Op-Ed: Islamic State’s Vetting Process Runs Circles Around The West, Including The U.S. – American Military News

Op-Ed: Islamic State’s Vetting Process Runs Circles Around The West, Including The U.S.

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Sgt. (Ret.) Theresa Giarratano
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By: Sgt. (Ret.) Theresa Giarratano

Theresa Giarratano is a retired US Army NCO studying Middle Eastern affairs with special emphasis on global terrorism. Her current status is assisting the Kurdish people by disseminating information regarding the fight against ISIS via social media platforms.
Sgt. (Ret.) Theresa Giarratano
Follow me

In the early morning hours of March 22nd, The United States woke to the news that another deadly terrorist attack was unleashed in the city of Brussels, Belgium. As the death toll from this cowardly act continues to climb, we are left asking the same questions we did in every other previous Islamic State sanctioned terror attack, especially this question: Why can’t we get intelligence on these terrorists from the inside of Islamic State? Why? Because Islamic State has mastered the vetting process for new recruits inside its ranks and right now, it’s running circles around the United States and all those she considers allies.  Underestimated and ridiculed, Islamic State has found a way to exploit a weakness and is now using that weakness to carry out terror attacks globally.

Like any job one applies for, the more sensitive the job (law enforcement, security, intelligence fields, etc), the deeper the background check and no one takes that more seriously than the Islamic State.  Islamic State is so serious about its vetting process on new recruits that a recruit must know a sheikh directly linked to Islamic State before even being considered to be a part of the inner sanctum of this terror group.  In 2014, Islamic State revised its vetting process again making the rules much stricter to join the terror group in an effort to weed out spies. From the report published by Asharq Al-Awsat:

The extremist organization has issued new instructions to Western recruits seeking to join the terrorist group, including the need to obtain a glowing reference from at least one sheikh known to [Islamic State] leadership, according to Islamist leaders in London. The British Islamists informed Asharq Al-Awsat that [Islamic State] recruits will now need this “recommendation” to be allowed into the fold.’

In a chilling foreshadowing of events in Brussels today, the reference to Sharia4Belgium was also referenced in the Asharq Al-Awsat report too:

The source also explicitly named the Sharia4Belgium group as one of the groups that is providing references for fighters wishing to join [Islamic State], adding that dozens of Western recruits have joined ISIS after being endorsed by the group.

The list of requirements continues on, reading like part of a screen play for “The Godfather” movie series with its members having to be vouched for before ever being considered into the Islamic State ranks. So why does this run circles around the United States? It’s simple. Islamic State, through its own disciplined measures and standards, decided that a proper vetting of recruits needed to happen else suffer the consequences of spies infiltrating the terror group.  Now, take that exact same sentence and apply a few word changes: ‘The United States, through its own disciplined measures and standards, decided that proper vetting of refugees needed to happen else suffer the consequences of terrorists infiltrating the United States.’

This is one major example of how Islamic State is able to continue their global asymmetrical warfare – they’ve exposed a weakness in the United States and Europe under the guise of entering our countries under a “refugee” status because they know we won’t properly vet them. That’s right, the “JV” terror group, according to President Obama, has been rubbing our noses in this for a while and will continue to do so unless we do something about it.

How many more innocent people need to die before we take the security of our country seriously? I bet that very question is being asked in Europe right now. Calls to shut the borders down in the United States over the Brussels attack are growing as Islamic State continues its global reign of terror in 20 countries. We all know Islamic State is expanding and gathering human intelligence on them is next to nil for the very reason why I wrote this op-ed to begin with: vetting.  They’re doing it right, but we aren’t … who’s the “JV” team again?

Lao Tzu: “There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent.

What can the U.S. do to better combat this? Sound off in the comments below!

Sgt. (Ret.) Theresa Giarratano

Theresa Giarratano is a retired US Army NCO studying Middle Eastern affairs with special emphasis on global terrorism. Her current status is assisting the Kurdish people by disseminating information regarding the fight against ISIS via social media platforms.