Muslim from USA, 16, captured while waging jihad with the Islamic State in Syria

Seamus Hughes, the deputy director of the George Washington University Program on Extremism, which is actually the George Washington University Program on Obfuscating the Islamic Doctrinal Roots of Jihad Terror, says:

“Here’s the concern with this case. How long has this young man been in Syria? Did he go early on with family? Or is it a more recent case of traveling? And he is purported to have been fighting for ISIS. It’s one thing to say it and another to prove it in a court of law, and authorities may well decide not to prosecute him given his age.”

The real concerns should be these: where did this young man learn his understanding of Islam? What do his parents believe, and what are they doing? What does his mosque teach? How many other young men in his area believe the same way? But American investigators are almost certainly not going to ask these questions.

“American Boy, 16, Caught Fighting for ISIS in Syria, Militia Says,” by Rukmini Callimachi, New York Times, January 9, 2019:

A 16-year-old American boy fighting on behalf of the Islamic State was captured on the battlefield in Syria, an American-backed force fighting the militants said Wednesday.

If the teenager is proved to be a United States citizen, he would be the first American minor to be caught fighting on behalf of the terrorist group overseas.

His arrest follows the capture of Warren Christopher Clark, 34, a former substitute teacher from Texas whose seizure in the same area was announced on Sunday. They are among the handful of American citizens — just five so far — who have been taken alive on the front line in the battle against the Islamic State, according to a database maintained by the Program on Extremism at George Washington University.

The militia that announced the boy’s capture, the Syrian Democratic Forces, said he was among eight foreign fighters who were apprehended this week in the last sliver of Islamic State-held territory in northeastern Syria. The others included citizens of Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

United States officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and over the weekend the same militia announced the capture of what they said was another American citizen. There were indications, however, that that person might be from Trinidad, according to Simon Cottee, a senior lecturer in criminology at the University of Kent.

Mr. Cottee also said that he had a name very similar to that of the teenager said to be American in a database kept to track Islamic State fighters from Trinidad….

While the 16-year-old would be the only American minor caught on the battlefield, other American teenagers have been found in Islamic State-controlled territory….

And several other American teenagers have been arrested for trying to carry out attacks on behalf of the militants in the United States. Prosecuting them has proved difficult because of their age, said Seamus Hughes, the deputy director of the George Washington University Program on Extremism….

“Here’s the concern with this case,” Mr. Hughes said, referring to the teenager apprehended in Syria. “How long has this young man been in Syria? Did he go early on with family? Or is it a more recent case of traveling? And he is purported to have been fighting for ISIS. It’s one thing to say it and another to prove it in a court of law, and authorities may well decide not to prosecute him given his age.”

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images by Jihad Watch is republished with permission.

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