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Can Parents' Divorce Push a Teen to Join Al-Qaeda?

Justin-Kaliebe Justin Kaliebe

Far from being a simple soul, Kaliebe was also aware that he might be dealing with undercover agents, asking for assurances that the man he thought was an al-Qaeda  operative was not going to “rat him out” and assuring him in turn that he wanted to wage jihad “for the sake of Allah.” He spoke also about “the crime that they would charge people like us with,” which involved plotting “to kill, maim and kidnap in foreign countries.”

Nonetheless, he wanted to charge ahead, declaring: “There is no way out for me. ... The only way out is martyrdom.” When asked if he wanted to die, he said, “I wanna ...  it’s what anyone would want, any believer would want.” He was aware that he was going to be waging hot warfare against “those who are fighting against the Sharia of Allah ... whether it’s the U.S. drones or the, their puppets, in the Yemeni army ...  or, who knows, if American agents or whatever, U.S. Special Forces ... who they got over there.”

Is this hatred of his own country and desire to fight and die for Islam really a product of divorce and autism? Yet millions of children grow up in broken homes, and millions are autistic, and yet they never take the path Justin Kaliebe chose. Was he really entrapped? The very fact that he went ahead with his plots ought to be sufficient indication that he wasn’t. Think about it: what would it take to lead you to join a jihad terrorist group? If undercover agents approached you and tried to entice you into joining one, how hard would it be to convince you to do it?