It's been a year since ISIS has become a household name in America, using brutality and savvy online propaganda to lure people to its ranks. U.S. prosecutions of would-be recruits have exploded. At least 25 people have been detained since January.
Christianne Boudreau's son Damian Clairmont became an ISIS militant. He was killed last year fighting for ISIS near Aleppo, Syria.
Boudreau talked to WGN Morning News about how ISIS recruiters found her son's vulnerability and took advantage of it to get him to join them.
"My son was extremely intelligent growing up as a teenager and he had difficulties connecting with his peers," Bourdreau said. "He could see things in the world, understand politics, understand things most kids his age didn't understand, but emotionally, that maturity wasn't there and so that left a gap of loneliness and trying to find a sense of belonging."
It was ultimately her son's passion to help women and children that ISIS used to lure Damian to come help them. According to Bourdreau, they told Damian that women and children were being tortured and killed and that he could help save them.
Boudreau said her son went to Egypt to study linguistics because he wanted to become an Imam, but it wasn't until Secret Service agents came to her home that Boudreau found out what was really going on.
"After we were told by the Secret Service, I spent most of my days after that researching everything online, looking everything up, looking at videos, trying to understand what this movement was," she said.
Boudreau found out about her son's death from a journalist who called her after discovering a tweet with Damian's eulogy.
Now, Boudreau is warning other parents about how the terror group recruits.
"The biggest thing that needs to be done is that we need to watch for that change in behavior. And if we feel something in our gut, that something isn't quite right, we need to reach out to others," she said.
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