IS tries to recruit Your Middle East contributor
© Your Middle
IS tries to recruit Your Middle East contributor
Your Middle East
Last updated: October 31, 2014

These Viber messages could show how IS tries to recruit our Tehran-based writer

Banner Icon The text messages were sent in July to Your Middle East's Tehran-based contributor from two European phone numbers, one in Britain and the other in Romania.

The Iranian target, Mr. Alborz Habibi, a frequent contributor for Your Middle East, says the Farsi in the Viber texts is fluent, but he seems surprised that their command of English isn't perfect. Habibi explains that one of his friends received a similar message earlier this summer.

JUDGING FROM the two phone numbers, the IS people (supposedly, as we can't determine the authenticity) were using contracts in Britain and Romania, two countries that – like all of Europe – are struggling to prevent radicalized youth from fighting with IS in Iraq and Syria. That will prove to be a difficult challenge, though, as these photos are yet another reminder that there is an evident presence of IS sympathizers across Europe.

Yet, the fact that the messages were directed towards young people in Iran ought to say something about IS strategy. Habibi comments over a Facebook chat:

"Iran is dealing with some IS-style groups and rebels in restive parts of the country since many years back. We have heard IS has attracted few people from here. Also Iran said last month it has arrested Afghans trying to cross border to join IS."

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