The Federal Bureau of Investigation has launched a campaign asking citizens to help identify any possible foreign Islamic State fighters. An online form has been set up so that anyone can submit potential tips.
“We need the public’s assistance in identifying U.S. persons going to fight overseas with terrorist groups or who are returning home from fighting overseas,”
said assistant director of the FBI Counterterrorism Division, Michael Steinbach.
According to James Comey, FBI Director, around 100 Americans have either attempted to go to Syria to fight and were caught by authorities or went and returned. However, in spite of the FBI’s efforts, over 3,000 Westerners have allegedly joined the ranks of the Sunni extremists.
“These homegrown violent extremists are troubled souls who are seeking meaning in some misguided way. And so they come across the propaganda and they become radicalized on their own independent study, and they’re also able to equip themselves with training again on the Internet, and then engage in jihad after emerging from their basement.”
said FBI director Comey.
The FBI has asked the public to aid them in identifying potential terrorists, including the man with a North American accent who is seen overseeing prisoners who are digging their own graves, as well as overseeing their executions.
A segment of the 55- minute video has been released by the FBI in hopes that someone might recognize the masked man. Neither the faces of the prisoners nor their executions are shown in the released segment.
“We’re hoping that someone might recognize this individual and provide us with key pieces of information. No piece of information is too small.”
Steinbach assured the public.
What is most troubling is that an American who carried out a suicide bomb attack in Syria could return to the U.S.
Moner Mohammad Abusalha is the first (and so far, the only) American to travel to Syria and carry out a suicide bomb attack, however, authorities just found out that between the time that he first traveled to Syria (for a meeting with Al-Qaeda militants) and the day he detonated the explosives, Abusalha returned to Florida.
“Is this a local fight? Are they going there to really just battle the Syrian forces and to topple [Syrian President Bashar] Assad or is there even a small percentage of these folks who are going to return home and turn their sights on western victims and their fellow citizens? And that’s the real concern for U.S. counterterrorism officials,”
Juan Zarate, National Security Analyst for CBS News asked.