Tuesday, May 17, 2016

NBC reports on Americans who join ISIS, with video on three recruits

On Sunday night, May 15, NBC News and Dateline presented “An American ISIS Cell: the Story of 3 U.S. Recruits” (by Richard Engel, Ben Plesser and Tracy Connor) focusing on a couple of families in the Silicon Valley and one returning to Columbus, Ohio. There was a teenager, a nerd who wanted to be a doctor, suddenly converting to Islam and withdrawing from competitive American life, with its challenges and acceptance of the arbitrary role of luck and of permissiveness.

The same three reporters have a longer story about 15 Americans who joined ISIS, based on material from a thumb drive from a man claiming to be an ISIS defector.  The people vary, from children of immigrants in poor families to the well-to-do, including, in a few cases, good and ambitious students – which raises troubling questions about how well young “stars” will do in life later on.

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