Within the last several months, the world has seen the emergence of a new phenomenon in global terrorism: Western teens voluntarily leaving their homes to join Islamic extremist militants waging war in Syria. This recent trend has been fueled in large part by the use of social media by the extremist groups. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or "ISIS" (also sometimes known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ["ISIL"], or simply the Islamic State ["IS"]), has been at the forefront, leading one of the most sophisticated social media propaganda wars ever seen. Their approach is two-pronged, first vastly distributing their messages and images over numerous accounts to increase awareness, and then recruiting interested individuals via direct messages to lure them to Syria. Although not all have been teenagers, as of September 2014, the CIA estimated that approximately 2,000 Westerners had gone to Syria to join forces with ISIS. By April 2015, the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism - The Hague estimated that number had grown to 4,000.
Markisen, Eric M. 2016. "Juvenile Law and Jihad: Exploring Anti-Terror Legislation and Calling for Mandatory Juvenile Treatement of Radicalized Teens Joining ISIS in Syria." Wisconsin International Law Journal 34 (July). https://litigation-essentials.lexisnexis.com/webcd/app?action=DocumentDisplay&crawlid=1&doctype=cite&docid=34+Wis.+Int%27l+L.J.+182&srctype=smi&srcid=3B15&key=20878652adf0621f4b9ffcb04e45daef