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Opinions of Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Columnist: Daily Guide

Ghana on security alert after graduate joins ISIS

Opinion Opinion

News about some Ghanaian youth joining the ranks of extremist Islamist State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS) shook the country yesterday.

It is an eye-opener which thankfully our security agencies, especially the National Security Council, have already been working on quietly.

It is our prayer that they would be accorded the necessary support from those who have lost their children to the cause of the terrorists.

Security agents need more than anything else the support of those who have important leads in how the young men are brainwashed and eventually lured away to a strange land to die, in many instances.

Those who have such information but sit on it out of indifference are doing society more harm than good and could also be exposing their children and those of others to the machinations of the recruiters.

For the mother of the young man, Nazir Alema, there could not have been a more harrowing period in her life.

In the Islamic communities for instance, those whose wards are pursuing various programmes in public tertiary institutions, these are difficult times as they fret about what could befall these students at the hands of recruiters who come in an assortment of guises.

We are unable to tell the number of Ghanaians who have heeded the temptation of the recruiters, especially as only Abdul Latif Alema has been bold enough to go public about the absconding of his son to an unknown land.

His pioneering role has woken up parents and even students to the lurking danger of persons ready to brainwash unsuspecting students into joining the killers.

The number of those who have joined ISIS has been put at between 8 and 10, and many more could be lacing their boots for the journey into the unknown. We will shelve other details for now so we do not put spanners in the works of national security operatives who are busy on the subject.

We wish to applaud the National Security Council for the wealth of information they have on the subject and how all things being equal, they would make important headway in pulling the brakes on the recruitment of more youth for the morbid operations of the terrorists.

It would be recalled that we did comment on the subject, especially how strangers trooping into the country to evangelise could be potential sources of national security challenges.

Our mosques in some parts of the country offer ready accommodation for these itinerary preachers, about whom nothing is known by those who host them.

We might be unwittingly turning ourselves into accessories for enhancing the recruitment of the youth through our hospitality.

The National Chief Imam in his reaction to the story, rightly applauded the father of Nazir for coming out on the subject and asked that we all become security conscious.

Parents must monitor the movements of their children, what they do, the nature of their friends and what they really do with their laptops.

Nazir’s father could have learnt more about the burgeoning extremist tendencies being exhibited by his son and therefore taken the necessary action at the right time.