Sunday, October 5, 2014

Authorities disturbed at how social media is used by overseas radical Islam to inspire crude homeland attacks as well as recruit fighters


Various news sites of a tabloid or conservative nature have been reporting on ISIS forums that encourage “lone wolves” to target popular meccas in the US like NYC and Las Vegas, and have tended to emphasize simple, crude weapons made with everyday materials, such as made for the Boston Marathon attack.  A typical such site is “vocative”, link here

The material in the forums has been widely known for decades and used to be widely printed before the Internet.  What’s alarming to authorities is the way social media is being used to interest susceptible young men in conducting crude, unpredictable attacks. 

Of course, material on who to make nuclear weapons is also on the Web, but would be much harder for an ad hoc group to pull off.  High-tech attacks (and cybeattacks) presumably would be much more likely to be detected by intelligence and law enforcement and therefore more preventable. 
  
The possibility of “asymmetric” attacks by well-motivated extremists really did exist during the Cold War, even the Vietnam era.  I was aware of some of this when I was in the Army mself.  Most of the attention in earlier decades was turned on radical groups like the Weathermen or extremely criminal groups like Manson. But the motivation among extreme radicals from the far Left in the 1970s especially was probably much more “personal” than it is with radical Islam today.  

Update: Oct. 6

CNN has a chilling story of a female school teacher who joined the women's ISIS brigade, and then regretted it, link

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