UK authorities are becoming increasingly concerned over the growing influence of ISIS and other jihadist groups. According to the New York Times, more British Muslims have joined ISIS in Syria than have joined the UK's armed forces.
Experts have given a number of different reasons for Islamism's popularity among youths. Many point to a combination of factors involving both British society and the foreign pull.
Most of the British jihadists are the children of immigrants. Their parents came to Europe in order to find a more comfortable and successful lifestyle, and still often look positively on Europe in comparison to memories of their home countries.
However, their children grow up only knowing life in the West. They tend to feel alienated from the traditional British culture and lifestyle. As a result they see themselves as Muslims first, and secondly as British citizens.
At the same time, ISIS has been carrying out an aggressive marketing campaigns aimed at younger audiences. The group advertises itself as a pure Muslim theocracy, while portraying the West as corrupt and hypocritical.
Raffaello Pantucci, the director of international security studies at the Royal United Services Institute, sums up the group's appeal as providing a sense of belonging that many British Muslims feel they lack: "If you’re scrambling for your identity, ISIS is the bright flame to follow."