ISIS Among Us

Group’s Digital Reach And Influx Of Muslim
Migrants Bring Terror To America’s Doorstep

POLIZETTE — As the nation reels from the brutal terror attack in Orlando, Florida — perpetrated by Omar Mateen, an American-born Muslim of Afghan descent who pledged allegiance to ISIS — the ongoing danger posed by the Islamic State to American cities was made uncomfortably clear.

The Islamic terror group’s sophisticated and advanced use of the internet enables it to reach beyond the limitations usually faced by similar organizations. ISIS is able to spread its propaganda relatively unhindered, and active cells and individual terrorists are able to plan and orchestrate attacks with an added level of protection against local security services.

“The foreign terrorist now has direct access into the United States like never before,” Michael Steinbach, assistant director of the FBI’s counterterrorism division, told the House Homeland Security Committee in June last year.

Sites like Twitter and YouTube are convenient vehicles for ISIS to spread its propaganda throughout the world — the group has even used dating sites to recruit young followers. They have enticed thousands of disaffected Muslims in the West to travel to the Middle East to join the organization. “We are seeing 90,000 … tweets a day that we’re combating,” State Department spokeswomen Jen Psaki said in June 2015.

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