Report: Internet Radicalizes U.S. Muslims Quickly

Shaun Waterman, Washington Times, February 27, 2012

Young American Muslims can become radicalized online very quickly and with few warning signs, becoming potential terrorists before federal agencies can identify them, a new congressional report warned Monday.

Zachary Chesser, a 22-year-old Virginia man now serving 25 years for terrorism crimes, took less than two years to transform “from an average American kid to a hardened supporter of terrorist organizations,” according to a study of his case by staff from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

The bipartisan report analyzes his prolific online writing and correspondence with staff investigators after his guilty plea October 2010 to three terrorism-related felonies. The charges included attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization through his efforts to join al-Shabab, the al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia.

“Chesser represents a growing breed of young Americans who have such comfort and facility with social media that they can self-radicalize to violent Islamist extremism in an accelerated time period, compared to more traditional routes to radicalization,” the report said.

Chesser, who converted to Islam after graduating high school in 2008, is “a harbinger, not an outlier,” according to the report.


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  • Islam itself provides the radicalization.   It’s a mental and spiritual poison that finds ready purchase in the hearts and minds of anti-west, anti-Christian, anti-white American blacks, which is why Islam finds so many recruits in prison.
    Islam is evil, and don’t you forget it.

  • anonymous_amren

    Oh, there are warning signs. It’s just illegal to notice them.

    Nobody else would have had any trouble recognising Zack’s radicalisation, it’s just the goverment and PC-indoctrinated people that can’t see the signs.

  • anonymous_amren

    Let’s assume for the sake of argument, that Islam really is a harmless philosophy of peace that’s been unfairly stereotyped in the media as a bunch of muderous anti-Western lunatics, and everyone is prejudiced against Muslims because of that. Ridiculous, I know, but that’s what the establishment supposedly believes is happening, so let’s imagine hypothetically that it’s true.

    Even in such an absurd case, wouldn’t it still make sense to treat all converts to Islam with suspicion? If the media and dominant views in society were saying Muslims were murderous anti-Western lunatics, then the people who view that propaganda and think “I want to become a Muslim” are very likely to be murderous anti-Western lunatics themselves.

  • I could read all the pro-Islam radical stuff on ye olde internets all day long, and it wouldn’t radicalize me.

    Sorry, wrong answer.  The internet didn’t radicalize these Muslims.  They were already radical to begin with.

    This story is a rope-a-dope for state-sponsored internet censorship.

  • JohnEngelman

    One does not get places in politics by changing the minds of others. One gets places by articulating and channeling sentiments that already exist. A young Muslim who becomes a Muslim fanatic and perhaps a terrorist by accessing the internet was probably a socially alienated youth who felt that his prospects were limited. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, when Marxism was more fashionable than it is now, he would have been more likely to become a revolutionary Marxist.                               
    In his book “The True Believer” Eric Hoffer explained the ways in which political and religious fanaticisms are similar and wrote, “The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause.” 

  • Disenfranchised White Male

    A lot of people will critcize opponents of Islam for pointing out that it is a violent religion. These critics will say things like, “What about the Old Testament in the Bible?” even though anyone who has actually read the Bible, specifically the Book of Hebrews in the New Testament, understands that the crucifixion of Jesus created a new covenant or way of life for Christians where people are justified by faith instead of sacrificing animals, engaging in a rigid code of social conduct, stoning people for sexual indiscretions and other similar things.

    To all of these Islam enablers: have any of you actually read the surveys about what Muslims believe?

    40% of Muslims in Britain want Sharia Law, which states that apostates from Islam should be put to death, implemented in the UK. And 20% of British Muslims in Britain sympathize with the motives and intentions of the 7/7 London terrorists attacks. Source:

    81% of Muslims in Detroit want Sharia Law implemented in Muslim majority countries. Source:

    There are a lot more disturbing statistics about Muslims’ views that you can find all over the Internet by searching on google.

    Do you have any idea of the uproar that would ensue if 40% of all indiginous British supported segregating Muslims in the UK? Can you comprehend how the US media would berate the white American population if 81% of us supported racial segregation? White people going to school with white people, black people eating at black-owned restaurants with other black people and Muslims visiting mosques with other Muslims isn’t a bad thing at all, even though we all know we would never hear the end of how “racist” white people are if the media thought a lot of think this way. However, the mainstream media remains peculiarly silent when statistics showing the prevalence of Muslims’ support for violence such as terrorism, murdering people for apostasy and stoning rash people for sexual indiscretions are made public.

    Frankly, I don’t think there is a moderate Islam and extremist Islam dichotomy. Islam is meant to be practiced precisely in the way it has been written.