(Warning: even with digital blurring, the photographs in this post are disturbing.)
Lazy minds respond only to visual stimulus. For some reason, the entire world is reeling in shock from the photograph ISIS jihadi Khaled Sharrouf posted of his 7-year-old son holding the severed head of a Syrian soldier, smiling like he’s posing with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle he just got as a birthday present:
This photo was circulated in a Tweet with the caption, “That’s my boy!” Here’s Pops mugging with a decapitation victim of his own, in a photo he entitled “What a head.”
We already knew these ISIS degenerates were inhuman monsters, and they’re recruiting and brainwashing children. The more gruesome strains of Islam always recruit and brainwash children – look at how the Taliban prioritizes the destruction of Western-style schools. Likewise, everyone outside Barack Obama’s dim-witted White House knew ISIS was an aggressive military force given to religious persecution, ethnic cleansing, and genocide, but it took live footage of 50,000 Yazidis dying on the side of a mountain before many people were willing to accept it.
Only pictures are real to lazy and incurious Westerners, and that’s a big problem, because it makes us easy to manipulate. Just ask Hamas.
Khaled Sharrouf’s old chum Wissam Haddad doesn’t understand what the big deal is either, saying “this is what every sensible Muslim wants, to bring their children up in a caliphate,” as reported by the UK Daily Mail:
He went on to say: ‘I don’t see what the big concern is getting children to hold up severed heads.’
Mr Haddad said nobody in ‘their right mind’ would consider that Sharrouf had plans of coming back to Australian shores.
But the school friend, who did not wish media to identify his face because he had fears for his safety, was not the only one to defend Sharrouf.
A man purporting to be notorious terrorist leader Omar al-Shishani lavished Sharrouf with praise in a radio interview earlier on Tuesday.
‘He’s a very loveable, good kid,’ Omar al-Shishani told Radio 3AW.
‘He’s a faithful man.’
Omar al-Shashani is considered one of the public faces of IS – an off-shoot of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda – which has caused so much destruction throughout Iraq and Syria.
Wait, what does he mean when he says Sharrouf has no plans to come back to Australian shores? Well, you see, the photo above was taken in an ISIS-controlled region of Syria, but Khaled Sharrouf is from Australia. He was born there, as was his son. Sharrouf’s parents were originally from Lebanon, as CNN reports. He got into trouble for violent behavior at school, did some drugs in his late teens, and developed schizophrenia. Like so many Western-born jihadis, he marinated in the warm toxic bath of the welfare state, pulling a disability pension after dabbling in construction work, and was eventually busted as part of a bomb-making plot. The Australian court pronounced he had made a “remarkable recovery” from his schizophrenia and sprang him from jail after only three weeks He said all the right things about wanting to retire to a quiet life in the country with his wife and kids… then bailed on his wife and took the kids off to join the ISIS caliphate.
I can’t help thinking the Australian expert on inmate radicalization quoted by CNN is missing the salient point here:
Less than five years after his release from prison, it’s clear that Sharrouf has not abandoned the ideology that saw him jailed.
If anything, his time in prison has further radicalized him, according to Clarke Jones, an expert from the Australian National University who is writing a book on the radicalization of inmates.
“The way we incarcerate terrorists — the labels we put on terrorists — we tend to isolate them and segregate them. But sometimes it’s better to incorporate these types of individuals with other inmates.
“If you isolate them and segregate them, it tends to give them time to think and strengthen their cause, strengthens their ideologies. So I think this time in prison made him worse,” he said.
“If he has severe psychological conditions, he needs treatment; he’s a sick individual.”
It’s unclear why Sharrouf has chosen to take his young family to a war zone, but Jones says that if he was doing it to win support, he’s likely to have failed.
“For some reason, he thinks that getting his son to hold up a head is going to attract people to his cause. I actually think it’s going to have a negative effect. I think it’s going to deter some of those who might have wanted to demonstrate their faith to a religion,” he said.
Three weeks in prison “further radicalized” Sharrouf? Jones has a fair point about how letting terrorists flock together in prison gives them an opportunity to “strengthen their ideology,” although at the point where you’ve been pinched by the police in a nationwide crackdown on a massive bomb-making operation, I’m not sure how much more strengthening your ideology really needs. At any rate, ISIS certainly doesn’t seem to think it hurts their cause to spread horrifying photos and videos across the Internet, and they would seem to have empirical evidence to support their strategy, because they’re recruiting like gangbusters… from both inside their captured territory, and across the Western world.
Also lighting up the Internet with severed-head glamour shots is Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, a 23-year-old rapper from west London who is said he was “leaving everything for the sake of Allah” and followed a number of his friends from Britain to Syria and the welcoming embrace of the Islamic State. (Well, maybe not quite five-star-hotel welcoming, as Bary whined about getting kidnapped, tortured, and robbed by other jihadis upon his arrival. But he seems to have gotten everything worked out, because he looks a lot happier than the previous owner of the decapitated head he’s holding.)
Here’s his bio, courtesy of the UK Daily Mail:
Friends said Bary – an aspiring rapper on the ‘grime’ music scene – grew increasingly radical and violent after mixing with thugs linked to hate preacher Anjem Choudary.
He has posted a series of photographs online, including shots of him masked and posing with guns under the title ‘soldier of Allah’.
In other messages he called on Allah to ‘grant us martyrdom’, and praised Osama Bin Laden. Bary, whose music has featured on Radio 1, is one of six children of Adel Abdul Bary, 53.
Bary Snr was extradited from Britain to the US in 2011 after an eight-year legal battle that made him a cause celebre of the Left as lawyers took his publicly funded case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Investigators believe Bary Snr was one of Bin Laden’s closest lieutenants in the infancy of Al Qaeda and ran a London cell of the terror network.
He faces life in prison if convicted of involvement in the bombings of US embassies in East Africa in 1998.
His son’s appearance among the ranks of UK jihadists in Syria, where several Britons fighting for the militants have already been killed, will add to concerns about their potential threat to the West.
Lovely job, lefty lawyers! Round of applause for how your “cause celebre” worked out!
Then you’ve got 19-year-old Shannon Conley, who didn’t get to pose with any severed heads, because she was arrested at the airport en route to join up with ISIS. That would be the airport in Denver, Colorado, as USA Today reports:
The Arvada, Colo., teen was arrested on the jetway as she tried to board a plane on a one-way trip to the Middle East, court documents show.
Conley’s attorney has now filed a “notice of disposition,” which generally indicates she’s preparing to change her not guilty plea, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Denver said Monday.
Court documents unsealed in the case in July paint a picture of a self-isolated woman who fell in love with a Tunisian man online, converted to Islam after reading about it on the Internet and became obsessed with religious war.
FBI agents said Conley, a certified nurse’s aid, sought and practiced military tactics so she could fight on behalf of the Islamic State, which recently seized portions of Iraq. She also showed FBI agents a book detailing guerrilla warfare tactics and said she could carry out jihad in America.
“Conley believed she, as a Muslim, needed to marry young and be confrontational in her support of Islam,” a U.S. anti-terrorism agent wrote in an arrest affidavit. “Special Agent Khomssi admonished Conley twice in the conversation that travel with intent to wage jihad may be illegal and result in her arrest.”
Here’s a head shot of the demure jihadi wannabe – just her own head, mind you.
The global threat Barack Obama never saw coming – the threat he and his teenage aides mocked people like Mitt Romney for warning us about, the menace Obama breezily dismissed as al-Qaeda’s junior varsity squad – keeps growing, and metastasizing. ISIS has laid the groundwork for its caliphate, and it’s pulling in recruits who believe in its vision from all over the world. There is little evidence their savagery is repelling anyone they’d want on their team – on the contrary, the head-chopping, mutilations, crucifixions, and live burials are an appealing demonstration of strength to recruits, and a weapon against the morale of their adversaries. And when those who would oppose ISIS look to the West for support, they see Barack Obama on vacation, shooting a few rounds of golf, while Hillary Clinton claims she secretly knew he was wrong about everything all along, but kept it to herself until now.
It was a historic mistake (to use one of Obama’s favorite words) to let these animals seize territory and resources, dig in, and begin spreading their tentacles around the globe. The uncle of Khaled Sharrouf’s little boy told the Australian press to write the kid off: “He’s gone, forget about it. He’s forgotten about youse. I’m sure you’ve seen much worse than that.” I sincerely doubt anyone in ISIS has forgotten about youse. It’s bad enough that scores of young people born and bred in the West are heading off to fight for the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Things will get even worse then they return home. It’s a damn lucky break Shannon Conley’s new friends in ISIS didn’t tell her to stay put in Colorado and await further instructions.
Update: Courtesy of the Daily Caller, here’s Obama’s top terrorism adviser, John Brennan, dismissing warnings of the impending ISIS caliphate as “absurd, feckless delusions” that is “never going to happen” in 2011. I can think of a few people who would testify to just how real the caliphate has become, if they still had their heads.
In a better country, Obama and all of his advisers would resign in disgrace for letting this happen. Instead, we can be confident nobody will get fired, because nobody ever does under Obama’s model of government-by-perpetual-fumble. I wonder if the American people will get tired of this crap before the first ISIS operation goes down on our soil.