FBI: ISIS Recruiting Youth in North Texas over Internet
There is “no doubt” ISIS is recruiting youth in North Texas, by targeting them over the internet, said Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas FBI, Tom Class. He added that Islamic State terrorists in Iraq and Syria alter their tactics to make it harder for federal agents to track them online.
Class, who took over the helm of the Dallas FBI this Spring, told KXAS 5 (NBC) he sees ISIS recruiting aggressively, using social media to reach young people in North Texas. He said that often starts out in the open on popular sites including Facebook and Twitter, but then ISIS recruiters move the conversations to encrypted websites or “go dark” on the internet to places called the “dark web” where technology and U.S. privacy laws limit what agents can do. It makes it harder for the FBI to track.
“It’s the most significant threat to the country, the most significant threat to our national security and it’s the FBI’s top priority,” said Class in comments made to the Dallas NBC affiliate weeks before the ISIS terrorist attack in Paris that left at least 129 dead on November 13. “We have active investigations, counter-terrorism investigations every day.”
Class previously served as Section Chief of the High Value Detainee Interrogation Group in the national Security Branch at FBI Headquarters, which interrogates high level terror suspects. He worries about staying ahead of the “dark web” threat. In September, he told the Dallas Morning News, the terrorists reach out to “disenchanted” young people in North Texas to launch terror attacks, adding that fighting these “homegrown violent terrorists” is one of his biggest challenges that keeps him “up at night.”