When Tahira Bhatt sent a friend request from Syria, Areeb Majeed had no idea what he was walking into. Majeed is one of those four youth who had left his home at Kalyan Maharashtra and joined the ISIS only to come back to India after cleaning toilets in Iraq.
Little did Majeed realize that he was falling into a honey trap set up by the ISIS. This is one of the many recruitment strategies used by the ISIS so that youth come in search of these women to either Iraq or Syria.
How ISIS sets the honey trap
The honey trap is one of the most successful way of roping in a person or extracting information from him. Intelligence agencies from across the world use this tactic. While in the earlier days honey traps were laid in person, today its use online has become extremely popular.
The ISIS too has used the honey trap very successfully. It targets at least 300 to 500 youth from across the world by using the honey trap.
They always chose a woman from Iraq or Syria. Youth who surf online are chosen as targets and the women begins chatting these people up.
The women are extremely convincing and they even propose marriage and several gullible youth end up having an internet wedding too. Once the youth is trapped the conversation moves on to meeting in person.
At least 5 out of ten youth agree to meet the woman and ends up in Iraq or Syria.
Exploiting the world wide web
The ISIS today is all over the web. They have a 10,000 member force to monitor the web and pick up youth.
While some youth fall trap to the kind of propaganda that the ISIS puts up, many have also landed up in their territory after being honey trapped.
For the ISIS the numbers matter and they want to rope in as many people as possible into their fold. What they are aiming to do is build up an army and they have set targets too. The focus however continues to be on building an army in Iraq and Syria.
If one looks at the recent cases where they have used the honey traps it becomes clear that they are targeting only Iraq and Syria. The ISIS has had its ups and downs in Iraq and Syria. They constantly feel the need to recruit more persons on the internet as the reach is greater.
The ISIS makes a random selection of youth to be honey trapped. They have women in their fold who are in charge of this wing.
The job assigned to them is to scout for facebook profiles of youth. The persons they end up targeting are generally those who are looking up for information relating to the ISIS.
Once they find the person a friend request is sent to the persons. These persons who lay the traps are extremely attractive women which makes the setting up of the trap even more easier.
There are some cases in which a conversation goes on for months before the trap is set. The primary intention is to draw the youth so much that they end up leaving their country and landing up in an ISIS camp.