Muslim Leaders Probe Problem Of Disaffected Youths (Huffington Post):
Muslim leaders are admitting disaffected Muslim youth such as the alleged Oregon bomber arrested last month are ripe for online recruitment by extremists.
"Why do we in Muslim communities not have centers for at-risk youth?" said civil rights attorney Reem Salahi at the annual national convention of the Muslim Public Affairs Council on Saturday (Dec. 18) in Los Angeles.
Salahi said Mohamud apparently felt isolated and found solace on extremist websites whose radical owners are "exploiting the grievances of young people and getting to them in very sophisticated ways."
The emphasis is mine. It fits with the analysis of terrorism expert Marc Sageman, whose 2004 book Understanding Terror Networks contends that social affiliation is the key to understanding how people get drawn into al Qaeda and other such global Salafi terrorist groups. When a person feels isolated and alienated, he becomes vulnerable to radicalization, according to Sageman. The principal factor in terms of whether that person actually joins a jihadist group or remains a lone wolf is whether he has friends or kin who are connected to such groups.