prepare them for craziness, let them pretend to be someone else online, and then hand over the fishing pole when they bring in a big fish.

With so many fake cases out there, it would be a complete waste of time for ISIS to scour the internet looking for real people. And if they found someone, how could they trust them with so many fakers out there?

This would effectively bring an end to local US enrollment (or any other government willing to do it). As for the rest of ISIS, I'll get back to you.