MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The latest ISIS recruit from Minnesota is a 19-year-old woman who told her family she will be taking care of wounded fighters in Syria.
Somali-American leaders say they know of at least two other young women who have also left, and they believe at least 15 Minnesotans are among at least 100 Americans who have joined ISIS from around the world.
No one is quite sure when the 19-year-old woman left Minnesota for Syria. Two weeks ago distraught family members reached out to community activist Abdi Bihi.
“They told me they were missing a young girl for about a week, and that young girl made a call to them from, allegedly, Egypt,” Bihi said.
The next night, the family got another call.
“They told me that she called from Syria,” Bihi said. “She basically told them that she’s going to help the wounded in the war as a nurse.”
The family members have reported what they know to the FBI, but that they have no idea when or how she was recruited.
Bihi said someone on the ground in Minnesota is giving these young people money.
“Somebody in here is buying a ticket these children cannot afford,” Bihi said. “They do not know where Syria is, someone is guiding them.”
Bihi believes ISIS is luring some recruits with a sophisticated media campaign.
ISIS has posted a number of videos on YouTube aimed at recruiting weterners.
In one video, a man with a Caribbean accent, who is identified as an American, says: “Please, all believers come.”
The man then points to several children and says: “Look, all these little children they are having fun.”
The video shows idyllic sequences of children at an amusement park, intercut with images of fighters handing out toys and children holding military style weapons.
Recruits from different nations urge others to come join them.
The final shot is of smiling children and in white lettering a graphic says, “I wish you were here.”