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The Threat to the United States from the Islamic State’s Virtual Entrepreneurs | Combating Terrorism Center at West Point

The Threat to the United States from the Islamic State’s Virtual Entrepreneurs | Combating Terrorism Center at West Point

Over the last year, a new term has entered the lexicon of American and European terrorism analysts, law enforcement, and national security journalists: the ‘virtual plotter.’1 This phrase, and variations of it, describes members of jihadi terrorist groups, mainly affiliated with the Islamic State, who use social media and applications with encryption capabilities to reach out to and correspond with radicalized Westerners. The emergence of applications such as Telegram, SureSpot, Kik, and—since its recent offering of end-to-end encryption—WhatsApp has been a particular game changer for the Islamic State and its efforts in the West. In some cases, its members plot and direct attacks, helping to hone and focus the often undisciplined zeal of potential lone-actor terrorists…

Source: The Threat to the United States from the Islamic State’s Virtual Entrepreneurs | Combating Terrorism Center at West Point