By Paul Goble
In a remarkable confession of failure, Igor Barinov, the head of the Russian Federal Agency for Nationality Affairs, says that no one knows how to counter the ideological messages of ISIS or to counter effectively its highly-developed recruitment strategies.
In remarks on the LifeNews channel, Barinov says that ISIS has a highly elaborate system that identifies what its potential recruits and supporters are most interested in – economic, political, moral and “even gender, when young women are seeking husbands” – in order to attract people to its cause (lifenews.ru/news/179129 and nazaccent.ru/content/19097-glava-fadn-raskryl-sekret-uspeha-verbovshikov.html).
He calls the North Caucasus “a problem region,” in that there are many conflicts which are well on their way to be solved but in which tensions remain that ISIS emissaries can exploit. He gives the Osetin-Ingush conflict as an example and suggests ISIS could easily provoke a new outburst of conflict there given its active recruitment program.