The Islamic State's phenomenal ability to entice young Western Muslims to the battlegrounds of Syria has relentlessly made headlines throughout 2014, with the activities of these fighters raising threat levels around the world. As noted recently by SITE Intelligence Group Director Rita Katz, jihadi groups in Syria go to great lengths to target propaganda at Westerners and to encourage disaffected and idealistic young Western Muslims to leave their home countries for battle.
Douglas McAuthur McCain, the American Islamic State (IS) fighter recently killed in Syria, is yet another story of an American turning to jihad in recent years. Meanwhile, officials indicated that the number of Americans who left to fight in Syria has doubled since January 2014, and while Washington and other Western countries continue to “discuss” plans on how to counter domestic, al-Qaeda (AQ) and the Islamic State (IS) have successfully brought the jihadist movement into Western homes more effectively than ever before.
In my last post I outlined the ideology that underlies the atrocities carried out in Iraq and Syria by the Islamic State (IS)—formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS). I also noted that, while welcome on humanitarian and national security grounds, the actions taken so far by the Obama administration are insufficient to guarantee the defeat of the extremists.
Douglas McAuthur McCain, an American Islamic State (IS) fighter, was reportedly killed by the Free Syrian Army on August 25, 2014.
Islamic State (IS) supporters are using captured American journalist Steven Sotloff, whom the group threatened to behead upon further intervention from the US, as a threat toward the US using a new hashtag, "#StevensHeadinObamasHands."