British filmmaker: Why my stepbrother and others have become Islamic extremists

Robb Leech

News this week of the death of Douglas McCain, an American who joined the ISIL militia and was killed in Syria, has hit close to home for Robb Leech. The British filmmaker’s stepbrother, Richard Dart, turned to Islamist extremism in 2009 and was convicted in England for plotting to commit terrorist acts in 2012, but Leech never thought of abandoning him.

Instead, he turned on his cameras and delved into the militant community to learn more. The result was two documentaries: “My Brother the Islamist” and “My Brother the Terrorist.” He shares his insights with Yahoo News and Finance Anchor Bianna Golodryga.
Leech says that he believes that for his brother, the transition to radicalism did not come out of the blue. “He was probably vulnerable,” he said, “He was probably quite lonely. He definitely was on his own journey to make sense of the world and to find meaning in life. … He met some of these guys, and they sort of took him under their wing.”
Although families must grapple with devastation and betrayal when confronted with their loved ones’ new allegiances, Leech says he has not lost his affection for Dart. Despite his stepbrother’s convictions, he says, “I absolutely love him.”

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Good to hear you “absolutely love” your terrorist brother. I suspect some who succumb to radical Islam are, as you say, “lost”, but so are millions of other young people and they do not end up with ISIS. In fact, few teen-agers and young people have never at some time felt “lost.”

That explanation as it stands is worthless.

I also suspect that violent and sociopathic people are drawn to ISIS, and that they were born that way and would have become violent even without ISIS.  Islam has been making good use of such people since it began.

Perhaps your brother was “lost” and fond of violence?  ISIS offers a twofer.