Tags: Homeland Security | ISIS/Islamic State | ISIS | Islamic State | Americans | supporters | United States

Report: Dozens of ISIS Supporters Living Openly in US

By    |   Wednesday, 01 October 2014 09:25 AM

There are dozens of supporters of the Islamic State (ISIS) living openly in the United States, according to research based on deep web technology.

An analysis by Vocativ found that many of the supporters of the jihadist group live ordinary American lives with mainstream interests and pursuits.

"In many ways, they're just like you. They post selfies on Twitter and Facebook, share memes, hang out with friends. They talk about their favorite TV shows, movies, and music.

They share news about their families," Vocativ said. "But they're also pledging support to the brutal regime seeking to establish an Islamic caliphate across the Middle East."

The news comes after an Oklahoma man with Islamic ties beheaded a co-worker, and two Americans were charged last month for plotting attacks on American targets.

According to the report, one Islamic State supporter is a chemistry student at a Jesuit university in the Midwest and is originally from New York City.

On his Facebook page, alongside innocuous social photos, appears a banner of the Islamic State flag. He also posted a picture of a man in a balaclava with a sword on his back with the strap line, "Under the Shade of the Sword;" a reference to a well-known book about the clash of Christianity and Islam.

Vocativ, which is withholding the names and exact locations of the suspects, contacted the young man's mother, originally from East Africa, who said her son was born in the U.S. and had never left the country. She added that he is a college freshman on scholarship and aspiring to work for Proctor & Gamble.

Minutes later his Facebook and Twitter accounts were deactivated. Vocativ contacted the police department and was told that the Joint Terrorism Task Force was already meeting to discuss the level of threat posed by the student after the student "potentially put out questionable messages."

Vocativ also described two other alleged Islamic State supporters that it uncovered during its research.

One suspect is an engineering management student in Texas. His Facebook page has many photos of Islamic State flags and banners, propaganda videos, and portraits of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

He has also posted photos of himself in Islamic State clothing and distributing propaganda, and has anti-American statements on his site. He had previously been expelled from a Mosque for spreading extremist messages, Vocativ noted.

The other Islamic State supporter is a woman from Minnesota who posted Islamic State propaganda videos and photos of a senior al-Qaida operative killed in a drone strike in 2011, Anwar al-Awaki. Her page, meanwhile, says she enjoys movies such as "Hunger Games," "Twilight," and "Shrek" and talks about being a fan of her local WNBA team.

Vocativ said that many of the ISIS supporters it had identified followed a radical cleric based in Michigan called Ahmad Musa Jibril, who, ten years ago, had been kicked out of a mosque for urging his followers to kill non-Muslims. He is already under police surveillance after serving six years in prison for crimes unrelated to terrorism.

According to Vocativ, Jibril is notable for the scale of his social media following which includes more than 26,000 followers on Twitter and over 220,000 likes on his Facebook profile.

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There are dozens of supporters of the Islamic State (ISIS) living openly in the United States, according to research based on deep web technology.
ISIS, Islamic State, Americans, supporters, United States
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2014-25-01
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 09:25 AM
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