In mid-October, three Denver teens skipped school and boarded a plane in an attempt to join the extremist terrorist group ISIS. This could have been avoided if only students were more informed.
The teens who tried to join, two sisters of Somali descent and their friend of Sudanese descent, skipped class at a Denver area school, and planned to make their way to Turkey, by way of Germany. There was no indication, no warning, of their plans.
The father of one of the girls, Assad Ibrahim, received a strange phone call from his daughter’s school, letting him know that she had skipped school. He immediately called his daughter, who kept him off her tracks saying that she had just been late to a class. Naturally, he didn’t think anything of it.
The father of the other two girls, Ali Farah, received a visit from somebody, believed to be Ibrahim, asking if his daughter’s passports were missing. They were, and so were $2000 in cash.
Immediately the FBI was contacted with a warning that they may be headed to Turkey. German officials were able to intercept them, and the teens, ages 15, 16, and 17, were quickly questioned by FBI agents.
Upon further investigation, it was found that the teens had been in contact with high ranking members of the terror organization. The girls were released and have not yet been charged.
ISIS as a whole is unexpectedly attractive to young people from the West. It appears as if teens look towards the organization for a sense of identity.
MAST students understand how this unfortunate event came about. In fact, the Junior Statesman of America (JSA) club has participated in multiple debates regarding the issue.
“Some easily impressionable youth are fascinated with the false rhetoric of ISIS leaders,” President of JSA, senior Edgar Carrero said.
The leaders of ISIS however use their rhetoric to continue their bloodthirsty campaign against the West, and teens seem to be easily misled. The issue is that they are succeeding in this mission. Intelligence reports reveal that approximately 100 of ISIS’s foreign fighters come from the United States.
ISIS as a whole poses a large threat to our country. Never before has a terrorist organization had this magnitude of influence and financial capability. The U.S needs to take further and more serious action to halt this threat. However, we, as high school students have a responsibility in this matter.
The issue here, especially in the extreme circumstance of the three teens, is that we are not informed, and unfortunately, most teens make little to no effort to become informed.
“Students can help by being informed and by joining the voices which ask the international community, not just the United States, to take a tough stance on ISIS” Carrero said.
However, our responsibility to remain informed extends further than the ISIS situation.
“We can start by being more informed about this situation, so that when the time comes that we can vote, we can vote people into Congress that will make smarter foreign policies,” JROTC Chief Petty Officer, junior Lucas Pizzutti said.
It is our job, the younger generations’ job, to educate ourselves by reading the newspaper, watching the news or even downloading a CNN app and scrolling through it occasionally. No matter how you keep yourself educated, it will be sure to pay off for our society in the long run.
Being informed has never hurt anyone, and in the situation of these three girls, it certainly would have helped.