ISIS recruiting effort going well enough to pull in Denver teenager
Not only are the brutal tactics of ISIS, combined with the howling vacuum of American leadership, breaking the morale of their enemies, but it's produced a recruiting bonanza. They've been doing so well in conquered Iraqi territory that the government in Baghdad launched airstrikes against a Mosul mosque, because ISIS was using it as a recruiting center. They're also pulling in jihadists from beyond Iraq and Syria.
How far beyond? How about Denver, Colorado? USA Today reports on the legal travails of 19-year-old Shannon Conley, busted as she prepared to board a one-way flight to Jihadistan:
Conley's attorney has now filed a "notice of disposition," which generally indicates she's preparing to change her not guilty plea, the U.S. Attorney's office in Denver said Monday.
Court documents unsealed in the case in July paint a picture of a self-isolated woman who fell in love with a Tunisian man online, converted to Islam after reading about it on the Internet and became obsessed with religious war.
FBI agents said Conley, a certified nurse's aid, sought and practiced military tactics so she could fight on behalf of the Islamic State, which recently seized portions of Iraq. She also showed FBI agents a book detailing guerrilla warfare tactics and said she could carry out jihad in America.
"Conley believed she, as a Muslim, needed to marry young and be confrontational in her support of Islam," a U.S. anti-terrorism agent wrote in an arrest affidavit. "Special Agent Khomssi admonished Conley twice in the conversation that travel with intent to wage jihad may be illegal and result in her arrest."
A hearing for the federal court to accept Conley's potential plea change has not yet been scheduled, prosecutors said.
Conley remains in federal custody and is charged with attempting to provide material support or resources to a terrorist organization. If convicted of that charge she faces up to 15 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both.
Certainly Conley is a rare bird. The important thing is to keep her species rare. ISIS isn't just a military force doing hideously well against the dissolute Iraqi government, and even the more reliable Kurds. They're spreading an intellectual virus, aggressively using their "victories" - and quite a few hideous snuff videos - to position themselves as what Osama bin Laden called the "strong horse." All psychopaths are welcome, as the caliphate firms up and pushes its bloody borders outward.
Heck, you can even bring the kids, as jihadi Khaled Sharrouf did when he popped over to Syria for a bit of the old ultraviolence with his ISIS droogs. His 7-year-old son - born and raised in Sydney, Australia - came along for the ride, and ended up posing for photos with a big smile on his face, and a severed human head gripped by the hair in his little fingers.
Every war is born during the peace that precedes it. In this case, the relative peace in Western countries - combined with the pitiful weakness of nihilistic left-wing culture - provides a good environment for the incubation of ideologies that will come back to bite us on home ground, soon enough. Those who say Iraq isn't really our problem are missing the point. You might not be interested in ISIS, but they're very interested in you - they never miss an opportunity to proclaim their eagerness to attack Western targets. They're seized weapons and money, and they're building up a fearsome supply of international manpower, with a stockpile of valid travel documents and faces that would not look out of place on the side of a photo booth at your local mall food court. We're lucky the monsters she worships didn't tell Shannon Conley to stay put in Denver and await further instructions.