A bit buried in the Metro section of the Sunday Washington Post is a piece relevant to our discussions since Thursday. It profiles a Northern Virginian arrested this week by the FBI. No life can be reduced to a thousand words, but given the profile, is there a way that Zac — and people like Zac — could be diverted from violent extremism before the FBI needs to get involved?
Terror suspect took his desire to belong to the extreme: Converted to Islam in high school
By Tara Bahrampour
Long before 20-year-old Zachary Adam Chesser embraced the cause of jihad, he was passionate about the heavy metal music of Marilyn Manson, the anime culture of Japan and the kinetic energy of American break dancing.
Chesser spent his years at Oakton High School trying out a variety of identities, friends said, before transforming himself into the bearded, robed young man who was arrested by the FBI last week for allegedly trying to join an al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group in Somalia.