If Islamic Terrorists Are Devout Muslims, Why Are They Hooked on Porn?

(Photo: Reuters/FBI/Handout)A masked man speaking in what is believed to be a North American accent in a video that Islamic State militants released in September 2014 is pictured in this still frame from video obtained by Reuters, October 7, 2014. The FBI said it was seeking information on the man's identity, and issued an appeal for help in identifying individuals heading overseas to join militants in combat.

Most radical Islamic jihadis claim to be devout Muslims who promote the spread of strict conservative Islamic societal principles, yet it has been continuously documented through the years that many of those Muslim extremists are chronically addicted to sex and pornography.

Jihadis' obsession with porn and sex is not a new phenomenon that is only being seen today through the "brutal" and "instinctive" sex drive of the Islamic State terrorist group in Iraq and Syria. Even the late Osama Bin Laden, the world-famous leader of Al Qaeda, had a huge collection of porn that was found by Navy Seals who searched his compound when he was killed. Additionally, police raids of terrorist cells in the Europe since 9/11 have revealed "countless" images of child porn, The New York Post reported.

Islamic terrorists being addicted to porn exposes a double standard, especially for those jihadis who blame America and the West for polluting the world with sexual desire, filth and sin.

A number of theories have been proposed as to why pornagraphy use is so prevalent among these "conservative" radical extremists.

With over 500 Britons having fled to Syria to join the military ranks of ISIS, London Mayor Boris Johnson offered his opinion recently when he told The Sun that jihadis are nothing more than porn-driven "losers" who suffer from "self-esteem" issues and have trouble getting women.

"They are tortured. They will be very badly adjusted in their relations with women, and that is a symptom of their feeling of being failures and that the world is against them," Johnson explained. "They are not making it with girls and so they turn to other forms of spiritual comfort – which of course is no comfort…They are just young men in desperate need of self-esteem who do not have a particular mission in life, who feel that they are losers and this thing makes them feel strong – like winners."

Speaking on a panel moderated by Princeton professor Robert George in December, president of Zaytuna College in Berkeley, Calif., Hamza Yusuf, opined that many young Muslims become so "defiled" by porn to the extent that they blame the West for corrupting them and eventually turn to jihad for redemption.

"I really think that we underestimate the amount of people that have this experience of wanting to restore some kind of purity to themselves," Yusuf said, "And the only restoration for them is blowing themselves up and get rid of the part that is the source of my defilement, which is [their] body."

Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, criticized Yusuf's theory in an interview with the Investigative Project on Terrorism after the panel, and said it is not pornography that drives jihadis to war but rather the extremist mindset.

Jasser reasoned that so many jihadis get hooked on sex and porn because they ultimately think that no matter what they do on Earth, they will go to heaven as martyrs.

"Most of the evidence is that the 9/11 hijackers had prostitutes and visited bars before the attacks," Jasser said. "They had a sense of their going to heaven to be martyrs and that their acts on Earth seemed less important."

Although jihadis' porn use is mostly for their pleasure, terrorists have in the past used child porn images and websites as secure outlets to pass information between terrorists, through the use of embedded messages.

In 2008, it was reported that British anti-terrorism agents uncovered the use of child porn images by terrorists to send encoded messages to each other. In one case over 40,000 child images are shared between terrorists. And in 2010-2011, German investigators uncovered 100 Al Qaeda documents embedded within a porn film that related to terrorism plots.

"The information about a possible link between extremism and child pornography potentially provides useful insight into three things: the methods that extremists use to communicate; the methods they use to target vulnerable people in society; and the techniques they seek to use to conceal their online activities," the former chairwoman of the British Joint Intelligence Committee, Baroness Neville-Jones told Times Online.

"There is no doubt that these possible linkages should merit further research," she added.