AIFD applauds the swift arrest of Shannon Conley, 19, who was stopped in an apparent attempt to join ISIS in Syria. Conley is said to have met an extremist online, and became radicalized. It is reported that she had a specific desire to help in the targeting of American citizens and our armed forces. A young convert to Islam, she was brainwashed into believing that it was her duty to aid in jihadist efforts against the West.
Shannon Conley’s case speaks to what we at AIFD have been saying for years: our Muslim community must be more vigilant in addressing radicalization in our community well before an individual has boarded a plane with the intent to help terrorists.
Conley is yet another in a growing list of Americans radicalized by jihadist internet traffic out of Syria. As we have said before, the Syrian conflict threatens the United States whether we take sides or not. The Assad regime, with the full support of Iran, has slaughtered nearly 200,000 Syrians and is stoking the flames of jihad in order to justify an even more terminal solution. The conveyor belt of radicalization into and out of Syria has only just started to rear its head on our homeland. It’s time to go beyond a whack a mole program in our absent Syria and regional conflict policy. In the case of Syria, we can only defeat the jihadists by helping to defeat the Assad regime.