Patrick Skinner Quoted on PBS NewsHour: Conviction in First ISIS Trial in the U.S. Underscores Foreign Fighter Threat
March 14, 2016
By: Phil Hirschkorn
NEW YORK – On Jan. 10 of last year, Tairod Pugh, a U.S. Air Force veteran who spent two decades as an airplane mechanic, boarded EgyptAir Flight 737 with a one-way ticket from Cairo to Istanbul, Turkey.
Among the possessions he carried with him were two compasses, a solar-powered flashlight and a black face mask.
But Pugh never made it out of Ataturk Airport. Turkish security officials stopped Pugh and sent him back to Egypt, where he was deported to the United States. FBI agents apprehended him in New Jersey, making Pugh one of 61 people…
“The numbers of foreign fighters from North America and Europe have plateaued since late 2014,” said Soufan Group special projects director Patrick Skinner, a former CIA case officer.
“U.S. law enforcement has done an amazing job of detecting and then disrupting ISIS plots and travel,” Skinner said. “The upside of social media is these people radicalize in plain sight, and often brag about it before travel.”
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