ISIS mobilisation in America “unprecedented”

George Washington University’s Program on Extremism has just published a report “ISIS in America – from retweets to Raqqa”.

ISIS in America

ISIS in America George Washington University

ISIS in America – Full Report

Some extracts from the Executive Summary:

  • ƒ WHILE NOT AS LARGE as in many other Western countries, ISIS-related mobilization in the United States has been unprecedented. As of the fall of 2015, U.S. authorities speak of some 250 Americans who have traveled or attempted to travel to Syria/Iraq to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and 900 active investigations against ISIS sympathizers in all 50 states.
  • …….
  • Social media plays a crucial role in the radicalization and, at times, mobilization of U.S.-based ISIS sympathizers. The Program on Extremism has identified some 300 American and/or U.S.-based ISIS sympathizers active on social media, spreading propaganda, and interacting with like-minded individuals. Some members of this online echo chamber eventually make the leap from keyboard warriors to actual militancy. ƒ
  • American ISIS sympathizers are particularly active on Twitter, where they spasmodically create accounts that often get suspended in a never-ending cat-and-mouse game. Some accounts (the “nodes”) are the generators of primary content, some (the “amplifiers”) just retweet material, others (the “shout-outs”) promote newly created accounts of suspended users.
  • ISIS-related radicalization is by no means limited to social media. While instances of purely web-driven, individual radicalization are numerous, in several cases U.S.-based individuals initially cultivated and later strengthened their interest in ISIS’s narrative through face-to-face relationships. In most cases online and offline dynamics complement one another. ƒ
  • The spectrum of U.S.-based sympathizers’ actual involvement with ISIS varies significantly, ranging from those who are merely inspired by its message to those few who reached mid-level leadership positions within the group.

Membership of ISIS members within the US legal system is spread across the US but New York, Minnesota, California and Texas seem to be preferred states.

ISIS members in US legal system

ISIS members in US legal system

All religions operate in the space of Ignorance. So when members of one religion criticise a follower of another, it is essentially “my ignorance” claiming to be better than “your ignorance”. However, I don’t think it is just blind prejudice or “Islamophobia” to say that the teachings of Islam are inherently more suited to be perverted and to be used to glorify and inspire gratuitous violence against “non-believers”, than the teachings of any other, current, major religion.

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