ISIS in our midst

Young Americans persuaded to fight for Islamic state



Mohammed Emwazi, a Kuwaiti-born man from London, has reportedly been identified as the masked man behind videos of ISIS beheadings. He’s shown in this still from an ISIS video from September 14, 2014. (Ropi/Zuma Press/TNS)

Elijah Zawatsky, Editor in Chief

In Minneapolis, the latest in a long line of accusations concerning members of the Somali community trying to join ISIS surfaced, causing the arrest of six Somali men.

The most striking, and terrifying, detail of this latest case was that these men reportedly not recruited by an ISIS propagandist, but merely researched the ideology, agreed with it, and decided to try and join.

There is something disturbing about the fact that people within the United States would willingly join a terror group not even fully supported by fellow terror group Al-Qaeda. This is not an isolated case either. According to the National Intelligence Director James Clapper, over 180 Americans have attempted to join the war in Syria.

The prevalence of such an obviously ridiculous action is indicative of the need for widespread, non-biased, fact based information concerning the Middle East situation as a whole.

This information, whether it comes from a government agency or an independent organization, will serve not only to deter those planning on joining ISIS but  also to raise American awareness as to the reasons America is still so heavily involved in the Middle East.

Whether or not America should re-involve itself in the Middle East is a tough decision.  Some experts, such as CIA veteran Paul Pillar, have concluded that the American Military simply is not the tool currently needed in the Middle East. Others, such as Michael Doran, a fellow at the Brookings institution, believe that avoiding involvement now will only cost us more time, money, and lives in the long run.

Whether you personally believe America should be involved in the Middle East or not, American opinion cannot be properly polled unless Americans are up to date on the situation. With the 2016 election just around the corner, there is no better time to begin the process of educating the American public on the situation in the Middle East.