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Why 3 smart and popular girls from London left to join ISIS

By WITW Staff on August 18, 2015

The New York Times looked into the reasons why the “Bethnal Green girls” — as they are known — three popular, smart and talented young Muslim girls from London decided to leave their homes to join ISIS earlier this year, a story that made global headlines. The article ascribes their dark turn to an act of teenage rebellion, in a world where the “counterculture is conservative” and radical religiosity fills a void for young, smart teenagers looking for answers. ISIS has become adept at recruiting girls like them specifically, using social media to reach Western girls with their propaganda and tailoring “its siren calls to their vulnerabilities, frustrations and dreams, and filling a void the West has so far failed to address.” The article details how diligently the three prepared their escape, and how everyone in their direct environment failed to spot the signs of radicalization. From the little contact they’ve had with people at home since moving to Syria in February, it is known that all three girls have been married, are living with their husbands and seem to have little regrets about their decisions.

Read the full story at The New York Times.