Social Media And Islamic Extremism

Islamic extremism is still a very real threat to the western world. The recent surge of activity from the group known as the Islamic State, more commonly referred to as ISIS or ISIL, is cause for concern. This group has taken an ancient cause and added some modern tactics, particularly when it comes to marketing themselves. Their recruitment efforts, for both active participants and sympathizers, is unlike many of the previous adversaries the US has faced in the region. Through some western converts to their cause, the Islamic State has taken to avenues and tools used by youth around the world in an effort to bring in those with the most fertile minds for extreme causes. Young Americans have always prided themselves on education and free thinking. This has recently served as a double edged sword, with ISIS has capitalized on that free thinking mentality. One of the methods for doing this has been an extensive social media campaign. What better way to connect with their target market? But they have used these platforms for another campaign as well-a call to arms. The US Army has recently sent out a warning to its Soldiers, asking them to be careful about what they put on different social media sites. The website of the organization, believed to be headed up by a Boston educated man, has put out the call to sleeper cells and sympathizers to track down service members via their online profiles, and use some simple searching techniques to find their address, show up to their homes, and kill them. Veteran or civilian, this should be a wakeup call to everyone on the internet. Be careful what you post.