Romance and adventure among "disenchanted" Americans are what draws people to fight with a terrorist organization such as the Islamic State , also known as ISIS, former CIA Acting Director Jack Devine told Newsmax TV.
"What we're looking at now is more of a psychological movement among a larger group of people that don't have access, that are not successful in their own systems. They're disenchanted. They're looking for adventure," Devine told "America's Forum" on Thursday.
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Devine said that "when romantic ideas influence you, the risk can be quite high," as in the case of two Americans who reportedly died fighting with ISIS in Syria.
Douglas McAuthur McCain, originally of San Diego, was reported killed over the weekend fighting for ISIS in Syria. And, a Minnesota man, Abdirahmaan Muhumed, died in the same battle as McCain, Fox News
reported on Thursday.
While it might sound like "an exciting thing to go out and fire PRGs and AK-47s," it frequently "ends in disaster," Devine said. Reports of the deaths of two Americans fighting with ISIS "should be a sobering thing for those who are contemplating working against their own country," he said.
Recruiting people to fight with ISIS was "starting and coming from" social media, Texas Republican Rep. Ted Poe told "America's Forum" on Thursday. He said ISIS, which has used social media websites like Twitter and YouTube, was targeting "some immigrant communities to take up arms."
"They're doing it through social media. And, that's where they get the hook, if you will, to stay engaged with this concept of some thrill, adventure, romantic philosophy of doing something against the United States," Poe said.
Penetrating terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria was a challenge, Devine said, adding he was "hopeful we have a lot of services among the Sunni population and some of our allies."
"We probably have good sources around the periphery," Devine said. "I know our people are working hard at it, and eventually you get a break. When that break comes, it's a game changer."
Poe said a problem for the U.S. was the tendency of the administration of President Barack Obama to explain they were surprised by events when they happened around the world, but added he wasn't "so sure that's true."
"They're caught by surprise with ISIS, caught by surprise with what happened with Syria, caught by surprise with what happened in Benghazi. The problem with that is [when they say] they're surprised, the administration is saying, 'We didn't have any Intel to know this was occurring,'" Poe said.
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