Local News

Iraqi who rooted out terror threats says education best weapon against radicalization

Posted July 20, 2016 6:25 p.m. EDT
Updated July 20, 2016 6:31 p.m. EDT

— Hamody Jasim, 30, now lives in Cary with his wife and family, but for years, he served as an undercover operative for the American military, helping to prevent terrorist attacks on the soldiers he was working with in Iraq.

Jasim worked in the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, but as a young solider, he said he always knew whose side he was on.

"I was recruited by U.S. intelligence to identify and locate members of al-Quaeda and the Islamic State within the building," he said. "We were able to prevent the kidnapping and get the American officer out before they go to him."

Now, Jasim is watching violence in the name of ISIS unfold around the world.

"If someone if radicalized by the Islamic State or inspired by them, they are like a ticking bomb," Jasim said. "You never know what they are going to blow up. You never know what they are going to do."

He believes most of the people who commit acts of terrorism are acting alone and are simply inspired by ISIS propaganda.

"The goal of ISIS today is to get people like that and brainwash them and turn them to become a weapon against the public," Jasim said.

He said ISIS preys on those who are weak and uneducated.

While there is no evidence that shows the Orlando, Fla., shooter was actually connected to ISIS, Jasim believes the only way for America to combat this type of terrorism is to take seriously what people say publicly and online.

"This is another dangerous situation because you don't know how many people like him are out there, and the only way you can actually fight these kinds of ideologies is education," he said. "If they can get their ideology into the United States, they don't have to get their troops here."

Jasim said he believes anyone who has ever been on a FBI watch list needs to be monitored very closely.

His book, "Terrorist Whisperer" documents his experiences working with the US military in Iraq. A documentary about his story will be released in 2017.