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FBI calls for Americans to identify ISIS fighters

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Zach McAuliffe is a University of Dayton alumni with degrees in journalism and English. He wants to present people with all the facts they need to make informed decisions on the world around them. He also enjoys Shakespeare and long walks on the beach with his puppy Lily.

While the intelligence community has been working on trying to identifying the infamous ‘Jihadi Joe’ from previous ISIS beheading videos, the FBI is now asking for the American public to help them identify any people who have traveled to the Middle East or are planing to travel there in order to fight for ISIS.

The call for the American people’s help and support started after the release of an ISIS propaganda video titled “Flames of War.”  The video features a fighter who speaks to the camera in Arabic, but then switches to fluent English.  While he talks to the camera, men behind him are  seen “digging their own graves in the very place they were stationed.”  Eventually, all of the people digging their graves are killed in the video.

What is significant about this video is the fighter’s ability to effortlessly switch from Arabic to English. CNN reports the English dialect of the ISIS fighter is a North American accent, and this prompted the FBI to ask for help identifying the fighter and any others who might want to fight for ISIS.

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Officials are saying the man on film could be a Middle Eastern man educated in the west, or they could be from North America and traveled to the area to aid ISIS.

One security analyst says this video was clearly meant for a western audience.  Frank Cillufo, the analyst from George Washington University, said, “Clearly ISIS had a calculated step to be able to put this guy on camera… Why? Because he seems American. The message is aimed at a Western audience.”

Michael Steinbach, the assistant director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, said on the FBI’s webpage, “We are hoping that someone might recognize this individual and provide us with key pieces of information… No piece of information is too small.”

Steinbach also said, “We need the public’s assistance in identifying U.S. persons going to fight overseas with terrorist groups or who are returning home from fighting overseas.”

As of now, top US security officials have estimated about 100 Americans have traveled to the Middle East in order to fight for ISIS.

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