As Western governments try to determine how to stop the terrorist group ISIS from recruiting more foreign fighters, Fox News’ Lauren Green spoke to religion expert Al Fadi about the appeal to join the jihadists.
Fadi, Founder of the Center for Islamic Research & Awareness, told FoxNews.com that ISIS, which is now called Islamic State, is increasing its effort to attract more foreign fighters to come to Syria and Iraq.
There are an estimated 100 Americans and roughly 500 Britons who have traveled to the region to fight alongside extremists, according to recent reports.
“Many of them come from an Islamic background; they haven’t been assimilated and [are] segregated,” said Fadi. “They are also being manipulated by ISIS because when they [recruits] convert to Islam, if they were not Muslims per say, ISIS capitalizes that many of them don’t know the Arab language, therefore they don’t know most of the teachings … therefore they can’t verify truth from false."
An ideology of “superiority” is seen as one of the causes for a surge in foreign fighters.
“It’s supremacy over other religions, other minorities and teaches that power only comes by spreading this ideology [by] using this violence jihad,” Fadi told FoxNews.com.
Social media has shown to be an important tool in ISIS' efforts to gain support from sympathizers worldwide. “They are using Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and the Internet very successfully,” said Fadi.
He says the recent videos showing the beheadings of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff are used as a “recruiting tool” by the terrorists.
Fadi, co-author of “Quran: The Dilemma” says extremists “are really utilizing all kinds of means and methods and that’s what is causing a lot of trouble for a lot of nations because ISIS seems to be probably more sophisticated than all of the other groups we have been exposed to, like Al Qaeda.”
Chris Snyder is a producer for Fox News based in New York. Follow him on twitter: @ChrisSnyderFox.