This is no joke, nor is it a laughing matter.
In an effort to spread its message of fear and menace, ISIS has corrupted Justin Bieber.
A search for #JustinBieber in recent weeks brought up, among other posts, a link to an ISIS video in which four men are executed. The 15-minute video features other disturbing and incredibly violent images, par for the course when it comes to the terrorist organization set on destruction. The video, titled “Message to the Islamic West,” also called for new recruits. According to various media reports, the video also shows a young recruit preparing and donning an explosive vest, then driving toward a target and the ensuing explosion. (I didn’t watch it–I’m not about to and neither should you.)
Justin Bieber has more than 74 million followers on his official Twitter account, not to mention the affiliated accounts and fan accounts that include his name. His reach is sizable.
AAP, an Australian news organization, reports that Prime Minister Malcom Turnbill called for the worldwide efforts to stifle ISIS’ online presence needs to be upgraded, STAT.
“…The Iraqi government and other anti-ISIL forces are not reacting quickly enough to contradict ISIL’s online messages which have been used both to recruit new fighters and demoralize those who oppose them, and we should help them with this,” he said in Washington earlier this month.
The same article references a report issued in December by the Soufan Group, a security intelligence agency based in New York City, that detailed ISIL’s reliance on social media for recruitment. An earlier report on Syria, published in June 2014, estimated some 12,00 foreign fighters from 81 countries in Syria at the time.
“Nearly eighteen months later, despite sustained international efforts to contain the Islamic State and stem the flow of militants travelling to Syria, the number of foreign fighters has more than doubled,” The Soufan Group reported in its updated paper last month. A top Australian spy, Duncan Lewis, has indicated that an effort to radicalize Australian Muslims could pose a considerable threat for returning fighters.
ISIS, or ISIL or whatever name they’re using this week, is a disgusting, soulless organization hell bent on destruction, terror and brainwashing people to hating the Western way of life. Clearly that’s wrong. Using someone like Justin Bieber, beloved by millions of impressionable young people who might stumble across this heinous video innocently and be exposed not just to the incredible violence of their recruiting tools but a shocking and despicable loss of life, is a new depth of slimy and disgraceful. Viewers beware indeed.