Many of today's terrorists are 'American kids'
Thursday - 3/22/2012, 10:33am ET
J.J. Green, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - In 2006, Zachary Adam Chesser was a normal kid growing up in Fairfax County, Va. He was on the football and rowing teams and a member of the breakdancing club at Oakton High School.
But in February of 2011, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison. His crime was attempting to provide material support to al-Shabab, a designated foreign terrorist organization.
He had transitioned from a friendly, intelligent, polite young man into a terrorist sympathizer, joining a growing breed of terrorist.
"The 9/11 attacks involved 19 hijackers from Middle Eastern countries who showed up into the U.S. and launched a devastating and murderous attack that killed 3,000 people," says Neil MacBride, U.S Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
But in the decade since the attacks took place a new, unsettling phenomenon has sprouted.
"The terrorists that we're prosecuting today in many instances are American kids who grew up in suburban high schools, and you can still see them on the pages of the drama club or the skateboard club," MacBride says.