ISIS recruiting high school students in U.S., particularly in Phoenix, FBI warns

ISIS fighters parade at the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, near the border with Turkey.Reuters

Many of us think that the jihadist organisation Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) only operate in the Middle East, recruiting new members and plotting terror attacks in Arab countries.

An anonymous source, however, recently told Fox News that the extremist group has launched recruitment activities in the United States, particularly in Phoenix, Arizona.

According to Fox News' source, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has already briefed Phoenix police two weeks ago about ongoing ISIS recruitment in their area.

Authorities in Phoenix were particularly warned about the ISIS' efforts to get "high-school age students" within its ranks.

"ISIS was recruiting high-school age students and the bureau wanted us to know what to look for," the insider source told Fox News, but requested not to be named since he is not authorised to speak for the department.

As a result, police personnel in the capital city of the state of Arizona have stepped up security efforts. For instance, Fox News reported that three nationals from Saudi Arabia were detained last Saturday for supposedly trying to evade a highway checkpoint.

The Saudi nationals were reportedly apprehended near an area considered to be one of the hottest smuggling routes in the U.S., and where five Pakistani nationals and one Afghani were also earlier arrested for allegedly attempting to enter America illegally.

Eventually, authorities found out that the Saudi nationals entered the U.S. with student visas to study at the University of Arizona.

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, nevertheless said his agency is not taking chances about potential terrorists, especially with the recent terror attacks in Paris.

"When it comes to terrorism there are no coincidences, and that fact that three Saudi Arabians were detained in the same area ... days before Pakistanis and Afghans were arrested in the same area isn't coincidence," Judd said.