DENVER — Three teens became radicalized online and chatted with an ISIS recruiter for a year before their attempted flight to Syria earlier this month, according to an analysis by terror experts.
The two Somali sisters and a Sudanese friend took their passports and $2,000 on Oct. 17 and flew from Denver to Frankfurt before the authorities caught up with them and sent them back home to their frightened parents.
Two weeks later, some of their classmates and fellow Somalis remain stunned by the drama that has brought an uncomfortable light on the small immigrant community. "I was shocked and scared at the same time," 14-year-old Nimo Yousuf, who attends the same high school as the three girls, told NBC News. "I didn’t know what happened to them. I thought they were lost from home."
Her brother Liban, a senior at the same high school, was also startled. "You see stuff like this on the news and you go 'Ah, that’s in another place' and you’re shocked because it’s where I live."