Members of an American-backed militia apprehended a former Texas school teacher in Syria Sunday after he allegedly contacted the Islamic State group, asking to fight for the extremists.
Warren Christopher Clark, 34, was caught after he allegedly sent a résumé and cover letter to the Islamic State group seeking to teach young students about the group’s violent ideology, The New York Times reported.
“Dear Director, I am looking to get a position teaching English to students in the Islamic State,” Clark allegedly wrote in the letter, according to documents recovered by American forces.
Clark is believed to have fought for the group since June 2015, according to The Times. Prior to pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group, Clark taught English in Saudi Arabia and Turkey, documents revealed.
Clark previously substitute-taught at Fort Bend Independent School District in Sugar Land.
Roughly 250 Americans have traveled to Syria or Iraq to join the Islamic State group since fall 2015, according to a December 2015 report from George Washington University’s Program on Extremism.
U.S. authorities have charged 71 Americans with Islamic State group-related activities since March 2014, according to the report.
Hundreds of its members have also defected from the extremist group after realizing that the nature of the organization and its activities are not what they believed upon joining, The Guardian reported. Many have fled to Turkey from Syria in an effort to save themselves and their families, according to The Guardian.
Clark’s father, Warren Clark, rejects the allegations that his son is working for the radical Islamists.
“My son would not be involved in anything along those lines,” he said, according to The Times. “My son doesn’t have an evil thought in his mind about hurting anyone.”
A second man, Zaid Abed al-Hamid, was apprehended concurrently with Clark, according to Syrian Democratic Forces.
Both men were seized during an operation in northern Syria, according to SDF.
U.S. authorities believe Al-Hamid is a native of Trinidad and has been an active Islamic extremist since 2011, The Times reported.
Up to 30,000 Islamic State group militants remain active throughout Iraq and Syria, according to a summer 2018 Pentagon assessment.
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