ISIS has vowed to bring the fight to America; it has the knowledge to do so. American intelligence is aware of some 100 Americans who fight for ISIS or the Islamic State. These 100 Americans consist of American mercenaries, Americans with family ties to Syria or Iraq and those who have traveled to Syria or Iraq to participate in jihad.
The American mercenaries represent only about 20 percent of the total number. They are, in some cases, ex-military. These people know the language. They have multiple passports. They fight for money and are well paid. The risks are high for mercenaries. You never know when the client will turn on you. Mercenaries are not trusted and usually have a trusted participant in the conflict at their back at all times. Should the client think you're a spy or going to betray them, things could go badly.
Americans with family ties fight because they are Sunni and their families are aligned with ISIS, or the Islamic State. In some cases, they have dual citizenship, one of them American. They may be fanatical in their beliefs about Islam and want to see the Islamic State established. They may be the cruelest and ruthless of the fighters. They understand the shock and awe value of using genocide as a weapon – hence, the beheadings and mass executions of people with different religious beliefs.
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Some Americans have traveled to the Middle East to become jihadists with no real ties to Iraq or Syria. In most cases, they are converts to Islam and probably exhorted by a religious cleric back in the United States to join the jihad. In some cases, these Americans have become suicide bombers and blown themselves up!
ISIS represents the biggest and richest terrorist group in the world. It has the capability and the resources to actually attack the United States of America. We need to take very seriously that ISIS plans to plant its flag on top of the White House in Washington, D.C.!
We must not discount anything these fanatics say as we did with Osama bin Laden when he issued his fatwa against the United States of America long before the attack of Sept. 11!
Dana L. Stern Sr.