48 INVESTIGATES 'Homegrown terror' - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

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48 INVESTIGATES 'Homegrown terror'

Muhammad Youseef Abdulazeez (Source: Chattanooga Police Department) Muhammad Youseef Abdulazeez (Source: Chattanooga Police Department)
(WAFF) -

We now know Muhammad Youseef Abdulazeez researched martyrdom on the internet before his attack in Chattanooga on July 16.

The murders of 5 service members who were all targeted by this naturalized U.S. citizen have us all asking how can you prevent homegrown terror?

The Chattanooga, Tennessee community is still in shock and disbelief after authorities say Abdulazeez shot and killed four Marines and one sailor last week. 

A makeshift memorial continues growing near one of the military sites where the victims were shot. 

MORE: Tributes grow at Chattanooga memorial site

"My five flags are for the five men who gave their lives in Chattanooga," said Marge Kinser, a neighbor paying respect to the memorial. "You know, it doesn't bother you as much when you know its going to happen in other countries. But it happened here, in our little town."

F.B.I. spokesperson, Paul Daymond said what happened in Chattanooga can happen anywhere. 

 "Where there is an access to twitter, social media, ISIS is there," said Daymond. 

Daymond said he can't discuss the Chattanooga case because it's an active investigation but warns "Homegrown Violence Extremism" is a real threat everywhere, everyday.

"Someone who maybe on their own, self radicalized so they read the material, read the propaganda, the poison that ISIS put out and decide on their own to take action," said Daymond. 

Daymond says terror groups will accept anyone who will join and fight in their name. He says groups like ISIS are focused on recruiting young U.S. women which appears to be the case for a 20-year-old Hoover, Alabama woman who joined ISIS months ago.

Her family is still too shaken to talk. They have asked the Council on American-Islamic Relations of CAIR to speak on their behalf. 

"I mean the loss of their daughter was very, very tragic," said Hassan Shibly, CAIR's Florida Chapter President. 

Shibly said CAIR is helping to prevent homegrown terrorism.

"They're not getting it from the mosque," said Shibly. "Tthe mosques are actually a solution against this problem. The American leadership, the American-Muslim leadership has been very strong and very vocal condemning any and all terrorist organization including ISIS."

Investigators say the Chattanooga shooter opposed the U.S. War on Terror and held anti American sentiments. 

He also suffered from depression, felt alone, and abused drugs. Shibly says these are all common connections his organization has seen many times before.

MORE: Chattanooga shooter was possibly troubled

"In every single case the kids have felt disenfranchised, maybe they went through some bullying, and they were seeking a sense of belonging," said Shibly. "They were seeking an escape from their life here, trying to find something new and they were brain washed by the organizations."

The F.B.I. stresses anyone can get access to the teachings of extreme Islam online and there are always clues in someone's behavior who may have decided to join ISIS. 

"They're looking to get a passport when the family isn't going anywhere for vacation that would require a passport but they're really interested in getting that," said Daymond. "Or they're really interested in travel or maybe they show a particular interest in weapons or explosives." 

Even though it may seem paranoid, the F.B.I. urges everyone who suspects anyone of being a potentially violent extremist to report them immediately. 

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