Terrorist Use of the Internet and Related Information Technologies
Research Question: how will U.S. national security policy be affected by terrorist exploitation of the Internet and related information technologies?
In order to answer the research question, the monograph will examine how transnational actors use the Internet and related information technologies to further their interests, with special emphasis on unconventional warfare and the profound influence of accessible advanced technology. To this end, it will document current and future methods and technologies that terrorist organizations are either using or could potentially use in information warfare against the United States. These include exploitation of the Internet and related information technologies: 1) for surreptitious command, control and communications; 2) to gain access to information of all types; 3) as a ubiquitous source of funding; 4) as a source of offensive information operations capability, including psychological operations, cyber and physical attack of communications nodes, and cyber attacks of critical infrastructure, and 5) for publicity and propaganda. The monograph will discuss the implications of these capabilities, and suggest enhancement of U.S. and friendly intelligence capabilities (particularly information sharing and human intelligence), immigration reform, and leveraging Western information technology superiority as priorities in the war against terrorism.