(CBS) — The first person in the Chicago area accused of trying to join ISIS is Bolingbrook teenager Mohammed Hamzah khan now charged with supporting terrorism.
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports by all accounts, Mohammed Hamzah Khan led an ordinary suburban life. Until this year, he studied engineering science at Benedictine University. But the government alleges somewhere, something went wrong and the Bolingbrook teenager took active steps to get to Syria and join the terror group ISIS, also known as ISIL.READ MORE: Architect Helmut Jahn Killed In Bicycle Crash With Two Vehicles in Campton Hills
In every case there are some very specific reasons, motivations for people to do what they do” said Dr. Mohamed Kaiseruddin, the chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago.
Dr. Kaiseruddin stresses Khan is innocent until proven guilty. But terrorism experts agree, the reasons someone might move to join radical, religious groups are complicated.
“There’s a lot of unknowns here but this is a vulnerable young man, 19 years old, obviously alienated from his community feeling empowered by being able to get involved in this cause. This is a growing concern,” said Prof. Tom Mockaitis, a terrorism expert at DePaul University.READ MORE: Chicago Police Ask For Help Solving Hit-And-Run That Left 13-Year-Old Seriously Injured
The federal complaint states Khan told agents he met someone online who would hook him up with a third person who’d take him into Syria.
Professor Mockaitis says it is not easy for someone who wants to find ISIL connections.
“That is the thing to me that make me think there was probably a human agent,” Prof. Mockaitis said.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Rainy, Cold Mother's Day
As Professor Mockaitis points out, simply googling ISIS or ISIL or searching it on Facebook doesn’t get you to a recruitment page. But experts and federal agents say terrorism via social media is a real concern. And as we just showed you, agencies are on alert.