Inside the Minds of ISIS Militants

Let's understand why indoctrinated people claim they have 'a license from God' for despicable deeds

Threats from ISIS and other terrorist sects pose a very real danger and concern in this globalized world.

Living half a world away from Middle Eastern nations, most Americans in the United States may not fully comprehend how indoctrinated radical Islamic terrorists actually are — but we need to know and understand it in order to defeat it.

When asked, “What is Islam?” they answered, “My life.”

Consider the words of an ISIS fighter awaiting execution in Iraq. As Abu Omar told Fox News, “I walked away, and called a number on my phone.” Just like that — Omar, 25, detonated a bomb. He said he has helped kill some 300 people through numerous bombings.

After Fox News conducted exclusive interviews with ISIS fighters in jail in Baghdad, Benjamin Hall of Fox said Omar “claimed he had a license from God to kill in the name of Islam, and still believes ISIS is justified in torturing and burning prisoners of its own.”

Terrorist groups have emphasized the radicalizing of youth in order to get them to join the violent cause.

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“The first step to combating ISIS is to understand it. We have yet to do so,” anthropologist Scott Atran wrote in an op-ed piece for The Guardian in November 2015.

Related: Where Can the Persecuted Christians in the Middle East Go?

“I’ve spent much time observing, interviewing, and carrying out systematic studies among people on six continents who are drawn to violent action for a group and its cause,” the anthropologist said while addressing the United Nations Security Council in April 2015. Atran added, “None of the ISIS fighters we interviewed in Iraq had more than primary school education. Some had wives and young children. When asked ‘What is Islam?’ they answered, ‘My life.’ They knew nothing of the Quran or Hadith, or of the early caliphs Omar and Othman, but had learned of Islam from al-Qaida and ISIS propaganda.”

Kurdish intelligence gave Reuters, the news agency, access to captured ISIS militants in Sulaiymaniya, Iraq. As just one example of what it learned, ISIS militant Amar Hussein claimed to have raped more than 200 women and killed about 500 people since joining the Islamic State in 2013.

As the international news agency noted last month, “Witnesses and Iraqi officials say Islamic State fighters raped many Yazidi women after the group rampaged through northern Iraq in 2014. It also abducted many Yazidi women as sex slaves.”

ISIS and other extremist groups have targeted the Yazidi, an ethnic and religious minority in Iraq.

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Dalal — a young Yazidi woman kidnapped over two years ago by ISIS — was raped and abused by nine militants, as the British online newspaper, The Independent, reported.

“One of the rapists, known as Abu-Mustafa, got her pregnant but another militant who had also ‘bought’ Dalal [forced her to] abort the baby by taking pills and carrying out heavy labor,” Lizzie Dearden wrote in The Independent this week.

An underground network is currently working to rescue girls enslaved by ISIS — but those enslaved must not be forgotten by the West. 

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