Italians in jihadist ranks, former jihadist tells Matrix

'Internet most effective recruitment channel'

21 January, 18:23

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, JANUARY 21 - A former jihadist now working with Canadian secret services has told the Italian television show Matrix that there are Italians ''ready to fight'' among the Islamic State (ISIS).

    ''They do not feel Italian. Only their citizenship is Italian,'' he said, noting that ''they could be sent back to their 'home country' to carry out attacks.'' Repentant jihadist Mubin Shaikh was speaking ahead of an interview with the show set to air Wednesday evening on Canale 5.

    ''I wouldn't be surprised if there were Italians in Yemen.

    Perhaps only a few. There are certainly some in Syria and Iraq.

    Maybe 12 or 15, but I don't know the exact number,'' he added. The man, who was born in Canada to a family of Muslim immigrants, spoke about how 'Western' jihadists were recruited. ''Recruiters seek especially youths who feel out of place.

    Youths that identify themselves only and exclusively as Muslims, never as Westerners,'' he said.

    There are several ways to lure them into the extremist group, he said. ''Peer pressure is the main means, alongside extremist preachers both inside and outside of mosques and online.

    Internet is now how most of the recruits are drawn in,'' he noted. (ANSAmed).

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