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.

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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TechnogeekThe constant conflation of "you shouldn't do this" as a personal guideline and "you shouldn't do this" as something with the force of law is really getting tiresome. Lawful Neutral was garbage in D&D, and it's garbage in real life.07/01/2015 - 12:24pm
PHX Corphttp://kotaku.com/sources-warner-bros-knew-that-arkham-knight-pc-was-a-1714915219 Sources: Warner Bros. Knew That Arkham Knight PC Was A Mess For Months07/01/2015 - 11:49am
Andrew EisenIf you do, I hope you can provide some examples of people (again, other than random no-name numbnuts on Twitter) who are genuinely trying to dictate what should and should not be allowed so far as themes, topics, language, plot devices, etc. go.07/01/2015 - 9:43am
MattsworknameI'd go into why I think it's a bigger problem then most realize, but nows not the time really. I'll catch up with everyone later07/01/2015 - 9:42am
Andrew EisenThat's the thing though, rarely is anyone (again, other than random numbnuts on Twitter) attempting to dictate what can and cannot be said or done.07/01/2015 - 9:39am
Andrew Eisen"Don't write rape scenes" is being offered as advice (along with reasons for that advice) not a mandate.07/01/2015 - 9:37am
MattsworknameOh, on that last one andrew I wasn't talking about the article, I was being more general, lately it seems like all the news and media is trying to decide what is and isn't proper to say. Thats what i was refering to.07/01/2015 - 9:37am
Andrew EisenPerhaps you should consider reading the entire article. Despite quotes you can pull from the intro and conclusion, the author isn't arguing that you can't or shouldn't be allowed to cover a certain topic.07/01/2015 - 9:35am
MattsworknameOne of the things I hate right now is that people are trying to be the deciders of what is and isn't proper to be said. It's political correctness to a level that makes me angry.07/01/2015 - 9:29am
Mattsworknamemake them, i just tell peopel that I think what they did sucked. Just cause I dont like what they did, doesn't mean I can tell them "You shouldn't wrtie that" cause thats just another step on the way to telling them "YOU CANT WRITE THAT".07/01/2015 - 9:24am
MattsworknameNo, but you or I aren't the one to tell someone else what they can or cannot do beyond EXTREMELY narrow limits. Telling a person then shouldn't write something or say something. I may hate certain movies or music, doesn't mean I dont' tell peopel not to07/01/2015 - 9:23am
E. Zachary KnightHasbro is taking steps to fix its Dinosaur gender issues. http://io9.com/the-jurassic-world-dinosaur-toys-are-clever-girls-again-171513589607/01/2015 - 9:20am
TechnogeekImagine that level of accuracy, only applied to something that has actually caused physiological and psychological trauma in more cases than just whatever the equivalent of the CD-i Zelda games would be.07/01/2015 - 8:40am
TechnogeekThat's the issue I see as well, E. To put it in terms anyone reading this site will likely understand: you know how any time video games show up on TV, they feature absurdly outdated 3D graphics and/or audio from the Intellivison era?07/01/2015 - 8:40am
InfophileWell, you CAN go to a crowded streetcorner and tell everyone who passes by your social security number and bank account PIN, but you shouldn't. Is that censorship?07/01/2015 - 8:36am
E. Zachary KnightSo if it is going to turn out to be a bad scene, why even bother writing it?07/01/2015 - 8:07am
E. Zachary KnightMatts, Goth, The article, and others I have read making the same conclusion, state that most people fail in their attempts to write rape scenes without being overly offensive or overly incompetent in their attempt.07/01/2015 - 8:07am
Adam802http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Ex-Sen-Leland-Yee-may-be-headed-for-a-plea-deal-6358941.php07/01/2015 - 7:12am
Adam802Possible plea deal in Yee case: http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_28408532/leland-yee-case-plea-deal-appears-likely07/01/2015 - 7:11am
MattsworknameInfo, Im with goth on this, the moment people start saying "You can but you shouldnt" thats a slow slide into censorship07/01/2015 - 6:05am
 

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