Authorities are investigating men and women they believe have left the northern U.S. state of Minnesota to fight alongside extremists in Syria.
U.S. Attorney for Minnesota, Andrew Luger, would not specify the number of individuals under scrutiny, but he said they represent a wide variety of backgrounds.
Luger told VOA’s Somali Service many of these young people are “disfranchised” from their families and communities, and they have lost “hope in their own future.” He said they are responding to jihadists online efforts to recruit them.
Lugar said authorities also are looking for people in the United States who are assisting the young people in leaving the country.
Luger said a young person who has not traveled outside the United States is not going out to get a passport and then book an international flight to the Middle East without help.
He also said recruiters for extremist group are “very clever” in their appeals to young people in the United States. Luger said America needs to create a better online messaging campaign to counter the message of the “bad guys.”
This report was done with VOA’s Somali Service.