Tim Turner and the two teenagers he crossed paths with a decade and a half ago still haunt him to this day.
In the late 1990s, Turner started a basketball league for teens who lives around what was then Olivet Baptist Church in Crystal, Minn. Turner says his best friends, Douglas McCain and Troy Kastigar showed up every week to shoot hoops.
McCain, in particular, questioned his faith in Christianity, even though neither of them were especially religious.
"They were in the beginning process of trying to figure out what kind of men they were gong to be. Both of them seemed a cut above. I thought they were intelligent and they were looking for something. They were listening all the time," Turner recalled.
But both men would soon find religion and convert to Islam after high school, and they'd be recruited to fight for Muslim extremist overseas. Kastigar lost his life with Al Shabaab in Somalia in 2009, and McCain is one of 2 Minnesotans, along with Abdirahmaan Muhumed, killed fighting for ISIS in Syria last weekend.
"It's the same dynamic where we have kids joining gangs but radicalization preys on the same types of kids. But converting from Christianity to Islam isn't a factor," Bob Fletcher, executive director for the Center for Somalia History Studies.
Local community leaders say ISIS is recruiting thousands of young people form around the world who are isolated and disenfranchised with the promise of making a difference.
"For us to hear that its still happening is a smack in our face because it shows we have a lot of work ahead of us," Mohammed Farah, a spokesman for Ka Joog, an organization for Somali youth, said.
Turner says he tried to put McCain and Kastigar on the right path, but ultimately, it didn't' stop them from becoming martyrs from Minnesota.
"Angry, sure. Not at them, but the situation that brought them to this place," Turner said.