Social Media and the Homegrown Terrorist Threat

While social media strategies present new opportunities and are playing historic roles in spreading prodemocracy uprisings across the Middle East, they also are creating new concerns for security agencies dealing in the complex world of extremist ideology. Prominent terrorist groups are adapting tactics and strategically evolving out of necessity because of far-reaching, multinational counterterrorism operations abroad. They are becoming more adept at making the best use of regional operatives, homegrown terrorists, and communication technologies at hand for a long-lasting terror campaign against the West. Today, terrorist groups are recruiting, inspiring, and guiding global strategies not just by Internet operations but through an organized, steady infusion of propaganda videos and call-to-action messages circulated via social media platforms, such as blogs, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.