ISIS has stunned the world with its brutality and rapid advance in recent months—and the publicity has also attracted more foreign fighters, including around a dozen Americans that US intelligence services have been able to identify, officials say. The recruits—who seem to be getting younger—see the militants as "the true jihad" because they have seized territory and are trying to establish an Islamic state, a senior official tells the New York Times: "They're saying: 'Look at what we are doing, what we're accomplishing. We're the new face. We're not just talking about it. We're doing it.'"
Officials say more than 100 Americans have fought with assorted groups in Syria in the last three years and they have been identified through intelligence, including social media postings—but authorities often don't become aware of their presence until well after they've arrived in the country. That was the case with Douglas McCain, a former Minneapolis-area resident who died over the weekend while fighting for ISIS. A second American from the area has now been identified as having died in the same battle, according to KMSP. Abdirahmaan Muhumed was a father of nine who went to high school in Minneapolis, according to an MPR report from June on local Somali-Americans who have joined the Syria conflict. (Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan, who is on military death row, has written to ISIS asking to become a citizen.)