There is growing concern in America not only about ISIS carrying out an attack on our soil, but about Americans aiding the enemy in their hometowns or by fighting overseas. Multiple reports have popped up over the past few weeks about the far reach ISIS has into American communities and the success they've had with recruitment. They're pros at using social media, which means they can communicate easily with people from all of the world, but especially with people in American cities prone to radicalization. Lets take a look at who these people are.
Earlier this year, Florida resident Moner Mohammad Abusalha carried out a suicide truck bombing in Syria. Before doing so, he came back to America on his United States passport.
A Florida-born suicide bomber left a disturbing message for America before he carried out a May attack in Syria: "We are coming for you."
A new video released by Al Qaeda-linked fighters in Syria allegedly shows 22-year-old Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha ripping up his American passport and chewing parts of it before setting it on fire.
before he blew himself up, Abu-Salha had returned to the United States for months following training with Syrian Islamic militants, the New York Times reported Wednesday.
Officials are now looking into who the man met with and what he did during that time in the United States between the two Syria trips, according to the report.
An exclusive report published Tuesday by local Minneapolis Fox News affiliate KMSP-TV shows an American fighting for ISIS used to work in the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport with a security clearance, giving him access to sensitive areas. He was also tasked with refueling commercial airliners.
He was the second known American killed while fighting for ISIS in Syria, and the second from Minnesota -- and a Fox 9 exclusive uncovering his employment history is raising a few eyebrows.
An airport is probably the last place anyone would want a suspected terrorist to work, but before he died overseas, that's exactly what Abdirahmaan Muhumed did in the Twin Cities. In fact, he may have cleaned your plane at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Today, ABC 5 News in Minnesota reports a 19-year-old woman left the state to fight for ISIS in Syria:
The latest person to leave Minnesota and travel to Syria to fight for ISIS is a 19-year-old Somali woman who had been living in St. Paul. It's a troubling development considering recruiting in Somali communities has been limited to men in the past. Now, women appear to be the new targets.
The latest ISIS recruit is a 19-year-old woman from MN who told her family she'll be helping the wounded in Syria. | http://t.co/70XO7JNJ0R— WCCO - CBS Minnesota (@WCCO) September 5, 2014
For recruitment, American Ahmad Abousamra is being credited with running ISIS' sophisticated social media recruitment and propaganda campaigns. Abousamra is from Boston and has been on the run from the FBI for years.
Vincent S. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Boston Division, announced today the addition of wanted fugitive Ahmad Abousamra to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List (MWTL). The FBI continues to offer a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading directly to the capture and return of Abousamra to the United States.
With the inclusion of Ahmad Abousamra, there are currently 30 individuals on the FBI’s MWTL, which was created in October 2001 to highlight individuals indicted for various acts of terrorism against the United States. The list remains a worldwide tool that assists the FBI in its efforts to apprehend alleged terrorists and bring them to justice.
Ahmad Abousamra was indicted after taking multiple trips to Pakistan and Yemen, where he allegedly attempted to obtain military training for the purpose of killing American soldiers overseas. On November 5, 2009, a federal arrest warrant was issued for Abousamra in the United States District Court, District of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts, after he was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists; providing and attempting to provide material support to terrorists; conspiracy to kill in a foreign country; conspiracy; and false statements. Abousamra was indicted on a total of nine charges and should be considered armed and dangerous.
These are just a handful of the people we know about. Reports show hundreds of Americans have left to fight for the terror army.
Somali-American leaders say they know of at least two other young women who have also left, and they believe at least 15 Minnesotans are among at least 100 Americans who have joined ISIS from around the world.
Further, another report today in the Washington Times shows intelligence information leaked and published by former NSA worker Edward Snowden helped ISIS get ahead. Snowden is still living in Russia as he continues to evade charges against him from the U.S. government over the leaks.
A former top official at the National Security Agency says the Islamic State terrorist group has “clearly” capitalized on the voluminous leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and is exploiting the top-secret disclosures to evade U.S. intelligence.
Bottom line: Islamic State killers are harder to find because they know how to avoid detection.
Asked by The Washington Times if the Islamic State has studied Mr. Snowden’s documents and taken action, Mr. Inglis answered, “Clearly.”
Mr. Snowden “went way beyond disclosing things that bore on privacy concerns,” said Mr. Inglis, who retired in January. “‘Sources and methods’ is what we say inside the intelligence community — the means and methods we use to hold our adversaries at risk, and ISIL is clearly one of those.
Retired Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden ran the NSA when al Qaeda struck on Sept. 11, 2001. He moved to modernize technology and methodology in an agency that some internal critics said “had gone deaf” in the 1990s.
“The changed communications practices and patterns of terrorist groups following the Snowden revelations have impacted our ability to track and monitor these groups,” said Mr. Hayden, who writes a bimonthly column for The Times.
There is no doubt this list will get longer.