ISIS Risk in the U.S. Is Homegrown, Numbers Show


Karen Greenberg is quoted in a NBC News story about the likely affiliation with ISIS of Syrian refugees in the U.S., when so far, the math suggests native-born Americans are a far bigger source of concern.

The most comprehensive survey of Americans who’ve been charged with attempting to help ISIS finds that none of the 68 are Syrian or Syrian-American and that only three were refugees of any kind.

“ISIS Cases in the United States,” compiled by Fordham University Law School’s Center on National Security, notes instead that to date four out of five U.S. residents charged with supporting ISIS are American citizens and almost two-thirds are U.S.-born.

Moreover, the three ISIS sympathizers who were killed in attempts to carry out attacks in the U.S. — in Texas and Boston — were all U.S.-born citizens. Two were African-Americans and the other the son of a Catholic nurse and a Pakistani-American engineer.

“In the ISIS cases, there is NO trend suggesting the involvement of refugees … or Syrians,” said Karen Greenberg, director of the Center.

Key findings of the report, which the Center continually updates, show that the alleged ISIS supporters come from a variety of backgrounds, with only a few having ties to the Middle East. The report categorizes arrests made in a variety of jurisdictions over the past 18 months, since ISIS began its social media campaign in earnest.

Greenberg said that while stateless refugees are vulnerable to recruitment by terror groups, countries who provide a home to refugees make them less susceptible to recruitment. “If you’re looking for a counter-narrative to ISIS, which everyone is talking about, why not, ‘ISIS is wrong. The U.S. WILL take care of Muslims, of Syrian refugees in need, and provide a constructive future.’ That is a strong counter-narrative.”

Read the entire NBC News story.


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