ISIS in America

The Report

Released in December 2015, our report, ISIS in America: From Retweets to Raqqa, consists of two parts. The first examines all cases of United States persons arrested, indicted or convicted in the U.S. for Islamic State-related activities. A wide array of legal documents provides empirical evidence for identifying several demographic factors related to the arrested individuals. This section also looks at the cases of Americans who, while not in the legal system, are known to have engaged in IS-inspired behavior.

In the second part, we examine IS-related mobilization in America. The 71 individuals studied in our report defy any cookie-cutter profile of the “American IS supporter.” As such, we analyze the individual motivations of IS supporters; the role of the Internet, specifically social media, in the radicalization and recruitment process; whether radicalization took place in isolation or with other like-minded individuals; and the degree of their tangible links to IS.


GW Extremism Tracker: ISIS in America


March 2023 Snapshot


The number of individuals charged in the United States on offenses related to the Islamic State stands at 246. According to our latest analysis of the cases:

  • The average age of charged individuals was 28.
  • Arrests occurred in 34 states and the District of Columbia.
  • The average prison sentence was 13.3 years.
  • 39% were accused of traveling or attempting to travel abroad.
  • 28% were accused of plotting domestic terror attacks.
  • 57% were arrested in an operation involving an informant and/or an undercover agent.
  • 203 individuals have pleaded or were found guilty.


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