Homeland SecurityTechnology

ISIL’s Virtual Planners: A Critical Terrorist Innovation

“Although much remains unknown about Amri’s case, it bears many of the hallmarks of ISIL’s ‘virtual planner’ model of managing lone attackers. In this model, operatives who are part of ISIL’s external operations division coordinate attacks online with supporters across the globe. Most of these supporters have never personally met the ISIL operatives they are conspiring with. Most of ISIL’s prominent virtual planners appear to be based in the group’s ‘caliphate’ in Syria and Iraq, in large part due to proximity and access to ISIL’s top leadership. But since the main equipment that virtual planners require is an Internet connection and good encryption, they could theoretically operate from other geographic locations. Being geographically dispersed carries greater risk of detection, but particularly as ISIL continues to decline as a territorial entity, the emergence of prominent virtual planners operating from outside the Syria-Iraq theater is likely.”

Source: ISIL’s Virtual Planners: A Critical Terrorist Innovation

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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