Tags: America's Forum | ISIS/Islamic State | islamic state | recruits | jihad john | Mohammed Emwazi | Marie Harf

Michael Hayden: 'Jihad John' Didn't Join ISIS Out of Poverty

By    |   Thursday, 26 February 2015 01:49 PM

News of the identification of the Islamic State's "Jihad John" negates the narrative by the Obama administration that poverty inspires terrorism, Gen. Michael Hayden, a former director of the CIA, tells Newsmax TV.

"This gives us an insight into the kind of people that seem to be joining ISIS, and this is a middle-class Brit with a degree in a very usable field, and yet he decided to go do this," Hayden told J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Thursday.

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"Jihad John" has been identified as London computer programmer and Kuwaiti-born Mohammed Emwazi. He appears in the Islamic State videos and is reportedly responsible for beheading American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and at least three other Westerners.

He was given the name "Jihad John" after Beatle John Lennon because of his British accent.

Special: Find Out Everything You Need to Know About the Rise of ISIS — Click Here

"Much like the 9/11 hijackers, these were not children of poverty, these were children of privilege," Hayden said.

State Department Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf on Feb. 16 told MSNBC that "we cannot kill our way out of this war" with ISIS, and that "we need in the medium to longer term to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it's a lack of opportunity for jobs ..." in explaining that ISIS recruits are often teenagers who don't have other opportunities.

Hayden, who said he knows Harf and that he worked with her at the CIA, also said that  "it's true that a lack of opportunity may help groups like ISIS recruit," but, he continued, "at their core, it's based on a view of man and a view of God, and not a view of the economic situation in a particular place."

Hayden, a retired four-star Air Force general, contends that "a lot of people seem to be attracted to this for the same reason they're attracted to gangs in the United States — it's about alienation, it's about belonging, it's about attaching yourself to something bigger than yourself."

Special: ISIS: Everything you need to know about the rise of the militant group — Click Here

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The Islamic State's "Jihad John" — now identified as a middle-class British computer programmer — negates the narrative by the Obama administration that poverty inspires terrorism, Gen. Michael Hayden, a former CIA director, tells Newsmax TV.
islamic state, recruits, jihad john, Mohammed Emwazi, Marie Harf
Thursday, 26 February 2015 01:49 PM
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