New War Against Terrorism
“We are a nation and a service at war, a war which will largely be fought and won in the shadows, for which there will be no defining battles, but for which there is no alternative but victory. Our nation will depend on us to fight this war, and we owe it to the 3,000 victims of 9/11 and our countrymen to fight it well.” (CIA officer)
I firmly believe that the war on terrorism will not be won in the shadows, but in the public eye. I have tremendous respect for the CIA, but the days of fighting shadow wars are over. The new battlefield against terrorism is the internet – and specifically social media. Most people think of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn as innocent methods for people to connect: they’re wrong. Social media is a place to spread ideology, intelligence, and logistic movements, and to recruit impressionable members into terrorist ranks. For example, the Muslim Brotherhood used Twitter to coordinate the overthrow of the Egyptian government. Twitter is a real-time mechanism of international communications via codes. Almost every terrorist organization in the world has a Twitter account. Twitter is used by key members of terrorist organizations to spread messages of hate and violence. Hamas used Twitter during its most recent conflict with Israel to manipulate the media and gain support, including financial support. In the past, terrorists needed the mainstream media to promote their message. The only problem was that terrorists could not control their message. Social media changed everything. Terrorists can now mold their message with carefully crafted tweets and posts for maximum effectiveness: Their objective is to win over sympathy to their cause. Let me give you a real time and real world example that you can observe right now.
A Hezbollah terrorist named Hassan Tajideen, who is the CEO of Tajco, has a Twitter account, a Facebook account, and a LinkedIn account. Yes, that’s right…. a LinkedIn account. Check out his profile by searching for Hassan Tajideen Tajco. The main financier of Hezbollah will pop up on your screen. He uses social media to promote Hezbollah and terrorist activities. Please see the links at the bottom of the article for factual evidence of my claims. The Tajideen family has been considered to be a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) since May of 2009, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224.
What does all this mean? It means that the war is here. As Americans we must understand that we too must wage the war on social media and spread our ideology. We must bring justice to terrorists who are using social media to harm the United States of America. We must fight terrorism by monitoring and actively confronting terrorists on this new battlefield.
Everett A. Stern, M.B.A.
United States of America
Fmr. U.S. Senate Candidate