Law enforcement across the country have arrested more than five dozen people in the U.S. for helping to support or plot with the Islamic State, according to a study by George Washington University released on Wednesday. The Islamic State recruits defy any single profile, the study found, though they are younger than previous terrorism suspects, are drawn heavily from converts to Islam and reflect increasingly prominent roles for women.
The report noted that the average ISIS recruit is male and around 26 years old. It identified at least 300 Americans who actively support ISIS on social media and spread propaganda on the terror group’s behalf, with Twitter being the preferred platform. In addition to those supporters, the FBI has previously said that they also have 900 open investigations into homegrown violent extremists, a majority being ISIS related. Following the attack on Paris by ISIS which left 130 dead, the FBI honed in on 100 of those 900 investigations and took “them up a notch,” according to FBI Director James Comey. The hardest task for federal law enforcement tracking these threats is prioritizing those they think are actually at risk of carrying out similar attacks over those that only consume the propaganda.
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