Minnesota leads the nation in the number of people who have left or sought to leave the country to fight with terrorists aligned with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Syria, according to a scathing congressional report that says the U.S. and western countries have failed to disrupt the flow of combatants to the Middle East.
Released Tuesday by the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security, the report specifically cites two Somali-American Minnesotans who joined or tried to join ISIL, highlighting its online recruiting success through peer-to-peer recruiting that relies on social media and sophisticated online messaging techniques.
Young fighters from at least 19 states have tried to join terrorists in Syria since the start of that country’s civil war in 2011. Minnesota recruits made up 26 percent of the sample of 58 cases reviewed by the committee’s bipartisan task force. California and New York had the second most recruits, with each state making up 12 percent, according to findings.
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