Report warns of 'unprecedented' support in U.S. for Islamic State

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/12/islamic-state-us-support-report-216308

<p>The Islamic State’s mobilization in the United States has been “unprecedented,” a <a href=”https://cchs.gwu.edu/sites/cchs.gwu.edu/files/downloads/ISIS%20in%20America%20-%20Full%20Report.pdf” target=”_blank”>report</a> released Tuesday found.</p><p>According to the George Washington University study, “Isis in America: From Retweets to Raqqa,” authorities have spoken to roughly 250 Americans who have at least attempted to travel to Syria or Iraq to join the Islamic State and have a total of 900 active probes against Islamic State supporters in every state.</p><p>Since March 2014, the report found, 71 people have been charged with Islamic State-related activity — 56 arrests have come in 2015 alone, the largest number of terrorism-related arrests since 9/11.</p><p>“The profiles of individuals involved in ISIS-related activities in the U.S. differ widely in race, age, social class, education, and family background,” the report reads. “Their motivations are equally diverse and deny easy analysis.”</p><p>Among those charged, an overwhelming majority are men, the report found, and the average age at the time of charges is 26, though arrests range from an unnamed 15-year-old boy to Tairod Pugh, a former Air Force officer who was 47 when he was charged.</p><br><p>The report highlights that the vast majority of Islamic State sympathizers are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, though 73 percent of those charged weren’t involved in plotting terror attacks on the homeland. And while the Islamic State’s radicalization isn’t limited to social media, the study found that sympathizers were “particularly active on Twitter, where they spasmodically create accounts that often get suspended in a never-ending cat-and-mouse game.”</p><p>The release of the six-month study, conducted by GWU’s Program on Extremism, comes on the heels of the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks that struck Paris and amid increased scrutiny over the Obama administration’s plans to take in 10,000 Syrian refugees next year.</p><br>

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