A Profile of Brian Isaack Clyde: What We Know About the Dallas Courthouse Shooter

Photo courtesy of Tom Fox Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

On June 17 at 8:50am, a gunman dressed in full tactical gear opened fire outside of the Earle Cabell Federal Courthouse in Dallas, Texas. No officers or citizens were injured except for the gunman, who was later identified as Brian Isaack Clyde. Clyde was shot outside of the courthouse and transported to a local area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Brian Isaack Clyde was a 22-year old U.S. Army veteran who was discharged after serving 2 years as an Army infantryman. The reason for his discharge has not been disclosed. Clyde was seen wearing a 101st Airborne Division patch on his bullet proof vest outside of the courthouse.

During Clyde’s time in the Army, he achieved the rank of private first class and was never deployed to a warzone. One of the individuals who had served with Clyde stated that he, “felt pressure to stay in the military, but after 2017 wanted to look for a ‘new path.’ ” Clyde left the military and enrolled at Del Mar College, where he received an award for being an outstanding student.

Clyde had come from a family of military veterans and was infatuated with military history and medieval weapons. He participated in war re-enactments and was noted by fellow soldiers as a gun enthusiast. Although he had no prior criminal record, an anonymous FBI official said that the FBI had received a call from Clyde’s half-brother in 2016. His half-brother reported that Clyde was suicidal and had a fascination with guns. At this time, Clyde was still enlisted in the Army and no action was taken by the FBI.

Although a motive has yet to be determined, Clyde’s social media pages seemed to have foreshadowed this event. Just before the attack on Monday, Clyde had posted a photo on his Facebook page of several gun magazines, with the caption stating, “2 40 rounders and 8 30 rounders total”. Although Clyde’s Facebook page has since been removed, several people reported seeing disturbing videos that Clyde had posted. In one video, Clyde refers to a coming “storm” but states that he “is not without defense” while wielding a gun. Another video posted on his page features Clyde looking disheveled, saying “You don’t want to get in my way when I’m angry … because I don’t see you as a person… I see you as food.”

Clyde’s video where he stated a “storm is coming” can be traced back to QAnon conspiracy theorists. The QAnon conspiracy believes that “Trump is part of a countercoup to restore power to the people after more than a century of governmental control by a globalist cabal.” The members of this group believe that a “storm is coming” and that they must be prepared to destroy everyone and everything that stands in their way of creating a state filled only with loyalists. This also includes mass arrest of those that are connived against them. Clyde’s video suggests that he may have been a QAnon conspiracy theorist, although that has yet to be confirmed.

Clyde also frequently posted memes on his personal media pages; these memes referenced incel subculture, which is a forum for men that describe themselves as “involuntarily celibate”. These men gather to commiserate and blame women for their alienation. Members of incel subculture have a history of isolation and rejection, turning to the internet in order to feel a sense of inclusion. They describe themselves as unwanted by society and find women to be the root of their isolation and distress. This incel subculture is one filled with rage, where mass killings are glorified and members are encouraged to take their frustrations out on women.

Not only did Clyde post about QAnon conspiracies and incel subculture, but he also frequently posted about Alex Jones, an American radio show host and alt-right conspiracy theorist, swastikas and confederate flags, verbal attacks against Hillary Clinton, and references to “Hollywood Pedophiles”.

Through his social media activity, Clyde appears to be involved in groups that are generally consistent of isolated, alienated, and depressed individuals. Clyde was involved in the same subculture as other mass shooters, such as the 2014 Isla Vista shooter, who was glorified in incel forums following the shooting. This suggests that Clyde was radicalized online through a combination of these forums. Whether or not Clyde was mentally stable remains under investigation; he may have been particularly vulnerable to radicalization if he was suffering from serious mental illness. Further research into Clyde’s social media activity is necessary in order to identify what influenced him to carry out an attack of this nature.

Caitlyn Ryan is a Counter-Terrorism Research Fellow at Rise to Peace. She holds a Bachelors degree from Amherst College and is also pursuing a Master of Arts degree in international security with a concentration in counter-terrorism from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. 

A Profile of John Walker Lindh — The American Taliban

John Walker Lindh in January 2002. Image Courtesy of the Associated Press.

On February 9, 1981, the man who would become known as “The American Taliban” was born in Washington, D.C. John Phillip Walker Lindh is a former foreign fighter for the Taliban, often known for his involvement in the Battle of Qula–i-Jangi; a Taliban uprising which resulted in the death of CIA Officer Johnny “Mike” Span. After serving 17 years of his 20-year sentence, Lindh was released from prison under supervisory conditions on May 23, 2019.

Lindh was raised Catholic in Marino County, California, just outside of San Francisco. He is described as a bookish teenager who began studying Islam and the Middle East through his high schools’ alternative and self-directed study programs. Lindh’s initial interest in Islam has been linked to watching the Spike Lee film, “Malcolm X”, when he was 12.

However, his earnest interest in the faith and such related topics of study could have been marred by the extracurricular research Lindh engaged in as an active user of Internet Relay Chat rooms (IRC). Using the alternate identity “Mujahid”, Lindh communicated with others online largely about hip-hop music and racial topics. However, it is known that there are IRCs dedicated to the Taliban and Jihad, which indicates such online activity could have exposed Lindh to radical ideas.

Lindh officially converted to Islam at the age of 16, around the same time he dropped out of high school and was reported as participating in the IRCs. He also began attending mosques in Mill Valley and San Francisco. He reportedly became involved with Tablighi Jamaat, a Sunni missionary group, at this time. This group had not previously been associated with al-Qaeda or the Taliban, but has recently been investigated for links to radicalized militants. While the group was not tied to radicalization at the time of Lindh’s capture, the fact that it has been investigated in more recent years suggests Lindh may have been influenced by this group’s radical ideas.

Throughout his adolescence, Lindh’s parents experienced conflict within their marriage eventually leading to their divorce in 1999. His family instability could be noted as another influence in Lindh’s turn to Islam. His participation in the online chat rooms containing extremist messaging could also have infiltrated his ideology and affected his scholarly interest in the Middle East.

At the age of 17, Lindh decided to leave the U.S. for Yemen, with hopes to study Arabic so that he could read the Qur’an in its original language. He then traveled to Pakistan in 2000, where it is said he encountered extremist groups and training that ultimately influenced his decision to move to Afghanistan and join the Taliban.

However, Lindh claims his original motivation for joining the Taliban came from a desire to fight the mistreatment of civilians by the Northern Alliance. He reported hearing about this mistreatment through various stories; While it is not clear which outlets or messages Lindh received such information, this case illuminates the importance of eliminating misinformation and propaganda from public discourse. This can be achieved through means such as media literacy programs or more robust online security and privacy measures. Since 75% of domestic jihadists knew or were in contact with another jihadist prior to becoming radicalized, it is likely that Lindh was influenced by the information shared with other users of his IRCs or people he met while traveling and studying in Yemen and Pakistan. Whether it be through online forums or verbal conversations with other extremists, misinformation is a dangerous contributor to radicalization and should continue to be a priority in counter-terrorism work.

Since Lindh’s capture, contradictory reports have emerged as to his motivations for joining the Taliban as well as his understanding of the consequences of his involvement. During his trial, Lindh condemned terrorism and indicated he never held the desire to fight against Americans. Other reports, such as one from the National Counterterrorism Center, claim that Lindh would continue to advocate for jihad and violent extremism. The confusion and lack of clarity around the context and details of such reports must be resolved quickly in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the belief system Lindh currently holds after having spent 17 years in prison. This case exposes a large question the U.S. will face in the coming years, as more extremists and convicted terrorists are released back into society without certainty of the continued existence of dangerous ideology that could pose security risks in the future.

While there are no formal procedures for re-entry of convicted terrorists and sympathizers within the U.S. Justice system at this point, there are some recommendations and best practices set in place to deal with this increasingly prevalent situation. First, counseling focused on mental health and identification of the initial causes of radicalization can be recommended; This will not only aid the individual, such as Lindh, but also provide scholars and practitioners with a broader understanding of the life circumstances that can lead individuals vulnerable  to extremist messaging.

In addition, existing re-entry programs for former prisoners involved with gangs could be modified in order to apply to violent extremists, with similar encouragement of study, job training, and programming elements. These programs could provide alternative life paths, sense of belonging, and new sources of information to help eliminate dependence and association with extremist narratives. Monitoring of compliance with such programs is necessary not only during their sentence but also upon release, ideally from mentors who have experienced a similar situation but have emerged de-radicalized.

The way in which the media and public reacted to Lindh’s initial case as well as his release should be used as an example when addressing the situation of Americans linked to terrorism reentering society. In both instances, headlines and sound bites were quick to villainize him and draw attention to his case. The recent terrorist attack in New Zealand comes to mind as an alternative example, when the Prime Minister, in an effort to reduce copycats and the fetishization of terrorism, refused to address the terrorist responsible and would not play the video of the attack. The narratives perpetuated by the media and popular discussion seem relevant to Lindh’s, and others who had become radicalized, return to society.

Since radicalization can stem from feelings of being an outsider or from being bullied, the mass public villainization of Lindh and other Americans linked to terrorist organizations seems to be counterproductive in achieving the type of reintegration that would be necessary to avoid a former prisoner’s retreat into extremist ideology. Not only will the systems and programs in place matter in how we handle re-entry, but the influence of the media and public discourse will matter as well, if not more.

Overall, the case of John Walker Lindh reminds America and the world not only of the spread of extremism but also the complex ways in which the world deals with extremism and terror. Through comprehensive research on an extremist’s path to radicalization, formalized mentorship and re-entry procedures, and an evaluation of the media’s influence on the re-entry process, the U.S. will have a chance to effectively manage the reintegration of former extremists back into society.

Nikki Hinshaw is a Counter-terrorism Research Fellow at Rise to Peace, a non-profit organization, and a current undergraduate student at Arizona State University. She has multiple years of experience in managing communications and marketing for organizations in all sectors, as well as in conducting research on topics relating to a variety of global social issues and public diplomacy policy and practice.

‘Martyrdom, bro.’: A Case Study on How Mark Steven Domingo Went from the US Army to Would-Be Terrorist

On April 26, 2019, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) officials arrested former United States Army Private Mark Steven Domingo. He stood accused of plotting to detonate an explosive device with the intent of causing a mass casualty event. Domingo, who resides in the small neighborhood of Reseda in California’s San Fernando Valley, planned on targeting a reported white nationalist rally in Bluff Park, located in Long Beach on April 28, 2019. But how did the 26-year old veteran end up at this point?

Information about Domingo and his background is preliminary. However, numerous sources, some reportedly close to the accused came forward and made some key statements that may shed some light on the psyche of the would-be terrorist.

Domingo served in the US Army from November of 2011 to February of 2013. Included in this time was a relatively brief stint in Afghanistan from September of 2012 to either January or February of 2013. Domingo’s time in Afghanistan, and the US Army, was cut short due to a behavioral infraction. Officials did not reveal the nature of the incident, but did indicate that it was a serious offense. Unnamed sources state that it was violent in nature and Domingo found himself back in the United States shortly after. He was issued a general discharge within weeks; one-step lower than an honorable discharge.

After his discharge, it is believed Domingo enrolled in some college-level courses at a local college. It is believed that he did not graduate. There is a large gap in the information about Domingo from this point until late in the fall of 2018. From here, his younger brother James and a self-described ex-girlfriend of Domingo provided some insight to reporters. According to his sibling, Domingo converted to Islam in the fall of 2018 or in early 2019 and started to attend prayers at a local mosque which practiced Sufism—a form of Islamic mysticism. Until the time of his arrest, James believed his brother’s sudden focus on religion was a positive development that offered some guidance in his life. James did not elaborate on his choice of words, but one would be led to assume that this referred to some type of turmoil in Domingo’s personal life.

Domingo’s family situation, as described as James, further represents a source of stress. James stated that his brother lived with him, their aunt, and grandmother. The siblings parents do not appear to be in the picture as James stated that he was not sure if they knew of the arrest and charges.

The reported ex-girlfriend of Domingo stated that his conversion to Islam corresponded with her having a miscarriage, indicating that the child was conceived with Domingo. This unnamed female further stated that Domingo worked as a sales representative at a security company where he was unhappy. Additional family members stated in a letter addressed to the media that there was members of the family who were ill and needed their attention, requesting privacy in the wake of these allegations.

Law enforcement officials first became aware of Domingo and his extremist views via online chatrooms. While it was not made immediately clear what exactly Domingo expressed in this chatrooms, officials state that they began surveillance on him almost immediately. Undercover law enforcement officials began conversing with Domingo through various means and captured numerous incriminating statements. Domingo stated that he wanted to engage in “violent jihad against the United States”, listing numerous targets from Jewish religious establishments to police officers. Domingo additionally referenced the New Zealand Mosque shootings as a motivator to launch an attack. Interestingly, Domingo stated that he would pledge allegiance to the Islamic State, but only if the group established a presence in the United States.

Unbeknownst to Domingo, he began to plot his attack with undercover FBI agents. Eventually, one of these agents offered Domingo an inert explosive device which he accepted. Domingo potentially and briefly reconsidered launching an attack. In a series of messages with undercover agents, Domingo considered postponing the attack until he had finished the Quran, also stating that he desired to experience Ramadan. Domingo stated that he would sleep on it, but gave the go ahead for attack preparation to continue the next day. When asked what he wanted to accomplish with his attack, Domingo stated “Martyrdom, bro”. Currently, the facts available are insufficient to produce a full analysis of the radicalization process of Domingo. What is known about Domingo that may have indicated a vulnerability towards radicalization though?

It appears that Domingo had an unstable family situation, at least for some years. It is unclear whether his parents are the ones described as ill by family members, but they have not been living with Domingo for some time. After exhibiting what was described as a serious violent incident, Domingo was discharged from the military. In recent years, Domingo was dissatisfied with his employment, perhaps thinking he deserved a better job and feeling underappreciated. If the unnamed female who identified herself as Domingo’s ex-girlfriend is genuine, Domingo suffered two recent stressors – the miscarriage of a child and, by the designation of ex-girlfriend, a break up.

These accumulated incidents by no means justify Domingo’s actions or beliefs. They do, however, show a potential chipping away at the psyche of an individual who already exhibited violent tendencies. Time will tell further details as his the case moves through legal proceedings. Domingo is facing a maximum of 15-years in prison, thus, unfortunately, this may not be the last we hear of Mark Steven Domingo.

The Caliphate’s Returnees? From the Refugee Camps of Syria to bin Laden’s Grave

From 2003 to May 2011, I was a prominent Jihadi propagandist, the head of a New York City based organization that set the tone, template, and methodology for radicalization and online recruitment in the West.  It was the era of al-Qaeda, not ISIS. However, as the controversy continues over whether Hoda Muthana, the 24-year-old Yemeni-American who joined the so-called Islamic State and now sits in a refugee camp in North-Eastern Syria, should be returned to the United States, it seems to me that we ought to reflect on a bigger picture. We need to consider that in the Hoda Muthana situation, the true victor will be neither Donald Trump nor Abū Bakr al-Baghdadi; instead we should remember the ghost of Osama bin Laden, whose long-term strategy lives on.

Ms. Muthana was twenty years old in 2014, when she left her Alabama home and made her way to ISIS’ self-proclaimed caliphate.  As the terror group’s territorial control spread from Eastern Syria to Northern Iraq, a terrain the size of Britain, its propaganda became all the more powerful.  Osama bin Laden once claimed that “everyone follows the strong horse,” and at least two hundred and fifty Americans heeded ISIS’ call.

When she first arrived in Syria, Ms. Muthana tweeted a photo of her American passport. She wrote, “Bonfire soon; no need for this!” On Memorial Day in 2015, she called for attacks in New York City.  Now, like most who have survived the collapse of ISIS’ so-called caliphate, she claims that she is “deeply sorry” and wants to return. Yet, the Trump administration contends that her status as a citizen no longer applies.

Like other Western governments, it appears the Trump administration will attempt to deny the rights of those lingering in the refugee camps and prisons of northeastern Syria that should be afforded under international law.  Were I still a propagandist, such a circumstance would have given me fodder for weeks. Guantanamo Bay, Bagram, and Abu Ghraib were all cornerstones of our propaganda machine. ISIS targets Western civilians simply because they are non-Muslim, at least that is what an article in their English-language magazine suggested in 2015.  

I penned the lead article of the first English-language jihadi magazine in 2007. We were fighting the West, in part, because of the unequal application of the rule of law. This made it quite easy to claim that the ‘war on terror’ is actually a ‘war on Islam’. This narrative plants the seed that sprouted and went viral when Syria’s civil war became a front of bin Laden’s global insurgency.  As he described it, “the freedom and democracy that you call for is for yourself.”

The controversy surrounding Ms. Muthana’s return also highlights the danger of sustained height and domestic polarization, two prongs of bin Laden’s strategic plan.  In a 2004 speech directed at the American public, bin Laden explained, “All that we have to do is to send two mujahedeen to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al Qaeda, in order to make generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses without their achieving anything of note other than some benefits for their private corporations…” Does the weeklong controversy that a few women jihadis can stimulate not prove that this remains the case, that, while serious, the threat remains overblown?  The only difference is that it is no longer about waging war and wasting resources abroad, but about whether spending money to bring those that traveled abroad to join the terrorists may one day lead them to wage war on us at home. These are not indicators associated with success.

Also alarming is the polarizing nature of the debate.  The Trump Administration’s position largely has to do with a need to appeal to an anti-Islamic base. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, twenty-five percent of conservatives had unfavorable views of Muslims.  Today, most polling holds that rate at around sixty percent. Anti-Muslim sentiment serves a key-prong of the growing anti-establishment, right-wing sentiment that is sweeping throughout Western nations. In response, the mosqued American-Muslim community has allied with the Democratic Party.  Many left-leaning legislators have supported Ms. Muthana’s return. Nevertheless, around twenty-five percent of Democrats now hold unfavorable views of Muslims, more than conservatives on 9/11. A 2016 poll conducted by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom found that fifteen percent of Democrats thought Islam should be illegal.  All of this conjoins with bin Laden’s plan of inducing collapse from within.

For certain, bin Laden would not have supported ISIS.  Before he died, the godfather of global jihad had already distanced al-Qaeda from their Iraqi offshoots.  And by 2014, the so-called Islamic State was brandishing supporters of al-Qaeda as apostates. In turn, al-Qaeda ideologues warned ISIS that controlling territory would prove impossible.  They had already done so, unsuccessfully, in places like Somalia, Yemen, and Mali. They also warned against ISIS’ excessive zeal and wanton violence. Now, however, in the event that Ms. Muthana and others are not returned to their countries of origin, their expressions of regret will not prove a means of rejecting the notion of an Islamic State modeled on 7th Century norms.  Instead, they may serve as a means of rejuvenating al-Qaeda, proving their criticism of ISIS correct.  Already, pro-al-Qaeda Jihadi groups in Syria, numbering in the tens of thousands are running deradicalization camps for ISIS survivors and defectors.  These jihadists would be all too happy “liberate” women like Ms. Muthana, their children, and men from the refugee camps and prisons of northeastern Syria.  We might recall that ISIS itself was resurrected by way of a prison break at Camp Bucca in 2013.

These considerations are largely missing from the sensationalist debates.  In a similar scenario last week, a British woman, Shamina Begun, set off a jointed firestorm in the United Kingdom when she also asked for return from the same refugee camp.  In an interview, she defended her actions, but said she had not made propaganda, claiming, “I didn’t know what I was getting into when I left.” It is a common narrative. Last year, the story of a Canadian man, Abu Huzaifa, served as the focal points of a popular New York Times podcast produced by the intrepid reporter Rukmini Callimachi.  Hazaifa had returned to Canada after joining ISIS and admitted to carrying out executions in Syria.  Canada went into a frenzy when the government determined that they did not have enough evidence to charge him criminally.  To make matters worse, it seemed that he was not remorseful. Interviewing for that podcast, I described the three fundamental beliefs jihadi propagandists used in recruitment.  It was clear that Abu Huzaifa still held them, but I emphasized the need for patience. Deradicalization is a process, not an event. Often times, it is not unlike the ups and downs of recovery from addiction.  Soon thereafter the controversy subsided and most moved on to the next episode. Now, however, Abu Huzaifa is doing well and an intervention program has helped him turn things around. He is deradicalizing, denouncing some of the core beliefs of jihadism in general, and is re-identifying with the value of Western norms.  I remain hopeful that he will one day become a voice not unlike my own.

The world has changed a great deal since I was arrested outside a mosque in Casablanca in May of 2011.  Just days after the killing of Osama bin Laden, and weeks before my colleagues Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, both American citizens, were killed in a drone strike in Yemen.  Many then proclaimed the beginning of the end on the war of terror. Yet today, almost eight years later, the landscape looks like perpetual war. At home, America is torn into two black-and-white political camps.  Polarization abounds. Nearly eighteen-years after September 11, 2001, we’re waging a war on violent extremism, at home and abroad.

Internationally, we are losing the ability to project liberal values.  We have become an object of resentment, particularly in the Middle East.  Overwhelming numbers of Arab youth now prefer the stability of authoritarianism to democracy.  More Sunnis in Iraq support ISIS-style sharia law than the governance of the Iraqi state. This, of course, is music to the ears of Bashar Al-Assad, Syria, Iran, Russia and China.  A new era of great-power rivalry has returned. Bin Laden’s war of attrition and policy of “bleeding to bankruptcy” does not seem an impossible feat. In fact, Osama’s son Hamza, the godfather’s prince, looks poised to wage his father’s jihad far into the future.

Yet, it is not too late.  To snatch victory from the jaws of unrecognized defeat, it is time to recognize that it is no longer merely about who the Islamic terrorists are, but about who we are, as well.  It is time we stop letting terrorists take us away from the principles that built the liberal world order. To start this transition, we should bring Ms. Muthana, her child, and others like them home.

Jesse Morton is a former extremist and founder of the Parallel Network.

Returning Foreign Fighters: A Global Threat

As ISIS concedes its last remnants of territory, governments around the world must confront the return of foreign fighters from Iraq and Syria. These fighters present many issues as they now have combat experience, support networks, and knowledge that can be used to create devastation. To explore the threat that returning fighters pose to nations around the globe, this article will first discuss the fighters’ backgrounds, explaining why some countries will have a higher influx of fighters than others. Next, it will discuss what expertise these fighters bring. Finally, it will discuss the global implications of the fighters’ return.

Image source: The Soufan Center/Statista/Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

Many people around the world believe that the makeup of the Islamic State is predominantly males of Middle-Eastern nationality. This is not an unreasonable assumption, given that the primary theatre of group operations is in Syria and Iraq. However, its’ members nationalities are diverse. Since the group’s inception in 2013, ISIS has attracted those from every corner of the globe, from the United States to Russia. According to a study by the Soufan Center and the Global Strategy Network, thousands of fighters have already returned to Europe and other countries in the Middle East from the conflict in Syria and Iraq. Of the estimated number of foreign fighters that have joined ISIS, around 30 percent have returned to their home countries (EPRS, 2018). Collectively, over 1,000 trained ISIS fighters have returned to the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Belgium (Meko, 2018). 900 have returned to their native countries of Turkey, 400 to Russia, and 760 to Saudi Arabia (Meko, 2018). However, these numbers only include fighters that have been confirmed to have arrived- so the actual number of returned fighters is likely much higher.

Foreign women and children are also playing a noticeably larger role. According to a report from the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King’s College, approximately 41,490 foreign citizens became affiliated with ISIS from April of 2013 to June of 2018. Of this number, 13% were women, while 12% were minors. Women and minors accounted for approximately 23% of all British ISIS affiliates (Khomami, 2018). Like the men returning from conflict, each of these women and children may pose a major threat as well.

Fighters who have experience engaging in terrorist activities and operations in Syria, Iraq, and other countries in the Middle Eastern theater pose a serious threat for a number of reasons. First, through training and experience, they have mastered the use of weapons such as improvised explosive devices (IEDs), guns, vehicles, etc. They have learned an array of methods to inflict the maximum number of casualties possible. Second, these fighters will likely try to pass on their knowledge to others interested in committing acts of terrorism. Many areas throughout Europe have already become hotbeds of radicalization; for example, the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek has produced many Islamic extremists linked to terrorist incidents around the world, such as the 2015 Paris attacks. As hundreds (or possibly thousands) of foreign fighters return to Europe, they may target and train other radicalized individuals in places such as Molenbeek. There are many implications for European governments, who must take heed, prepare to apprehend these fighters, and prevent the spread of radicalization and training to at-risk populations.

Ultimately, the fall of ISIS in Syria will create an outpouring of foreign fighters. A proactive approach to apprehending these individuals is one of the best methods to prevent fighters from passing on their knowledge to others. Given the proximity of many countries in Europe to one another, it is easy for extremists to create international networks to facilitate attacks. By apprehending foreign fighters immediately upon their return, authorities can prevent them from galvanizing already-established networks in Europe- decreasing the likelihood of an effective, coordinated attack, and potentially saving hundreds or thousands of lives.