BROWNSBURG, Ind.- New details are emerging as to what may have motivated 18-year-old Akram Musleh to allegedly try to join ISIS.
Musleh was arrested Tuesday by FBI agents as he tried to board a bus. What specifically motivated him to allegedly try to join ISIS may never be known, but experts say often when people try to join terrorist organizations, they are looking for a sense of community or purpose.
“If you’re part of a group and you’ve been marginalized finding a group that supports you, even if the behaviors are not what we’d want youth to be involved in, becomes a part of their developmental tasks,” said Dr. Anita Thomas, Dean of School of Psychological Sciences at University of Indianapolis.
"I really do think it’s tied to identity issues," said Dr. Thomas, "particularly when you think about ethnic minorities, and individuals from Arab countries being raised here in the United States, there's not a lot of assimilation opportunities to join groups, and I think for youth that feel isolated or disconnected, feels tied to that push to join ISIS.”
The Islamic Society of North America says while the number of people who radicalize is extremely small, steps are taken to make sure Muslim youth don't head down the wrong path.
“They are counseled if they’re having issues with radicalization or depression or family issues or whatever the case may be," said Hazem Bata of the Islamic Society of North America, "we train them in leadership and civic service. We provide spiritual upliftment and give them a sense of purpose.”
Bata also says they focus on using summer camps and conferences to reach the young people of their religion.