Are Denver's would-be jihadist girls the tip of an ISIS-berg?

by Vanessa Garcia Rodriguez, |
Veiled women sit on a bench in the northern province of Raqqa March 31, 2014. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has imposed sweeping restrictions on personal freedoms. Among the restrictions, Women must wear the niqab, or full face veil, in public or face unspecified punishments "in accordance with sharia", or Islamic law. | REUTERS/Stringer

DENVER (Christian Examiner)—Three Denver area girls are home this week after an alleged attempt to join militant groups in Syria. Now authorities are scouring the teenagers' computers to determine how and why two Somali sisters, 15 and 17, and their 16 year-old Sudanese friend, fled overseas.

FBI agents likely are searching for the role of social media in influencing the teens.

In a similar investigation, Kyle Loven, division counsel for the FBI in Minneapolis told Fox News the internet has been an especially effective recruiting tool for terror groups.

"Americans are being recruited in a litany of ways," he said. "Social media is a big way."

It is thought Troy Kastigar, 28, a Minnesotan killed in 2009 fighting for a terror group, was heavily influenced by social media in his decision.

But about a hundred Americans have been lured by all means so far, according to Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) in a Sept.12 speech.

The three teens arrived home to their parents Monday.

German Interior Ministry spokeswoman Pamela Mueller-Niese told reporters Oct. 22 the three were detained by German police, with approval from a judge, and returned voluntarily to the U.S. on Sunday. They are believed to have been bound for Turkey and then Syria.

Cherry Creek School District spokeswoman Tustin Amole called the incident a "wakeup call" according to the Denver Post, Oct. 22.

"In most of these cases like this, it's not so much they want to fight with ISIS," Amole said. "They are promised they will have homes, be safe, have husbands and live within their religion."

The AP reported recruiting by terror groups has been an issue in Minneapolis since about 2007. About 22 young Somali-Americans have traveled to Somalia to join up with known terrorists. Until this time, however, all have been men.