Three American born teenagers of Indian immigrants in suburban Chicago were arrested for trying to join ISIS in Syria.
Back in October two of the teens (19 and 16 year old brothers) went to early morning prayers with their father. When they came home their dad went to sleep and they put into motion a plan that they had designed to sneak out and make their way to Syria. Going with the two boys would be their 17-year-old sister.
The plan was to fly to Istanbul then drive to Syria to live in the Islamic caliphate.
The FBI detained the teens at O’Hare airport as they tried to travel on to Turkey. They are part of a growing trend of American citizens who are doing their best (or worst) to join their ideological equals in ISIS. So far this year 15 Americans have been arrested trying to leave the USA to make their way to the front lines in Iraq and Syria.
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Our intelligence agencies expect that we will see more of these kinds of arrests as the days progress because ISIS is working hard to recruit young people to their cause. The government has been watching social media very closely in recent months, as ISIS has winnowed down their focus in these areas.
“Their propaganda is unusually slick. They are broadcasting their poison in something like 23 languages,” FBI Director James B. Comey said in a recent speech, adding that the terrorist group is trying to attract “both fighters and people who would be the spouses . . . to their warped world.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney R. Matthew Hiller told a court in November that the siblings “believe they are religiously obliged to support violent jihad. This was not a spur-of-the-moment trip but rather a carefully calculated plan to abandon their family, to abandon their community, and abandon their country and join a foreign terrorist organization.” Hiller also said that the oldest sibling was “attempting to join an organization that has called for attacks against the United States and has already killed U.S. citizens and is dedicated to genocide.”
In letters the teens left to their parents as they ran away, the eldest son said,
“An Islamic State has been established and it is thus obligatory upon every able-bodied male and female to migrate there. Muslims have been crushed under foot for too long. . . .This nation is openly against Islam and Muslims. . . . I do not want my progeny to be raised in a filthy environment like this.”
His sister said,
“Death is inevitable, and all of the times we enjoyed will not matter as we lay on our death beds. Death is an appointment, and we cannot delay or postpone, and what we did to prepare for our death is what will matter.”
The letters showed just how deeply the ISIS teachings had become rooted in the three teens. Their parents were blown away by what their children have become.
Their mother, Zarine Khan, could not hide her bewilderment when asked about why her children had turned to ISIS.
“What they wrote in those letters is not from us. Those are not our teachings. That’s not what we believe in. This didn’t even come from our family, friends, neighbors — nobody. We tried to be the best parents we could. That’s all I can say — we tried our best. And they are good kids. This thing came out of the blue. We are still trying to figure it out.”
The same bewilderment is happening all over the nation as “moderate” Muslim adults who chose to come here years ago, in search of freedom and safety, realize that their children have “somehow” become radicalized. The problem is that compared to Islam in much of the rest of the world, including Europe, the ideas are not that “radical.” In fact, it’s the “moderates” who seem to be radical when it comes to Islam.
Now, our government is loathe to prosecute these teens who hear and respond to ISIS’ siren song… but what else can we do? How do we stop radical Islam – when it so easily infects everything it touches?
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