One of the most troubling aspects of ISIS’ rise as a global terror threat: the growing list of Americans who seek to join or act on its behalf. A 2015 study of those arrested for supporting ISIS found that they tend to be young, American-born and drawn more to the idea of an Islamic caliphate
Federal prosecutors on Wednesday opened their case against three Minneapolis men accused of plotting to help ISIS, they conspired to provide material support to ISIS and commit murder.The defendants, from the city’s large Somali community, are among dozens of native-born Americans who have been charged with supporting ISIS.Six other connected to the Minneapolis case have already pleaded guilty, and one reportedly fled the United States and made it to Syria.
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Why Are Some Americans Prone to Radicalization?
They tend to be young, male thrill junkies, craving purpose, glory, camaraderie and a fresh identity. They’re apt to be narcissists without fans. They hunger for significance, even infamy. Some barely understand the Islamic faith. And many are just plain bored.
That is the psychological profile of Americans and other Westerners who seem most susceptible to radicalization from afar — via YouTube or other social media — by a terror group like ISIS,
The big problem with that psychological portrait: It fits tens of thousands of American 20-somethings who never think once about attacking their own countrymen.