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American Muslims And ISIS

This article is more than 8 years old.

With guest host Jane Clayson.

A young American, arrested at O’Hare airport, allegedly on his way to join ISIS. Who is drawn to this? And why?

Yemeni-American Ahmed al-Moflihi, who is thought to have participated in the ongoing civil war in Syria. (NPR News)
Yemeni-American Ahmed al-Moflihi, who is thought to have participated in the ongoing civil war in Syria. (NPR News)

Last week, Mohammed Hamzah Khan a 19-year-old American was arrested  at O’Hare as he tried to board a plane and allegedly go to fight in Iraq and Syria with the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS. He is the tenth person charged this year by the Justice Department for trying to travel abroad to aid terrorists groups. And he’s far from alone. More than 100 American citizens have either tried or found their way to the battlefields. At least three have died fighting for ISIS. What’s the appeal? What can be done to stop it? This hour On Point: Americans and ISIS.
-- Jane Clayson


Dina Temple-Raston, counter-terrorism correspondent for NPR News. (@NPRDina)

Tom Mockaitis, terrorism expert, professor of history at DePaul University. Editor at Small Wars and Insurgencies. Author of "Iraq and the Challenge of Counterinsurgency" and "The 'New' Terrorism."

Mohammed Kaiseruddin, chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago.

Ali Mahmoud, founder of Alpha Lambda Mu, the first national Muslim fraternity. Senior at the University of Texas, Dalls. (@AliMMahmoud)

From The Reading List

CBS News: Alleged American ISIS follower's camp speaks out — "Khan, who lived with his parents in the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook, was arrested Saturday at O'Hare International Airport trying to board a plane on the first leg of connecting flights to Turkey, which borders Syria. He is charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist group, which carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence."

Chicago TribuneChicago-area man charged in attempt to join Islamic State in Syria — "U.S. officials say about 100 Americans have gone to Syria to join groups fighting there against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Those groups include Islamic State as well as a U.S.-backed rebel force and the al Qaeda-linked Nusra front."

NPR News: Brooklyn Man Fights In Syria. Is He A Threat To The U.S.? — "Both local and federal officials have been tracking Americans who have left to join the fight in Syria over the past couple of years. At least 140 U.S. passport holders are thought to have gone to Syria and Iraq since the civil war began in 2011. Officials said that number was at about 60 people at the beginning of the year, so the uptick has officials trying to puzzle out what is causing the increase."

This program aired on October 13, 2014.


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