Before his murderous attack against innocent U.S. servicemen in Chattanooga Tennessee, Mohammad Youssuf Saeed Al-Hajjaj (Abdulazeez) like many other “Americans” traveled to the ISIS infested Kingdom of Jordan. Such journeys are not unusual, even for U.S. citizens with no family connections to the war torn Middle East. We call these adventure seekers “War Tourists”.
The wars in Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria have attracted many War Tourists, typically young, well to do Americans, lured by a pathological desire to join or at least show solidarity with, one of the many terrorist groups that have destroyed previously stable Middle-Eastern societies.
Their misguided attempts to express “solidarity” with ruthless jihadi groups has ended badly for some jihad fans i.e. Kayla Mueller, James Foley, and the besotted, would-be Japanese jihadist Haruna Yukawa. Former U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was a solid backer of the jihadis also, but at least he could claim some sort of “official” capacity in his promotion of terrorism.
If an American can train with the terror groups and manage to get back to the U.S. in one piece, the rewards can be great. Matthew VanDyke for instance has trained with U.S. forces in Iraq, trained and fought with the proto-Al Qaeda/ISIS jihadists in Libya.
VanDyke later joined up with and filmed a documentary about the “Free Syrian Army” (most of whom have been unmasked as ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra/Al Qaeda operatives).
In Matthew VanDyke’s case, his participation in the jihad that has cost hundreds of thousands of innocent lives, has been rewarded with accolades and recognition not as a man who has waged war against innocent Christians and the secular population, but as a filmmaker.
Of course Mohammad Youssuf Saeed Al-Hajjaj (Abdulazeez) wont be accepting any awards for his efforts in the global jihad. We all hope that he is roasting in hell right now, but what of the other wannabee jihadis?
In this age of “Social Media” and the blurring of notoriety and fame, it seems inevitable that fans of James Foley, Kayla Mueller or Matthew VanDyke will try to best their role models and imitate Mohammad Abdulazeez instead.
The wholesale slaughter of the secular, West leaning middle classes in Syria and the continuing genocide of Middle Eastern Christians and other minorities at the hands of U.S. backed terror groups should be viewed as a crime, and not rewarded with adulation and applause. Joining a terror group, even if John McCain refers to them as “Freedom Fighters” or his “Heroes” should never result in unearned fame and fortune.
If we continue to continue to heap praise on those who side with the bloodthirsty jihadists in the Middle East, it’s just a matter of time before they bring their war to these shores and act against secular U.S. citizens as did Mohammad Abdulazeez.
The “War Tourists” should be viewed as potential terrorists and ticking bombs and not as “Humanitarians” or “Citizen Journalists”