A new report by CREATE researchers has exposed the collaboration between ISIS and the al Qaeda affiliate al Shabaab in recruiting Somali-Americans.
The report was published shortly after the recent arrest of six Somali-American men who planned to travel to Syria to fight with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“Countering violent extremism is a global challenge, made all the more difficult by the growing trend of Americans becoming foreign fighters,” CREATE’s Dr. Erroll Southers explains. “It takes a network to defeat a network, and the only way that happens is through international cooperation, community engagement, research and action."
The report reveals:
• There are terrorist recruiters living in Minneapolis, and there are multiple individuals who have successfully left the Twin Cities for Syria (some of whom are unknown to authorities), becoming foreign fighters and in some cases, terrorist recruiters.
• While social media messaging is a part of the recruitment process, in Minneapolis, recruitment has, to date, always included face-to-face interaction with terrorist recruiters. There is an outsized focus on the role of social media. The recruiters are here, in the country.