Somali-American youths play basketball before the start of a solidarity rally to denounce the Al-Shabab attacks in Kenya in 2013.

Credit: Eric Miller/Reuters/Landov / Flickr Creative Commons

To Stop ISIS Recruitment In U.S., Law Enforcement Must 'Demystify' Terrorism

April 22, 2015

The FBI arrested six Somali-Americans on Sunday for attempting to travel to Syria and join ISIS. Juliette Kayyem, host of the national security podcast "Security Mom," says the arrests are part of law enforcement's plan to thwart the extremist group's sophisticated online recruitment methods and deter people from joining.

"I call what the FBI and DOJ are doing right now the 'Don't Go There,' strategy," she explained. "You think about these guys, you flirt with these guys, you go online and joke with these guys, and we are going to get you."

But to carry that strategy out, in a practical sense, is easier said than done. ISIS does much of its recruitment online, so countering it often comes down to government's ability to provide a more compelling storyline for at-risk youths than extremists can. 

"To try to demystify them is the way we have to go," Kayyem said. 

"It's one person at a time," she said. "That's the challenge here."

To hear more from Juliette Kayyem on Boston Public Radio, tune in to the audio link above.


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