File - Gunmen roam the streets and block roads with burning tires, expressing their solidarity with fugitive Salafist leader Ahmad al-Assir in Tripoli, northern Lebanon, June 23, 2013. REUTERS/Omar Ibrahim
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It was early August when the two brazen young men set sail from Tripoli's port for Turkey, leaving behind their homes in rural Fnaydeq, heading for the Islamic State.It was this uncertainty that allowed Fnaydeq's Sheikh Samih Abou Haye to later convince the impressionable youth, over the phone, to forgo the mission and return to Lebanon.Family members of Lebanese who died fighting told The Daily Star that they had simply disappeared one day.Ghaith Ahmad Nouh, 18, an Arsal native, was recruited some months ago and killed in a mosque Sept. 30 in Syria's Hassakeh governorate during airstrikes in the region.According to local accounts, the group has a handful of recruiters in Arsal, young men between the ages of 16 and 30, who promote ISIS membership as a religious cause, and offer promises of financial stability and, as Nouh once told a relative, women.In Tripoli's Qibbeh neighborhood, by contrast, spirits were high at the memorial for Khaled Ahmad Ahdab, a Lebanese ISIS fighter who died in Iraq this week.According to the sheikh, Ahdab's body will be buried in Iraq where he died.Despite widespread poverty in Qibbeh, where some 30 percent live on less than $4 a day, Masri ruled out a financial motive spurring Ahdab's decision to go to Iraq.
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