DoD knows future terror groups will seek to copy ISIS, turn social media into a weapon
“The Islamic State’s 2014 invasion of Iraq, military futurist Peter Singer writes, ‘was launched with a hashtag.’ #AllEyesOnISIS became a viral propaganda machine that inspired followers, generated bots and is credited in part with driving enough fear to lead thousands of U.S.-trained and equipped Iraqi forces to abandon their posts. The organization fed that fear and gained followers by broadcasting terrifying orange suit-black hood beheadings, terror attacks or the obscene cruelties awaiting anyone in their path.
‘Among the many things we need to think about as we look at violent extremism into the future, their ability to leverage technology, cyber capabilities, information operations … is one of the things we need to anticipate and be out in front of,’ Dunford said. ISIS’ mastery of social media in its initial swath of victories in 2014 has created a dangerous model that is likely to be mimicked by future groups, said Singer, who wrote about the prominent role online campaigns will have in future conflicts in his new book, ‘Like War: The Weaponization of Social Media.’ ‘I don’t know exactly what ‘ISIS 2.0’ is, but I know we will learn about them on social media,’ he said. The group was the first example of a terror network turning social media power into real global power, he said.”