A paper by Bruce Curley, Member of Board of Directors, American Civil Defense Association, USA

ISIS has proven very adept at using social media tools to win power, influence, recruits and strategic advantage over their opponents. So far, they’ve mostly portrayed their strategic, battle field, psychological and opponent success after they achieve it.

My presentation, in contrast, will examine how they could use social media as a significant force multiplier if they coordinate their assault with their social media skills to cause panic, chaos, death and destruction in the United States. I will highlight how easily ISIS can create widespread panic through the use of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and other social media as a force multiplier if they use these tools in tandem with an actual physical assault within the United States. They’ve already proven themselves to be very adept at using their social media tools to recruit and train candidates from dozens of nations. They’ve uploaded their combat and recruitment films to Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Their assault on Syria and Iraq was probably the first combat operation that was carried live on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social media.

Let’s assume that for a year or two they accumulate weapons and explosives inside the U.S. If they preposition operatives and supplies in just 300 (or 100 or even 50) U.S. neighborhoods, they have a rather formidable force. Then, they pick a day for a coordinated attack and hit hard. But knowing how powerful social media can be as a force multiplier, they not only stock piled arms and explosives. They also set up hundreds of accounts on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and other social media, and preprogrammed smart phones to spread their message rapidly…all as a force multiplier. With a social media terrorist journalist assigned to each strike force, they could quickly disseminate their message. A violent, coordinated, well executed attack on a large number of American neighborhoods accompanied by a professional social media campaign, in addition to causing a large loss of life and significant damage to property, could accomplish the penultimate goal of every terrorist organization: panic.

And they have mastered this ability already. One Tweeter named Mahdi under the name “Shami Witness,” an executive from Bangalore, India: “…spent his mornings, afternoons and evenings sending thousands of tweets of propaganda about the Islamic State militant group, acting as the leading conduit of information between Jihadi’s, supporters, and recruits. His tweets…were seen two million times each month, making him perhaps the most influential Islamic State Twitter account, with over 17,700 followers.”

And how do we roll back these live terrorist tweets? Well, the Islamic terrorist strike in Sydney, Australia at a Lindt café and chocolate store at the height of the Christmas shopping in the heart of the financial district. The terrorists had some hostages call news outlets and try to get on the air. Again, why? I argue they know by now very how powerful a force multiplier can be and they deliberately used it. We can shut down ISIS social media tools BEFORE their use of them results in large numbers of death, panic, mayhem and destruction. The consequences of waiting until AFTER this ISIS social media force multiplier is used on a larger scale are catastrophic. We can connect the dots on this one now and shut it down saving life, property and the future of our civilization.

Please access the Full Paper by clicking on the following link: Curley – NCT CBRNe USA 2015

The Full Paper by Curley will be presented during NCT CBRNe USA Innovation Stream, taking place from April 29 to May 1.

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