Western leaders take on the homegrown terrorist

A member loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as ISIS, waves an...

A member loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as ISIS, waves an ISIL flag in Raqqa on June 29, 2014. (REUTERS/Stringer)

David Akin, National Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 7:23 PM ET

There was much to be horrified at in the gruesome way in which American journalist James Foley was executed by radical Islamic jihadists.

But for British Prime Minister David Cameron, there was one additional obscenity that demanded his immediate attention: In the barbaric video of Foley's death, one of the masked cowards involved speaks in a perfect British accent.

Could Foley's executioner have been one of Cameron's citizens?

That thought alone prompted Cameron to immediately cut short his holiday and convene a cabinet meeting to address the problem of an increasing number of young men -- many of whom grew up in everyday middle-class families and neighbourhoods -- running off to join Middle East jihadists who behead journalists and commit other atrocities.

And it's not just Cameron and the U.K. dealing with this.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Canada and most Western democracies are struggling with the same issue.

 

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