ISIS is recruiting young westerners - Tucson News Now

ISIS is recruiting young westerners

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ISIS has recruited thousands of new members from 83 countries. (Source: CNN/ISIS) ISIS has recruited thousands of new members from 83 countries. (Source: CNN/ISIS)
ISIS is reaching out to potential new recruits through its aggressive use of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. (Source: CNN) ISIS is reaching out to potential new recruits through its aggressive use of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. (Source: CNN)
Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha was the first American suicide bomber. (Source: CNN) Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha was the first American suicide bomber. (Source: CNN)
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(CNN) – The United States is seriously considering air strikes over Syria to stop ISIS in its tracks. American spy planes are now conducting missions over that country to prepare for possible military action.

It's vital someone stop ISIS.

Who is the man in black, holding the knife, ready to murder American James Foley?

He is a member of ISIS, and government representatives from Great Britain believe he is a British national, recruited out of England, the home of hundreds more who have left to join the terrorist group.

British officials say they are very close to identifying one of their own as the killer

According to the private intelligence origination, the Soufan Group, ISIS has recruited thousands of members from 83 countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and at least 100 members from the United States.

“The Islamic State, as they call themselves, has a media department which is very savvy in making videos and putting out propaganda," Richard Barrett said.

Word is getting out because of an aggressive social media campaign which includes Twitter, Facebook and an online magazine, much of it in English.

“What about the ages you're seeing, because the social media campaign along with video, internet that tells me a younger generation,” CNN correspondent Jean Casarez said.

"Yes, the generation is probably between 15 and up to about 25,” Barrett said.

New members are given cars, guns and money just for joining. Women recruits are another priority target group for ISIS.

“Western women; they come with their western passports, they'll fall under our radar screens,” Mia Bloom, author of Bombshell: Women & Terrorism said.

While the world has come to associate ISIS with harrowing images like the execution of journalist James Foley, some global recruiting efforts by ISIS show a softer side to their terror group.

Instead of violence and mayhem, they receive messages of cheer and support.

Recruitment efforts take money, which is not a problem for ISIS. The group has many assets in the Middle East and its PR campaign attracts global donations, according to intelligence experts.

“They really have a lot of money,” Barrett said. “They have huge resources in Iraq and Syria, they control oil fields; they exhort taxes from businesses and so on.”

One U.S. citizen who bought into the massage was Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha. He was born and raised in Vero Beach, FL where he played high school football. Abu-Salha is the first American suicide bomber in Syria. He talked about his plan to blow himself up at a checkpoint in Syria.

In the United States, there is concern that these recruits will one day return home.

“People going will be associating with extreme radicalized people from other countries, who will say to them, ‘look, the enemy is also American,'" Barrett said.

And experts warn that recruits who do decide to return home would pose a threat to their communities.

“Their behavior in the future becomes pretty unpredictable and their loyalties as well become unpredictable,” Barrett said.

Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved.

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