Illustration for article titled How Do Militant Groups Attract Americans?

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

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