TEXT ON SCREEN: October 31, 2017
ARCHIVAL (CBS, EVENING NEWS, 11-1-17):ANTHONY MASON: New York police say the deadly truck attack was right out of the ISIS playbook.
NARRATION: The suspect in the deadly rampage in New York told authorities he was inspired by ISIS videos.
ARCHIVAL (NBC, NIGHTLY NEWS, 11-1-17):PETE WILLIAMS: On Saipovs cell phone, the FBI says, investigators found about 90 ISIS propaganda videos and nearly 4000 ISIS related images.
NARRATION: Terrorist groups like ISIS have long used the internet for recruiting.
ARCHIVAL (NBC, NIGHTLY NEWS, 8-31-14):RON ALLEN: Videos like these, all over the internet..TROY KASTIGAR (AL-SHABAAB MEMBER): This is the best place to be, honestly.
CHARLES STROZIER: With social media, people can reach halfway around the world to do the kind of grooming that was very familiar from the experience of so-called cults in the 60s and the 70s.
NARRATION: Can the lessons we learned from doomsday cults decades ago be used to prevent ISIS recruitment today?
ARCHIVAL (CBS, 9-28-15):BARACK OBAMA: There is no room for accommodating an apocalyptic cult like ISIL.
DEQA HUSSEN: There is people who are brainwashing these young kids. This radicalization its real.
ANATOMY OF AN INDOCTRINATION
NARRATION: Minneapolis, Minnesota has a population of 15,000 Somali Americans, including community leader Deqa Hussen, the mother of eight children, among them her son Abdirizak.
DEQA HUSSEN: My son, when I bring him in this country, he was only ten months. And he grow up here.
NARRATION: But over time, her son and other young men in the community felt increasingly alienated, facing high unemployment and struggling to fit in. In 2013, two of his friends were involved in a lunchroom brawl at school which they saw as a sign of hostility towards Somali immigrants.
ARCHIVAL (2013):GULED OMAR: We are the minority here. We are the ones who are about ten, fifteen students. Why are we being attacked?
CHARLES STORMIER (DIRECTOR, CENTER ON TERRORISM, JOHN JAY COLLEGE): Young people, particularly young men, if theyre living in a context where they feel alienated, they feel like theyre not getting a fair deal, they can then be open to indoctrination. Then theyre susceptible to thinking of these larger messages which come flooding at them through the internet.
ARCHIVAL (ISIS VIDEO):ISIS MEMBER: We are men, honored with Islam, who climbed it peaks to perform jihad.
NARRATION: Abdirizak, his friends and others formed a secret group that watched hundreds of hours of ISIS recruitment videos and stoked each others radicalism.
ARCHIVAL (ISIS VIDEO):ISIS MEMBER: Oh America, do you think you can defeat us by bombarding our homes with your drones and your F-16s? You are sadly mistaken.
DANIEL KOEHLER (DIRECTOR, GERMAN INSTITUTE ON RADICALIZATION AND DERADICALIZATION STUDIES): The recruitment handbook of ISIS I would say is on a PhD psychology level. The ideology can talk almost exclusively about justice and injustice, about you being the fighter for good, the warrior that defends the poor and helpless against the evil.
ARCHIVAL (ISIS VIDEO):ISIS MEMBER: The fighting has just begun.
DANIEL KOEHLER: So that ideology, either through the form of a recruiter, or through a video,it can tell you, I have identified what is wrong in the world and what is wrong in your life, and these two things are connected.
NARRATION: Over two years, the young men transformed from typical American teens to aspiring jihadist fighters. When nine of them took steps to travel to Syria to join ISIS, they were arrested by the FBI.
ARCHIVAL (CBS, 4-20-15):ANDREW M. LUGER (U.S. ATTORNEY, DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA): We have a terror recruiting problem in Minnesota. And this case proves how difficult it is to put an end to recruiting here.
NARRATION: Abdirizak was named as one of the ringleaders.
DEQA HUSSEN: My son was brainwashed because he was watching this propaganda video. He thought that if he go to Syria, hes going to go to heaven, and all my family is going to go to heaven.
LESLIE WAGNER-WILSON (FORMER PEOPLES TEMPLE MEMBER): People dont join cults, or organizations such as Peoples Temple, theyre recruited, just like we were.
NARRATION: Forty years ago, it wasnt slick internet videos that attracted Leslie Wagner-Wilson and her family into an extremist cult called the Peoples Temple. It was the personal charisma of its leader, Jim Jones, and the hope that he would help her sister get off drugs.
LESLIE WAGNER-WILSON: When youre in a vulnerable situation, by gaining your trust, slowly, you become indoctrinated into the ideology of the organization.
ARCHIVAL (CALIFORNIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY):JIM JONES: Were going to have to eliminate poverty, racism, injustice and war.
NARRATION: Her family came to believe in the socialist utopia promised by Jones, who claimed to be the reincarnation of Vladimir Lenin and God.
ARCHIVAL (CALIFORNIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY):JIM JONES: In the meantime I shall be God and beside me there shall be no other.
NARRATION: The Peoples Temple amassed close to five thousand followers, but by 1977 was plagued by defections and unwanted media attention.
ARCHIVAL:AL MILLS: It is extremely difficult watching their daughter being beat 75 times as I did.
NARRATION: To escape legal and media scrutiny, Jim Jones persuaded close to a thousand disciples to follow him to South America, to a jungle commune in Guyana they called Jonestown.
ARCHIVAL (CALIFORNIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY):JIM JONES: Everybodys happy down here. You can see that thats an obvious fact.
LESLIE WAGNER WILSON: When I first arrived at Jonestown, I felt optimistic and I was hoping that I was going to be able to live a fulfilled life in a socialist environment. But after six months, Jims paranoia increased. And there were fake shootings in the jungle by security guards to make us think that we were under attack.There was no way to get out, no escape.
ARCHIVAL (CALIFORNIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY):JIM JONES: Ive got a hell of a lot of weapons to fight! I got my cause, I got purposes, I got guns, I got dynamite, I got a hell of a lot to fight! Ill fight! Ill fight!
CHARLES STROZIER: It was a tactic of Jim Jones to exaggerate and heighten the sense of being persecuted.
NARRATION: And when a team of U.S. officials arrived to investigate the allegations of abuse
ARCHIVAL:JIM JONES: I just beg you. Please leave us.
NARRATION: Jones ordered an attack.
ARCHIVAL (NBC, 11-18-78):NEWS REPORT: A number of people presumably Temple members began shooting.
ARCHIVAL (NPR, 1978):NEWS REPORT: California Congressman Leo Ryan and three American journalists have been killed in Guyana, South America.
NARRATION: In the aftermath, Jones persuaded his disciples to drink a fruit punch laced with cyanide which he called a medication.
ARCHIVAL (CALIFORNIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY):JIM JONES: Please get us the medication. Its simple, its simple. Theres no convulsions with it.
NARRATION: Resisters were compelled at gunpoint to comply.
ARCHIVAL (CALIFORNIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY):JIM JONES: We didnt commit suicide. We committed an act of revolutionary suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world.
CHARLES STROZIER: I think theres a lot to learn from our long experience with groups like Jim Jones and currently with ISIS.
NARRATION: Strozier says, like Jim Jones, the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, claims divine heritage and tells followers they need to be willing to sacrifice themselves in a holy war to destroy the West.
CHARLES STROZIER: One of the things that is almost always true with extremist groups that turn to violence is that they have this apocalyptic idea. Hope. That is, only through violence can there be ultimate redemption. Thats why its important for them that they call it martyrdom.
ARCHIVAL (CBS, 60 MINUTES, 10-30-16):ABDIRIZAK: I pled guilty because I knew I was guilty. And I knew what I did was wrong.
NARRATION: Abdirizak and the other Somali-American men are now serving prison time. His mother, Deqa Hussen, is working to prevent what happened to her son from happening to others, as criminal justice officials look to the future.
JOHN TUNHEIM (CHIEF JUDGE, U.S. DISTRICT COURT OF MINNESOTA): The young people who were inspired by the ISIS videos, 18, 19 years old. I mean cant we save these people? Cant we turn them into good family members who are productive people in the community?
NARRATION: As an experiment, the Minnesota federal court is requiring some of the men to undergo a de-radicalization program, designed by extremism expert Daniel Koehler, before they can return home.
DANIEL KOEHLER: De-radicalization, in essence, is the reverse of the radicalization process. It means to re-pluralize the world view, make it broader again, make them understand that there are no easy answers for single problems.
KEVIN LOWRY (CHIEF PROBATION OFFICER, U.S. DISTRICT COURT OF MINNESOTA): You have to tap into their special interests. Do they want an education? Is there something else that they can do for innocent Muslim communities and not terrorists? What do they care about? Do they care about their family in general?
LESLIE WAGNER WILSON: I stepped out of line in Jonestown by realizing that I wanted to leave Jonestown and take my son with me.
NARRATION: It was fear that her young son was at risk that led to Leslie Wagner-Wilsons break with the Peoples Temple. It happened after she confessed her growing doubts in a letter to a friend, which was intercepted by Jim Jones.
LESLIE WAGNER WILSON: And now Im exposed. And he reads this letter and I get called in front of the pulpit surrounded by the community. My mother comes up, my brother comes up, and they yell and scream at me how I should be thankful to Jim because thats what youre supposed to do, and that Im a, you know, a traitor and I should be punished and they are ashamed of me. This was a nail in my coffin.
NARRATION: Early one morning, she snuck out of the Jonestown camp with her son, unaware that eleven members of her family and some nine hundred others would die later that day.