Articles by Western media will note the numbers of "British citizens" or "Canadian citizens" etc. who have left for Syria. These articles often subsequently describe these people as "Westerners." It is a serious confusion of terminology, however, to conflate "citizens" of Western countries with "Westerners." The vast majority of these so-called "Westerners" are Muslims who have immigrated to Europe or North America in pursuit of economic advancement. They may even have become citizens. But many have never assimilated to a meaningful degree into Western liberal, secular culture and its moral relativity. Now they return to the Syria to fight under the illusion of moral and religious certitude represented by ISIS.
The two most egregious articles are here and here. In the first, a so-called "Glasgow girl" from Scotland left her friends and family for Syria. Readers of this headline were no doubt bewildered unless they read beyond the sensationalist headline to learn her name is Aqsa Mahmood and her family immigrated to Scotland from the world's largest insane asylum commonly known as Pakistan. In the second, a couple of Austrian girls named Samra Kesinovic and Sabina Selimovic left for Syria. Though described as Austrian, they immigrated to Austria from Iraq.
Samra and Sabina--which is which? It does not matter.
If their experience is like that of other "Western" ISIS fighters,
they will be dead and forgotten in a matter of weeks.
Thousands of Muslim immigrants have immigrated to Europe and North America over the last couple of decades and many of them refuse to assimilate into a Western culture dramatically different from that from which they came. We see this manifested everyday on internet news sites when Muslim immigrants demand the same Sharia law and religious practices that have made their homelands such a cultural backwater. How could anyone but a journalist be surprised that hundreds return home to fight for the ISIS illusion?