Link to Videogames for Homegrown Accused Terrorists

June 7, 2010 -

A report on NPR this morning about the two young New Jersey men arrested at New York’s JFK airport as they attempted to travel to Somalia, with the alleged intent of joining a terrorist organization, piqued our interest because of the mention of videogames.

24-year old Carlos Eduardo Almonte and 20-year old Mohamed Mahmood Alessa were arrested and charged with trying to join the terrorist group al-Shabab. The pair apparently had no ties to the group and were traveling to Somalia, by way of Egypt, with the hopes that al-Shabab would welcome them into their organization.

A New York Daily News story on the two men reported that “they often went to mall stores and played first-person-shooter computer games - assuming the terrorist role.”

A similar AP story, running on CBS News, discussed the “unsophisticated” ways in which Almonte and Alessa trained, stating, “They lifted weights, bought military-style pants, tried paintball, played violent video games and watched terrorist videos online.”

No doubt, a very high percentage of you reading this article have assumed the role of terrorists in a videogame. Does this mean we are all terrorists in training? Of course not. Obviously these two men were marching down a certain path and videogames were just one small part of the equation. Maybe they were simply playing videogames for recreation, the same as the majority of the U.S. population does, and in a bit of revisionist history, once their plans were known, it was easy to link games with terrorist training.

As an aside, NewJersey.com was quick to offer a bizarre reactionary piece, not about videogames thankfully, but on the subject of paintball and its ability to be used as “a training exercise for violent jihad.”
 

Picture via the NY Daily News


Comments

Re: Link to Videogames for Homegrown Accused Terrorists

Yep, I bet playing video game will make you a terrorist like:

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2: Because playing as a undercover CIA and take part in a Airport massacre will suprisingly make you a terrorist.

Counter-Strike: Because you can play as a terrorist and kill special Ops.

MAG: Because you are train to blow up everything and shoot anyone in your way.

 

Re: Link to Videogames for Homegrown Accused Terrorists

"watched terrorist videos online"

I'm pretty freaking sure this influenced them more than any video game. If the press won't entertain that notion they're idiots.

In fact I think it's despicable to lay the blame onto video games especially when some of our soldiers fighting terrorism enjoy video games.

I'll bet you anything I can find some U.S. soldiers who have played as terrorists in counterstrike or have gone on a rampage in GTA.

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Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Link to Videogames for Homegrown Accused Terrorists

The difference between Terrorists and the All-American Freedom Fighter, in game, is the clothes they wear. Otherwise, identical.

Re: Link to Videogames for Homegrown Accused Terrorists

Actually, I'm suprised paintball hasn't created any moral panics in the way videogames had.  It is a hell of alot closer to shooting real people with real guns than any game ever has. 

 

Re: Link to Videogames for Homegrown Accused Terrorists

AND paintball actually could be used to simulate engagements with authorities and practice strategies.  But nobody rags on it because it's like playing Cowboys and Indians.  Parents can relate to that.

Re: Link to Videogames for Homegrown Accused Terrorists

You're correct, Paintball can actually be used to practice a lot of thing in warfare and possibly terroristm.  I don't even understand why are they pointing at video game when paintball.  I can practice breach and clear using paintball simulation.  If I wanted to practice taking down special forces or anyone with a gun, paintball gun plus live-round firearm practice would be a good way for that.

 

 

Re: Link to Videogames for Homegrown Accused Terrorists

Military style pants, vidya games, and the paintball.  A sure sign of terrorism.

 

Re: Link to Videogames for Homegrown Accused Terrorists

Another mainstream news media that tries to make video games the bad guys by saying its a terrorist training tool. Who didn't see this coming?

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

 
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MaskedPixelantehttp://m.tickld.com/x/something-you-never-realized-about-guardians-of-the-galaxy Right in the feels.08/29/2014 - 6:56pm
AvalongodAgain I think we're conflating the issue of whether Sarkeesian's claims are beyond critique (no they're not) and whether its ever appropriate to use sexist language, let alone physical threats on a woman to intimidate her (no it isn't)08/29/2014 - 5:04pm
prh99Trolling her or trying to assail her integrity just draws more attention (Streisand effect?). Which is really not what the trolls want, so the only way to win (if there is a win to be had) is not to play/troll.08/29/2014 - 5:02pm
prh99Who cares, just don't watch the damn videos if you don't like her. Personally, I don't care as far as she is concerned as long there are interesting games to be played.08/29/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenZip - And yet, you can't cite a single, solitary example. (And no one said you hated anyone. Along those lines, no one claimed Sarkeesian was perfect either.)08/29/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSaint's Row: Gat Out of Hell was just announced for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One making it the 150th game For Everything But Wii U! Congratulations Deep Silver!08/29/2014 - 3:49pm
ZippyDSMleeI do not hate them jsut think its mostly hyperlobe.08/29/2014 - 3:40pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - I'd say that's likely. From my experience, most who have a problem with Sarkeesian's videos either want to hate them in the first place (for whatever reason) or honestly misunderstand what they're about and what they're saying.08/29/2014 - 3:16pm
james_fudgeWe appreciate your support :)08/29/2014 - 2:55pm
TechnogeekIt gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, the gaming community is not statistically indistinguishable from consisting entirely of people that your average Xbox Live caricature would look at and go "maybe you should tone it down a little bit".08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
TechnogeekI just want to say that while I've disagreed with the staff of this site on several occasions, it's still good to see that they're not automatically dismissing Anita's videos as a "misandrist scam" or whatever the preferred dismissive term is these days.08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightZippy, So you can't find even one?08/29/2014 - 1:04pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:Right because shes prefect and never exaggerates... *rolls eyes*08/29/2014 - 12:53pm
SleakerAnd honestly, nearly all of the games she references, or images she depicts I've always cringed at and wondered why they were included in games to begin with, from pinups through explicit sexual depictions or direct abuse. I think it's cheap storytelling.08/29/2014 - 12:35pm
Sleaker@AE - aren't most people fundamentally misunderstanding her at this point? haha.. On a related note I think a lot of the backlash is coming from males that think she is telling them their 'Generic Male Fantasy' is bad and wrong.08/29/2014 - 12:33pm
Andrew EisenAnd no, I don't think the female community would be upset over the performance of a case study in and of itself. Possibly the mostivations behind such a study, the methodology or conclusions but not the mere idea of a case study.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
Andrew EisenAmusingly, these videos aren't saying you can't/shouldn't use tropes or that sexual representations are inherently problematic so those are very silly things to have a problem with and indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the series.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
SleakerDo you think the female community would get extremely angry over a male doing a case study on the negative impact of sex-novels and their unrealistic depiction of males and how widespread they are in american culture?08/29/2014 - 12:25pm
SleakerThe other thing that people might find problematic is that they see no problem with sexual representations of females (or males) in games. And realistically, why is there anything wrong with sexual representations in fiction?08/29/2014 - 12:24pm
SleakerTo even discuss or bring up these issues at a cultural level to begin with. Going straight for games to many probably feels like a huge overstepping given that it's interactive story in many cases, and when you're telling a story why can't you use tropes.08/29/2014 - 12:21pm
 

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