Contrary to Al-Qaeda’s widely propagated ideology, the recruitment form indicates that Al-Qaeda does not yearn for a pious lot as its recruits rather it is more desirous of accommodating the socially alienated individuals. Criminals themselves are also much prone to join terrorist groups which provide them with security, protection and also help them to keep aligned with their criminal pursuits. Highly aggressive individuals having previous criminal record are more likely to be selected by Al-Qaeda since they are already addicted to unlawful activities and can be easily motivated to join a new criminal career. Al-Qaeda leaders are also caught looking for the individuals who have got some sort of expertise in their field especially in science and technology like chemistry or communications. It indicates that the recruitment process is aimed at hiring most professional individuals typically for the operational purposes and to plan / carry out most sophisticated terrorist attacks. Apart from that, in pursuit of Al-Qaeda’s mission of toppling governments, it seems to be employing its efforts for creating rifts among government circles. Al-Qaeda recruiters seem to prefer the recruits who enjoy some sort of clout in the government circles for the fulfillment of their nefarious designs. Questions in the form also show that Al-Qaeda requires the new recruits with a passion for martyrdom as they may be used for suicide missions.
The recruitment process is further followed by a motivational training that is a prime mover in converting a young man into a terrorist. This is the stage where the seeds of hatred against other individuals, societies and fellow Muslim brethren are sowed firmly in the fertile minds of the youth to prepare them for the most heinous acts of terrorism against humanity. Religious motivational songs cassettes, video recordings of suicide bombers, CDs and booklets containing hate material like atrocities of US soldiers on innocent people in Iraq, Afghanistan etc are used to indoctrinate the newly recruited individuals. Resultantly, individuals become terrorists and prefer to give up their lives as the saviors of religion against a self perceived threat. Apart from the field training at distant and isolated places, online training methods for making homemade explosives, suicide jackets and vehicle born bombs made it easy for terrorists to train their newly inducted recruits without facing the risk of being caught or monitored by security agencies.
Though terrorists are paying much focused attention on the process of radicalization of their recruits for developing them into hardcore terrorists but a very little consideration is being given to the de-radicalization or disengagement process of vulnerable groups by the state. The disengagement processes can also have a very positive impact on global counter terrorism efforts by promoting the internal disintegration of violent radical groups. De-radicalization means the critical cognitive and social changes in terms of leaving behind the shared social norms, values, attitudes, relationship and social networks forged by terrorist groups and organizations. The aim of any de-radicalization, rehabilitation and disengagement programme must be to prevent further acts of terrorism and bring terrorists to mainstream of society.
Carefully designed and conducted programmes can also help enlist repentant terrorists to dissuade others from taking a similar course. Government should also take adequate measures to curb poverty and unemployment in the rural areas to foil the recruitment tactics of terrorists. Renowned religious scholars should be involved to launch anti-extremism campaigns to preach accurate teachings of Islam to shun radical ideology of terrorists. Online anti-extremism campaigns should be financed by international community to prevent youth from accepting militants’ beliefs. In addition, access to the extremists’ propaganda should be denied and countered with appropriate themes to prevent youth from becoming prey to any kind of manipulation by Al-Qaeda. Awareness campaigns aimed at creating vigilance amongst general masses against terrorists’ modus operandi for recruitment should be launched. Furthermore, successfully rehabilitated individuals can provide counter-terrorism officials with valuable insight into the working of terrorist organizations and can thus be seen as adding further to the overall counter-terrorism strategy.