Douglas McAuthur McCain, an American recently killed in Syria fighting on behalf of ISIS, is not the first U.S. citizen to join a militant Islamist organization. Here are some ways that such groups recruit Americans:

  • Preying on the weak by targeting naive, uneducated members of society, such as Americans
  • Flattering candidates by praising their lust for violence, hate-fueled worldview, and other standout qualities
  • Downplaying the part about dying and being globally reviled as a coward
  • Wooing young people with the rare chance to have a job
  • Internet
  • Offering an even larger selection of weapons than are available in America
  • Playing into young people’s fears of being left out of the next big thing
  • Giving away free ISIS lanyards, ISIS thumb drives, and other ISIS swag at job fair
  • Stressing that any time commitment could be over just a few short weeks after arriving in the Middle East
  • Letting U.S. continue current foreign policy strategy