Today, the George Washington University Center for Cyber and Homeland Security released a report entitled ISIS in America: From Retweets to Raqqa which provides an incredibly detailed analysis of the ISIS threat within our borders. From the way that they use social media to recruit and indoctrinate new converts to they way that the newly converted begin to operate within our borders and beyond, it is definitely a worthwhile read for anyone concerned with the growing threat of radical Islam.
- Excerpted from the report...'U.S. officials have repeatedly highlighted how ISIS uses social media to reach a significantly wider audience much faster than any group in the past. “ISIL blends traditional media platforms, glossy photos, in-depth articles, and social media campaigns that can go viral in a matter of seconds,” argued FBI Director Comey in a July 2015 testimony before the U.S. Senate. “No matter the format, the message of radicalization spreads faster than we imagined just a few years ago.” He continued, “Social media has allowed groups, such as ISIL, to use the Internet to spot and assess potential recruits. With the widespread horizontal distribution of social media, terrorists can identify vulnerable individuals of all ages in the United States—spot, assess, recruit, and radicalize—either to travel or to conduct a homeland attack. The foreign terrorist now has direct access into the United States like never before.”'
Here are some examples from identified Twitter accounts. While Twitter continues to play whack-a-mole with accounts, new ones quickly pop up when others have been disabled.
Alberto Fernandez: ISIS produced almost 1800 videos in the last year, 14523 graphics, 50 songs, worked in 9 languages. #ISISinAmerica
— GW Cyber & Homeland (@gwcchs) December 1, 2015
Despite increased awareness and pressure internationally, ISIS has continued to find success in recruiting within American borders. This infographic details the more than 70 ISIS-related arrests that have occurred in the US, 56 of them in the last year alone. This is the highest number since 2001. In a final infographic, the Center describes some specific cases of ISIS cell formation that has occurred among US citizens, demonstrating the difficulty in easily assigning risk of danger based upon citizenship or nationality.
Time to review those prep plans and kick it into high gear? Yeah, probably. What do you think?
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