ISIS tightens up its entry requirements

Asharq Al-Awsat reports: If any group could be said to have powerful enemies these days, it is the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), making a certain amount of paranoia on the part of the organization and its leaders understandable. It is therefore not surprising that it has just made it harder for jihadist hopefuls to join the group in an effort to weed out spies.

The extremist organization has issued new instructions to Western recruits seeking to join the terrorist group, including the need to obtain a glowing reference from at least one sheikh known to ISIS leadership, according to Islamist leaders in London. The British Islamists informed Asharq Al-Awsat that ISIS recruits will now need this “recommendation” to be allowed into the fold.

The new instructions include detailed advice on what ISIS recruits should wear and carry with them when travelling to Syria and Iraq as well as pointers on how best to avoid detection. The recruits are told to avoid bringing religious books, but should not forget to bring their own cigarettes with them.

“Your clothes should not identify your religion and you should remain silent and not talk too much. The only thing people should know about you is that you are a normal traveler . . . and you should not give any detailed information about yourself,” went the advice.

The latest directives follow ISIS fears that Western intelligence organizations are seeking to infiltrate the group. This is the first time that ISIS has explicitly called for new recruits to provide proof of identity and the new rules mean that ISIS recruits will need at least one affiliated sheikh or recruiter to vouch for them. The instructions add that it would be even better if potential recruits have more than one “recommendation,” the Islamist sources told Asharq Al-Awsat. [Continue reading…]

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