ISIS, also known as the Islamic State and ISIL, are reportedly recruiting women from the heartland of America to wage Jihad in Syria and possibly Iraq.
Law enforcement is currently investigating a new phenomenon whereby American Muslim women are finding themselves increasingly attracted to the militant ranks of ISIS who are currently taking over huge swathes of land in the Middle East.
The Guardian reported that at least three families of Somali heritage living in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area have female relatives who have gone missing over the past month or so and may well have joined ISIS in Syria, according to community leader Abdirizak Bihi.
A 19-year-old Somali woman, also from St. Paul, allegedly snuck away from her parents at the end of last month, saying she was on her way to a bridal shower, but instead flew to Turkey in order to travel to Syria to join ISIS.
Just in 2014 alone, law enforcement officials in Minnesota have learned that at least 15 men with connections to the Minnesota Somali community are fighting alongside ISIS in Syria.
Greg Boosalis from the FBI division counsel in Minneapolis, said law enforcement was looking into alleged recruitment for ISIS in the area by Islamist extremists, “We are looking into the possibility of additional men and women travelers,” he said.
Reuters reported that 19-year-old Shannon Conley from Colorado pleaded guilty this week to trying to travel to the Middle East in order to join ISIS, after she was arrested at Denver International Airport in April with a one-way ticket and had been recruited online by a male militant in Syria.
In his speech to the nation last week, President Obama said that his administration would, “intervene with at-risk individuals before they become radicalized toward violence and decide to travel abroad to Syria and Iraq to join ISIL, ” adding that authorities would offer “tailored domestic programs to prevent violent extremism and radicalization.”
Bihi spoke to reporters about the recruitment of American women to the ranks of ISIS, “The nature of the recruitment of these crazy organizations is how they use the element of surprise. Now they have surprised us again by going for the girls.”
It still remains to be seen what the extent of ISIS recruiting in the heartland of America is as law enforcement do their utmost to minimize the risk of U.S. Muslims becoming radicalized enough to want to join the likes of ISIS in Syria and Iraq.