In a not so surprising conclusion to the Boston Bombing trial, Rolling Stone Darling Dzhokhar Tsarneav was found guilty on all counts. Next up for McDreamy, the penalty phase of the trial.
Although my opinion of the death penalty has evolved over time, I must admit to secretly praying the jury sentences the Islamic terrorist teen to death. If only Tsarnaev’s death penalty were carried out in the same manner as the three Americans, he murdered, but I digress.
While we may not know to what extent social media played in the Tsarneav brothers radicalization, we do know terrorist organizations use it to target young men and women throughout the world.
ISIS is particularly adept at using the medium to make the barbaric version of Islam practiced seem cool in order to attract disenchanted and impressionable youth to fight for its cause.
In the West, the media offers an assist to ISIS, enhancing the allure of joining the Jihad with stories like “How ISIS Conquered Social Media,” and “ISIS Fighters and Their Friends Are Total Social Media Pros“. The MVP, however, goes to Rolling Stone magazine that paid homage to terrorists everywhere by turning the Boston Bomber into a teen heartthrob via the cover of its magazine.
The media make ISIS sound super cool; it is no wonder they recruit on average 20 kids per day.
After a suburban Chicago teen was arrested in October for attempting to join ISIS, local news station ABC7’s I-Team investigated the social media gurus and the propaganda used.
The I-Team’s investigation led them to a Muslim chaplain for Loyola University, who uses social media for good rather than evil, by confronting those on Twitter he suspects of distorting Islam in order to recruit.
The I-Team turned over several of the twitter handles identified to government intelligence contractors who were able to identify two with Jihadist connections.
Two may sound like an insignificant number until you wrap your mind around how social media works and its reach. The two accounts identified led to approximately 160,000 people tied to 11 known terrorist organizations. It is a powerful tool in the terrorist arsenal, and one being largely ignored by the government.
When candidate Obama ran for office in 2008 he promised to transform America should he be elected president. Obama delivered this campaign promise by reducing U.S. military force, and implementing a foreign policy where the United States is not longer in the lead.
The problem with the strategy and there are many, is technology levels the playing field for less militarily sophisticated countries, jeopardizing our national security.
The hacking of U.S. corporations and U.S. government sites by foreign governments is on the rise. After witnessing the Obamacare website debacle, I have little faith our government can keep up with the growing security threat we face as technology takes over our lives.
When the world witnessed the depth of ISIS depravity via a video depicting the burning alive of Jordanian pilot Moath al-Kasasbeh, for a moment, we were all Jordanian.
I wondered if this savage act would finally wake the sleeping giant from her slumber, using our current military superiority to stamp out this growing threat.
Sadly it did not, and the military advantage currently held by the US decreases exponentially with each passing day.
While unintended, the brutality witnessed through ISIS’s use of social media may have backfired on the tech-savvy terrorist organization. No, the video of al-Kasasbeh’s execution did not rouse a sleeping giant. Instead, it created a Ghost.
#GhostSec, a prominent faction of the group Anonymous could no longer sit by while ISIS attempts to “circumvent free speech and the internet with the formation of a cyber caliphate designed to impose censorship upon all citizens of the world”. The group began a cyber campaign, or operation #OpISIS, in order to disrupt ISIS use of social media and the internet.
For those unfamiliar with Anonymous, Wikipedia describes the group as a “loosely associated international network of activist and hacktivist entities”…with “a very loose and decentralized command structure that operates on ideas rather than directives”.
The positions held by Anonymous are as varied as the masked, and unidentified members referred to as “Anons.” However, the #OpISIS movement seems to have struck a chord internationally.
From the outside looking in, a successful Anonymous operation resembles a hive being kicked by its target. The swarm begins to circle its target, and it becomes very dangerous, very quickly.
With the lack of U.S. leadership and resolve to wipe out this savage organization, it is reassuring to know that although nameless and faceless, some are willing to stand and wage cyber war against ISIS incapacitating their ability to recruit further through social media.
According to one member of #GhostSec, “this is going to be a long-term battle…that cannot be won without the people’s involvement?”
Tomorrow on WayneDupree.com, we provide additional #OpISIS details from ‘inside the hive’ including the operation’s results thus far, U.S. companies like CloudFlare that provide cover to the enemy and most importantly the details on how anyone armed with a laptop can help.
WARNING: The GhostSec video is extremely graphic and includes the execution of several men at the hand of ISIS. For this reason, the text is included for those who do not wish to see these graphic images.[vimeo 118324971 w=500 h=375]
To the citizens of the world we are Anonymous. Over the past several months we have watched the terrorist organization known as the Islamic State grow exponentially in size and have witnessed the atrocities that they have committed while the governments of the world do nothing and allow them to gain more power and territory with each passing day.
We have been watching and waiting. No longer can we stand idle and watch as these terrorists perpetrate crimes against humanity including murder, genocide, rape, child molestation, extortion, enslavement, human trafficking, forced prostitution, imprisonment and torture just to name a few.
The Islamic State has ambitions to circumvent free speech and the internet with the formation of a cyber caliphate designed to impose censorship upon all citizens of the world. In retaliation to these unforgivable crimes we have decided to engage the Islamic State.
We have not taken this action lightly nor the possible consequences however we can no longer wait for the governments of the world to respond while humanity suffers. These acts of brutality and censorship are inexcusable and will not be tolerated.
We appreciate those few in government whom still hold principles and believe that it is everyone’s responsibility to uphold human rights at all costs however we as a collective are sworn to protect the right to free speech against all those who would seek to destroy it though murder and intimidation.
To date Anonymous and Ghost Security have taken offline over eighty websites of the Islamic State and supporting Nations that were used primarily to recruit more terrorism, fund and circulate their propaganda of hatred. Furthermore we have removed hundreds of terrorist social media accounts being used for communication of future attacks against civilized nations and will continue to do so until we have completely dismantled their digital infrastructure.
We fully understand that due to the actions we take we exclude ourselves from the system where solutions are to be found. There are individual’s whom serve that purpose and are far more respectable than ourselves. These individuals voices come from the light and not the shadows and they will be heard.
Social media has changed the rules of the game. That is why we call upon you, students, teachers, activists, soldiers, parents, reporters, people from all over the world to unite and stand with us against this common threat. In order to achieve this our collective will be standing by to assist you in reaching this goal. It is time to wake up and not to sleep. With each day that goes by and we do nothing only served to strengthen their foothold. Our operations thus far have met with success. We have been able to turn social media and the internet into a weapon for change. We ask that everyone join us on Twitter and other social media platforms as a show of force that we as a people will no longer consent to fear or silence.
To the Islamic State we do not desire to negotiated with nor will we be negotiated with. Your efforts to censor the truth will come at great cost to you as will your attempts to silence us. Anonymous and the internet will continue to protect peoples right to free speech and human dignity from your inhumane ethics and twisted ideology.
You can attempt to suppress people but never the idea of freedom and humanity nor can you defeat us.
We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
We are the ghosts that you have created.