A former jihadist provided powerful insights into how terror groups recruit young people and how some can be convinced to carry out suicide attacks.

Mubin Shaikh, the co-author of Undercover Jihadi, explained on "On the Record" why he became a jihadist.

"I think it's a mix of ideology and foreign policy grievances," he said. "I was made to feel guilty about the western lifestyle that I was living." 

He said that he found himself moving toward more extreme views as he "tried to find his way." 

Van Susteren asked Shaikh why he stopped being a jihadist. 

"Well, it really came down to studying the religion properly," he replied. "These extremists, they cherry-pick verses, I mean quoting half of verses."

He said that he spent two years in Syria studying Arabic and Islamic studies with a scholar who "debunked" their interpretations.  

Shaikh shared that three of his friends were killed overseas when they went to join other jihadists. Shaikh said that he "thanks God" that he didn't go down that same route. 

Greta asked Shaikh whether he ever had a desire to become a suicide bomber.

He said at one point in his life, he had a "warrior mentality" about going "headlong into certain death." But he said the "warrior mentality" has been twisted by jihadists to include the killing of innocents.

"To do the things that they're doing, killing innocent people, civilians especially. There's no heaven for them on the other side," he said.

Watch the full interview above.


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