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A South African fan plays his vuvuzela at the Denmark vs. Cameroon World Cup match at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa, on June 19, 2010.

Extremism spreads into voids left by governments.

Why Do They Join?

October 2016, Number 07.04

“His name was Seifeddine Rezqui, a 23-year old engineering student from the rather ordinary town of Gaafour, 80 kilometers from Tunisia’s capital, Tunis. He had a passion for football and was a Real Madrid supporter. Rezqui also had a penchant for rap music and participated in break-dance competitions. Yet Rezqui went under another name — Abu Yahya al-Qayrawani — and ISIS labeled him a “Soldier of the Caliphate.” On June 26, 2015, he hid his AK-47 in an umbrella and proceeded to mow down tourists at a beach resort in Sousse, Tunisia. Thirty-eight were killed — mostly British — and scores more were injured. In the days that followed, investigators uncovered a trail of evidence pointing to the fact that Rezqui was radicalized online by ISIS social media propaganda.

For many commentators, a key to ISIS’ ability to spread radical ideology is its savvy approach to social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. By June 2015, ISIS had 90,000 Twitter accounts...”

Excerpt from Hussein Solomon, “Why Do They Join?,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 7, No. 4, 2016: 22-25.

Dr. Hussein Solomon is a senior professor in the department of political studies and governance at the University of the Free State, South Africa. He is the author of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism in Africa: Fighting Insurgency from Al Shabaab, Ansar Dine and Boko Haram, published in 2015 by Palgrave Macmillan.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.