Todenhoefer told CNN the enthusiasm the ISIS militants showed was one thing that stood out.
“When we stayed at their recruitment house, there were 50 new fighters who came every day,” Todenhoefer said. “And I just could not believe the glow in their eyes. They felt like they were coming to a promised land, like they were fighting for the right thing.
“These are not stupid people. One of the people we met had just finished his law degree, he had great job offers, but he turned them down to go and fight … We met fighters from Europe and the United States. One of them was from New Jersey. Can you imagine a man from New Jersey traveling to fight for the Islamic State?”