Islamic State militants are coaxing hardened criminals to join the depraved death cult by guaranteeing they will be forgiven for their crimes if they sign up.
Criminals and gang members from poorer communities across Europe are being promised a chance of “redemption” to join the savage terror organisation, according to a new report.
The report, conducted by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR), found more than half of European ISIS fighters have a criminal record.
The Rayat Al-Tawheed, a London-based group of ISIS terror militants, has been promoting its sickening cause to encourage British citizens to spread its form of Islamic extremism.
Under the moniker “Banner of God”, the group claims it receives financial support from UK-based supporters.
A poster which the group shared on Facebook showed a picture of hooded would-be jihadi holding an AK-47 assault rifle looking towards a light.
The post read: “Sometimes people with the worst pasts create the best futures.”
The report by ICSR claims criminal and terrorist groups are combining to create a volatile brand of jihadi.
Director of the ICSR report Professor Peter Neumann said: “A lot of analysts continue saying terrorists are middle or upper-class, Osama bin Laden was the son of a millionaire and the 9/11 attackers were students for instance.
“But I don’t think that doesn’t reflect the reality we have with ISIS – we need to rethink our strategy.”
According to the ICSR’s database, many would-be jihadis continue to smoke, drink and take drugs until they leave to join the terror cult.
While al-Qaeda “practically published a book” to convince would-be jihadis, ISIS propaganda is more concise and means it can convert criminals to terrorists easier than its jihadi rivals, according to Neumann.
The concise propaganda of ISIS means the terror group can convert criminals to terrorists easier than other jihadi groups such as al-Qaeda.
Mr Neumann told the Independent: “In many cases in the past, someone might become a student activist and start supporting the jihadi ideology but then it would be a huge hurdle to convince that person to vary out a violent attack and kill somebody.
“But with these criminals they are already used to violence, so for the jump from being an extremist to being a violent extremist is much smaller.”