Skip to content

180 Americans have joined ISIS; Social media blamed

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/4/2015 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (

Terrorist group's command of 21st century social media unprecedented

Francis Taylor, the undersecretary of intelligence and analysis for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is impressed with the finesse that Islamic State has used with social media. "I've never seen a terrorist organization with a kind of public relations savvy as ISIL... I have been doing this for 45 years," he says.

Would-be terrorist Elton Simpson fired off a series of tweets, which is indicative of the broad use that the Islamic State and people acting in its name are making of social media.

Would-be terrorist Elton Simpson fired off a series of tweets, which is indicative of the broad use that the Islamic State and people acting in its name are making of social media.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (
6/4/2015 (4 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Elton Simpson, ISIS, ISIL, recruitment efforts

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Michael Steinbach, the assistant director in the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI, agrees. "ISIL has constructed a narrative that is appealing to people from many different walks of life," he says. "There is no set profile for the consumer of this propaganda."

"Its social media presence is more widespread than any other terrorist group," John Mulligan, the deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center adds.

The Islamic State has published more than 1,700 videos, pictures and magazines, Mulligan said. Steinbach said upward of 200,000 people see the group's propaganda on Twitter and other social media.

IN all, this translates to 22,000 foreign fighters who have joined the conflict in Syria, 3,700 of whom are from the West, Steinbach said. It's estimated that 10 percent of the recruits are women. Five years ago, the terror group exclusively recruited men.

To combat the Islamic State's media campaign, the Department of Homeland Security is emphasizing community engagement, with the idea that family members and neighbors may be able to halt radicalization.

"I think there's an opportunity for the community to engage, for schools to engage, before it gets to that point," Taylor said.

AS proof of this growing problem, the west needs not look further than when Elton Simpson drove from Phoenix to Garland, Texas, last month to gun down attendees at a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest.

Simpson fired off a series of tweets, which is indicative of the broad use that the Islamic State and people acting in its name are making of social media.

Simpson died before he could attack the cartoon contest, felled by a police officer's bullet.

The Islamic State's public relations shrewdness has drawn 180 Americans to join the group. It is also led to a number of "lone wolf" attacks throughout the world, including what police called a failed plot by Usaama Rahim to behead two law enforcement officers in Boston this week.

In an effort to curtail such recruitment, Steinbach called for social media companies to end encryption programs that make it difficult to tap into messages and other electronic communications.

He said the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act - which forces telephone companies and Internet service providers to let law enforcement agencies wiretap conversations and track Web traffic -should be expanded to require that social media and messaging companies comply with law enforcement requests for assistance.


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'

Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK


More Middle East

African news agency aims to tell stories from 'the grassroots' Watch

Image of

 At the launch event for a new African Catholic news agency Saturday, a Kenyan bishop urged journalists to focus their work on the ... continue reading

Iraqi church formerly defaced by ISIS rededicated on Assumption feast Watch

Image of

An Iraqi church damaged and defaced by the Islamic State in 2014 was rededicated Thursday for the parish's celebration of the Feast of the ... continue reading

Inter-religious leaders in Pakistan urge protections for religious minorities Watch

Image of

Catholic and other religious leaders signed a joint resolution Thursday encouraging the Pakistani government to adopt policies to protect ... continue reading

Amid extreme flooding in Pakistan, Catholic volunteers step up Watch

Image of

 A 52-year-old Caritas volunteer helped rescue more than two dozen families from a recent flood in Karachi, Pakistan. Karachi, ... continue reading

Iraqi archbishop reflects on Christian community five years after ISIS takeover Watch

Image of

Five years on from the conquering of Christian communities in Iraq by the so-called Islamic State, Christians in the country remain at the ... continue reading

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.