Updated: 08/29/2014 7:32 AM
Created: 08/28/2014 6:20 PM KSTP.com
By: Tim Sherno
The FBI is concerned about a new development in the connection between young men in Minnesota recruited to join terror organizations overseas. Within the past few days, the State Department confirmed the death of 33-year-old Douglas McCain.
McCain converted to Islam while he lived in Minnesota, and he was recently reportedly killed fighting for ISIS in Syria.
The Center for Strategic Counterterrorism, a branch of the U.S. State Department, tweeted a photo of another man with Minnesota connections, Abdirahmaan Muhumed, describing him as dying for ISIS in Syria.
Kyle Loven, Chief Division Counsel for the FBI in Minnesota, says the deaths reflect a troubling change in recruitment.
"It was exclusively from Minnesota to Somalia. Recently, the FBI Minneapolis has learned that not only are travelers looking at Somalia and other destination points, but they now began traveling to Syria," Loven said.
Loven says this new development is a concern and will be a priority for the FBI.
"The FBI has dedicated a lot of personnel, a lot of resources to look into this issue. And with this new dynamic, as it were, of young people traveling from Minnesota to Syria, we take this very seriously and we're going to go forward with all of our investigative efforts and resources that we can throw at the situation."
According to Loven, social media and videos are used as recruitment tools, and he urges community members to be mindful of the effort and protective of the vulnerable, such as "those who are disaffected, those were isolated, and those who are withdrawn from society."
"That doesn't necessarily exclusively extend to young men," he said. "It could pertain to young women as well."