A look into how jihadist recruiters target and influence groups in Morocco

A look into how jihadist recruiters target and influence groups in Morocco

Authorities on Wednesday detained 50 individuals in various Moroccan cities as part of anti-terrorist operations. Among them, 21 were taken for further investigation to the National Brigade of the Judicial Police (BNPJ) and the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ). These detainees were identified due to suspicious behaviors indicating their allegiance to extremist ideologies associated with Daesh and Al Qaeda.

Despite government efforts to dismantle terrorist groups and cells within Morocco, jihadist recruiting networks have persisted for over a decade. These organizations employ diverse strategies to entice individuals into adopting their radical ideas and recruit them to join ISIS.

Strategies used by jihadist recruitment networks include:

Video Games

Recruiters capitalize on the popularity of video games among teenagers and young adults, using ISIS footage that mimics battle games to blur the line between reality and fiction. They recreate video game-inspired visuals in online postings to appeal to the love of combat among gamers.


Mosques have become popular places for jihadist recruiters to identify potential targets. Recruiters may pose as Imams and use preaching opportunities to approach residents and engage in discussions with those exhibiting signs of radicalization.

University Campuses: Terrorist organizations infiltrate university campuses under the guise of Islamist student factions, spreading extremist views through extracurricular activities and ideological affiliations. These recruitment cells carefully vet potential members before introducing them to the group.


Prisons have also become breeding grounds for radical Islamist and jihadist ideologies. Recruiters exploit the psychological vulnerabilities of inmates and their lack of liberty to instill jihadist values.

Radicalization of Minors

Jihadist recruiters target young people to foster an environment conducive to radicalization. They exploit the relative vulnerability of developing minds and employ various tactics to instill extremist beliefs. Recruitment efforts extend to cultural centers, parks, and online platforms, where recruiters build relationships with teenagers, utilizing social media to attract new, impressionable members.

Recruitment of Women

Jihadist recruiters focus on young girls and women through social media, attempting to enlist them in terrorist groups. They manipulate fictitious online profiles to promote content romanticizing jihad, obscuring the true nature of the philosophy. Recruiters appeal to sentiments of confidence and self-worth while encouraging girls and women to embrace jihadist ideology.

Anti-Western Ideology

Jihadist recruiters propagate an anti-Western worldview, encouraging individuals to reject modern society and government employment, portraying them as religiously immoral. They exploit Islamic standards to justify instilling ideological hatred and violence in their targets.

Social Accommodation and Public Services

Jihadist recruiting networks foster close social ties within Muslim communities by addressing local issues and providing essential services like public health and education. By exploiting social and economic vulnerabilities, recruiters target the most susceptible individuals, often those who are illiterate or facing unemployment.


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