According to the newspaper Asharq Alawsat, the Islamic State is afraid of infiltrators from Western intelligence agencies, so they plan on making it a tad harder for Western and foreign jihadists to join their ranks. I wonder if part of that decision had to with the fact that several Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels allegedly infiltrated an ISIS camp, and posing as cooks, poisoned about a dozen ISIS militants.
But it definitely won't be as easy as it has been in the past.
Western recruits can no longer just show up at the Syrian border and join IS, according to the report. Instead, they need to present proof of identity and a character reference from "at least one sheikh known to [Islamic State] leadership," Islamist leaders in London told Asharq Alawsat.
According to the report, British jihadis already in Syria are providing character references for new recruits.No references? They'll run a security check on the recruit.
Outside the United Kingdom, another group, Sharia4Belgium (currently on trial in Belgium on charges of enlisting young men to fight in Syria) is providing endorsements for Islamic State recruits.
They also have a bunch of new rules and regulations on how to behave, for those traveling to Syria for the first time, so they don't stand out, including:
Don't dress too conservatively.
No religious books.
However, some of the old rules haven't changed:
Don't tell friends and family.
And then you have jihadists giving advice via Ask.fm forum.
One British Islamic State militant, who calls himself Abu Fariss, answers questions from potential new recruits via his Ask.fm account.
New recruits should bring "warm clothes, good boots, gloves etc" to Syria, he advises.And regarding character references, Abu Fariss has this to say to one would-be jihadist:
"Aki [brother], I would like to migrate to [IS], will you be my tazkiya [character reference]," he is asked.
"I won't be your tazkiya, however I can help bring you in and [IS] will sort you out. Giving tazkiya is a very big thing," Abu Fariss replies.Fariss will also chat with wannabees on a private chat service called Kik, when it comes to "sensitive issues" like how to deal with parents when they find out he joined a terrorist group.
"I am scared. I knw my pqrents will be in deep pain and sorrow wht should i do," the potential recruit asked.Abu Fariss had this to say about his own experience:
"Some understand, some think what I'm doing is wrong but support my intention...some think I'n completely misguided. You cant always please everyone, so why not please the one worthy of it, Allah."