Saturday, July 9, 2016

FBI: Countering Terrorist Propaganda In Today’s Digital Era

The FBI released the testimony of Michael Steinbach, the FBI's Executive Assistant Director, National Security Branch, before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations on July 6, 2016.

Good afternoon Chairman Portman, Ranking Member McCaskill, and members of the subcommittee. Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the widespread reach of terrorists’ influence, which transcends geographic boundaries like never before. As technology advances so, too, does terrorists’ use of technology to communicate—both to inspire and recruit. Their widespread use of technology propagates the persistent terrorist message to attack U.S. interests whether in the Homeland or abroad. As these threats to Western interests evolves, we must adapt and confront the challenges, relying heavily on the strength of our federal, state, local, and international partnerships.
Preventing terrorist attacks remains the FBI’s top priority. The terrorist threat against the United States remains persistent and acute. The threats posed by foreign fighters, including those recruited from the U.S., traveling to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and from homegrown violent extremists are extremely dynamic.
ISIL has proven relentless in its violent campaign to rule and has aggressively promoted its hateful message, attracting like-minded extremists, including among Westerners. To an even greater degree than al Qaeda or other foreign terrorist organizations, ISIL has persistently used the Internet to communicate and spread its message. From a Homeland perspective, it is ISIL’s widespread reach through the Internet and particularly social media which is most concerning as ISIL has aggressively employed this technology for its nefarious strategy. ISIL blends traditional media platforms, glossy photos, in-depth articles, and social media campaigns that can go viral in a matter of seconds. No matter the format, the message of radicalization spreads faster than we imagined just a few years ago.
Unlike other groups, ISIL has constructed a narrative that touches on all facets of life—from career opportunities to family life to a sense of community. The message is not tailored solely to those who are overtly expressing symptoms of radicalization. It is seen by many who click through the Internet every day, receive social media push notifications, and participate in social networks.
You can read the rest of the testimony via the below link: 

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