How were the teens radicalized? Multiple signs seem to point to social media.
In addition to following online jihadists from around the world, the teens followed the Twitter account “Jihadi News,” which is the same account followed by Martin Rouleau. Rouleau, 25, drove his car into two Canadian soldiers in Quebec last month, killing one, and then committed suicide. They also followed the account “Women of Islam,” which encourages women to make sacrifices for the sake of jihad, and they followed an account under the name “Sara,” where YouTube jihadi lectures would be constantly tweeted.
“The process they underwent– from use of social media, radicalization, recruitment online, even through the actual travel route to join the Islamic State — all follow the exact same pattern shared by several hundred Westerners,” wrote Katz, who has called the girls’ attempted trip a “case study.”