A chilly Sunday mid morning, as you take a walk down the Central Business District, sights of families fill the streets, holding hands, window shopping, headed to church, some headed for brunch or probably just strolling around town for adventure.
The sight of a well groomed family unit does not trigger any possible acts of terrorism or violent extremism and this is the terrorist’s thinking, which is what the Violent Extremists bank on; camouflage and deceit. Youth, children and women have been high value targets for terrorists across nations. Having known that, the terrorist today is shifting tact and appealing more to family units.
Whether voluntary or forceful, terrorist groups have managed to intertwine roles of each family member in ‘Jihad’. The tact best identified with ISIS is slowly but surely spreading and being adopted by militia and violent extremists shamelessly hiding behind religion.
The woman is often in the equation to provide traditional roles of nurturing children participating in jihad as she provides moral and spousal support. However, women today have their roles spread and are actively participating in planning attacks and bombing targets.
Camouflage and Deceit
A perfect example would be the latest attack by family members and in this case a nuclear unit in Indonesia.The Indonesian bomber family killed at least 18 people in three different churches, in this; children were involved as were both parents. It is said children really don’t wish to join in violent extremism, but they are forced into it either by radical nurturing or under threat.
The Indonesian family that caused what was the worst terrorist strike Indonesia has seen in more than a decade led a normal life; they would show neighbourly affection through food, exchanging plates of fried bananas or steamed packages of rice stuffed with vegetables and chicken over the fence countless times.
They are also said to have been friendly and polite, reserved but involved in neighbourhood affairs.Their gestures and deeds would not be questionable on any grounds as the boys who would later be part of the bombing rode their bikes on the streets as their younger sister plays on a swing in the neighbourhood. Nothing overly Islamic would show in their way of life including dressing and even interaction.
The normalcy around the camouflaging terrorists is the catch point for both authorities and members of the community today, endless deceiving deeds of kindness is also part of the new Modus Operandi.
The new birthed tact is a combination of women suicide bombers, children fighters and male militants, therefore calling for extra vigilance on matters security.
Only by having normal families living normal lives could terrorist groups hope to make a claim to functioning like a normal outfit, hence little suspicion.