Promenade of the English

Daech's dangerous echo on the off-center minds

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The Orlando massacre, the Nice massacre, the attack on a train in Germany: while each attack is claimed or condoned by the Islamic State organization, the profiles of the killers raise more and more questions and illustrate the strength of the deadly propaganda of the jihadist group on apparently out of touch individuals.
 
Un Afghan-American who killed 49 people at a gay club in Florida on June 12 before being shot by police, was violent, homophobic, radical, and ... also appeared to be a repressed homosexual, according to eyewitness accounts.
 
The Tunisian who ran over 84 people at the wheel of his truck on the evening of 14 July in Nice is still a mystery to investigators. "An individual far removed from religious considerations, not practicing, eating pork, drinking alcohol, taking drugs and having an unbridled sex life," but who had shown "a recent interest in the radical jihadist movement," the Paris prosecutor said Monday. A 74-year-old man heard by investigators is even presented by some as one of his lovers. 
 
And in Germany, where a very young Afghan asylum seeker - 17 years old - attacked passengers on a train on Monday evening with an axe, the authorities refuse to speculate: having arrived in the country two years ago as an unaccompanied minor, he was unknown to the intelligence services.
 
In an op-ed published Tuesday by the newspaper LibérationThe historian Olivier Christin refers to these "massacres where religious convictions, hostilities to the interventions in Syria and Iraq, anti-Semitism, but also personal frustrations, self-hatred and aspiration to suicide are mixed".
"The EI cause welcomes all anger." he sums up by seeing This is "a radical break in the history of religious and political terrorism, which has long given a central place to questions of organisation and doctrinal formulation".

"Fanatical and deadly ideology."

The Islamic State group has understood the benefit it can draw from its incessant calls for action against "the unbelievers", recently confided to AFP the university psychologist Patrick Amoyel, who works on the phenomena of radicalisation. 
"They know that the more they occupy the media space, the more they will resonate with either radical or psychopathic populations."he explained.
 
"It is this fanatical and deadly ideology that can lead some individuals to act without the need to travel to Syria and without the need for specific instructions."The Paris Prosecutor stressed on Monday, referring to the new challenge posed by this "terrorism of proximity".
 
The jihadist organisation's propaganda, endlessly echoed on the Internet in carefully staged videos of beheadings, torture, calls for repeated murders like a Litany, is all the more effective when it is directed at "disturbed personalities or individuals fascinated by ultra-violence." noted Mr. Molins.
 
"Those who hate their colleagues or despise homosexuals because of their own insecurity may put their actions under the bloody banner of the Islamic state, written in the American magazine Time William McCants, a researcher at the Brookings Institution, an American think tank.
 
However, it is still difficult to disentangle ideological convictions from personal and unconscious motives, the researcher acknowledges, evoking killers "not really IA, but pretty much IA, with no organizational link to them, but with murder in common".
 
The fact remains that, according to the French expert psychiatrist Daniel Zagury, in cases of jihadist acts, the mentally ill are few in number, about 10% of cases. "The others are either petty criminals with a chick pea in their head, who had a first life as drug addicts and traffickers, and are redeeming a second life that washes the first one away in radical Islam; or, the most dangerous, strictly normal subjects who have an ideological commitment without a delinquent past, possibly with very determined studies". 
 
 

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