The message has continued for sixteen years; even after the death of Islamic extremist Osama bin LadenJihad. Retribution in the name of Allah, on America and the Western world is still alive and it grows stronger as long as we live, breath, and sleep. Although messengers may come and go, the profound ideology behind the message that 'Jihad' brings, continues to resonate, and has somehow innately permeated in the heart, mind, and souls of many unsuspecting youth.

Islamic teachings go above and beyond

A recent Showtime Extreme documentary 'American Jihad' analyzes several factions that relate to the many concerns regarding the ongoing presence of Islamic extremism.

It examines the aspects of 'homegrown terrorism' through the deadly acts that have been perpetrated by young American citizens. In addition, thought provoking discussion is given to why the Boston Marathon bombing and the Orlando, Florida nightclub shootings took place. All-in-all, the prevailing concept revolves around the inspiring messages pertaining to Jihad, world-wide Muslim unity, and a strategic indoctrination process that turns the youth of America toward radical extremism. Moreover, the ideology of the now deceased radicalized American / Yemen Imam, Anwar al-Awlaki is seen as coming full circle.

Anwar al-Awlaki was a native American, born on April 21, 1971, in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

At the age of 7 his family moved to Yemen, where he lived until age 19. Shortly afterwards, he returned to the United States to teach as an Imam in several Mosque in and around the U.S. His knowledge and legitimate understanding of the religion of Islam and popular culture, gained him the reputation of being the most articulate English speaking Imam in both countries.

His inspirational messages, eloquence of style and charismatic personality has proliferated in a generation of young American citizens, more specifically, young men from bi-cultural backgrounds who are struggling with their own sense of identity and belonging. He has inspired followers up until, and even after his assassination from an American drone attack on September 30, 2011.

American Muslims gone astray

After 911, Homeland Security investigations focused on the alleged association and contact that Anwar Awlika supposedly had with three bombing suspects that were seen praying at his San Diego Mosque. Furthermore, incriminating evidence from undercover surveillance teams were recording Awlaki's activities; among them there were charges of prostitution solicitation. Feeling distraught, Awlaki fled the country. He went back to Yemen and became an even more controversial figure extenuating radical extremist views while embracing Al Queda and the ideology of Osama bin laden, and thus, so did some of his most impressionable followers. Nonetheless, after 911, and in the years to come, the American invasion of Iraq cemented the views of mainstream Muslims in the Middle East, and served to increase the even more militant, radical extremist views of the Western World.

Muslims United to fight in Iraq in a struggle widely known as 'Jihad.'

Social Media conduit for recruitment

Anwar al-Awlaki was an American and Yemeni imam and Islamic lecturer. Goverment officials in the U.S. allege that “in his his position as a senior recruiter and motivator, he was centrally involved in planning terrorist operations for the Islamic militant group Al-Qaeda.” When the F.B.I. arrested several New Jersey men whom they charged with talking about staging an attack, agents said they found that Awlaki came up regularly in their social-media chatter. Video taped lectures of the Imam's teachings and social media had become a new strategic method for disseminating the message of Islam and a tool for the recruitment process.

In Europe, you have face-to-face recruitment,” says Ali Soufan, a former special agent for the F.B.I. “In the United States, the situation is a little bit different. The threat has mostly been through the internet, through social media.” Moreover, if you type the name Anwar Awlaki into YouTube’s search bar, you'll get 40,000 hits. Most of them bring up the earnest, smiling face and placid voice of “the first American citizen to be hunted and killed without trial by his own government since the Civil War.”

Radicalization remains at America's doorsteps

The Tsarnaevs, Chechen-born brothers who set off two pressure-cooker bombs at the Boston Marathon in 2013, owed part of their ideological training and their bomb-making skills to Awlaki’s online work.

The older brother turned to Islamist extremism when his hopes for a boxing career dimmed. He was 26 at the time of the attack.

Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, a troubled 24-year-old electrical engineer, opened fire at two military installations in Chattanooga, Tenn., killing four Marines and a sailor. F.B.I. investigators who examined his computer discovered that he had been watching Awlaki videos in the weeks before the shootings.

Nidal Hasan, who fatally shot 13 people at Fort Hood, and Umar Farouk Abulmutallab, who tried to blow up an airliner over Detroit, were dubbed 'Heros.'

Shannon Conley, a 19-year-old Colorado convert to Islam, left behind a pile of Awlaki DVDs before trying to fly off to Syria to join the Islamic State.

Omar Mateen, the son of an Afghan immigrant with outspoken political views, was 29 when he opened fire at an Orlando nightclub, killing 49 people. He had been dismissed from training as a prison guard after making disturbing comments.

The attackers in San Bernardino, Orlando and New York all had expressed support for the Islamic State, and they and the Boston bombers were devotees of the voluminous online work of Mr. Awlaki.

For counter terrorism investigators, these discoveries have become common place. Just checking the suspect’s laptop has been a routine part of their investigations, and which usually results in an Awlaki download and search history. This procedure has been notably true in dozens of cases.

Perpetuating the narrative

As cited in the New York Times: “Part of the problem with the focus on targeted killing is that it fuels the central narrative of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State: that the United States is at war with Islam, that it is killing Muslims and that the obligatory religious response is armed jihad. The suspected perpetrators of two of the most prominent foiled attacks in the United States, a plot to blow up the New York subway and the failed car bombing of Times Square, said their anger at drone strikes pushed them to act.”

Moreover, the death of the messenger—Anwar al-Awlaki has achieved martydom in most parts of the Muslim world. Nonetheless, the chances are next to none that the messages he conveyed will ever be forgotten.

And as such, fitting into the narrative for continued attacks are: the innocent victims and families that have been killed by drone attacks, the Iraq invasion, torture, secret detention, the imprisonment at Guantánamo Bay, and now, the president's Muslim ban rhetoric, which will no doubt used as a ‘‘recruiting tool’’ for Al Qaeda and the Islamic state.

Furthermore, the requirements for radical Islamic extremist have been simplified to that of: personal disappointment, perceptions of discrimination, anger about American foreign policy and the desire “to become a hero in one’s own story” These requirements are all at play in addition to jihadist ideology, inasmuch as the production of an unending supply of American recruits.