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Islamic State Recruits Americans

Justin Nojan Sullivan, a nineteen year old of Morganton, North Carolina, is now in federal custody after telling an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation officer that he wanted to support the Islamic State through attacks in the United States.

Apparently, Sullivan was planning on purchasing a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle at a gun show on June 20 so that he could kill upwards of 1,000 people as a way to demonstrate his support of the Islamic State with the weapon and other biological weapons. Sullivan was initially investigated as a result of his father calling 911 in late April because of Sullivan destroying religious statues in his home. Shortly after, FBI made contact with him and discovered that he saw himself as a Muslim convert and explained his plan of killing people.

Unfortunately, Justin Nojan Sullivan is not the first to have been recruited by the Islamic State. Approximately a hundred Americans have tried to travel abroad to fight for the Islamic State, but most authorities are more concerned about the lone wolf Americans who have chosen to carry out attacks within the country. Sullivan is also not the first teen in America to be apprehended. Earlier this month, 17 year old Ali Shukri Amin of Virginia pleaded guilty in a federal court for helping recruit for the Islamic State, and he was successful in recruiting fellow teen, 18 year old Reza Niknejad who traveled to the Middle East to fight for the Islamic State.

In recent months, officials have been quite concerned about the recruitment efforts of the Islamic State, as it is obviously quite effective and hard to counter. Described as a peer-to-peer campaign, Islamic State recruiters often engage in a radicalization of themselves and new recruits which makes it difficult if they make it to Syria or decide to begin attacks within the United States unless they are caught beforehand.

About Emily Hersey

Emily Hersey
Emily is an African Studies and History student who loves reading, the gym, hip hop and horses. If she's not working on her latest research project, she's definitely working towards her next trip to South Africa and doing her Master's degree there. Contact Emily: