Radicalization: Social Media and the Rise of Terrorism

Hearing Date: October 28, 2015 10:00 am 2154 Rayburn House Office Building


• To address the scope of radicalization, and assess what steps can be taken in order to mitigate the rise of terror via social media.


• In recent years, terrorist organizations have attempted to control their image, attract new recruits, and inspire “lone wolf” attacks through the use of social media, including disseminating images of graphic violence.
• Terrorists’ use of social media is resonating with vulnerable populations. Media platforms like Twitter are used to spread their message and enable supporters to find one another.
• Recent estimates indicate that 30,000 foreign fighters, including at least 250 Americans, have traveled or attempted to travel to Syria or Iraq to fight with extremist groups, including ISIS.
• Federal and state governments, as well as communities have begun to take action to mitigate the threat of terrorist propaganda on social media. However, they have experienced multiple challenges in combating such a wide and pervasive threat.



Witnesses and testimonies

Name Title Organization Panel Document
Ambassador Mark D. Wallace Chief Executive Officer Counter Extremism Project Document
Mr. Walter Purdy President Terrorism Research Center Document
Dr. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross Senior Fellow Foundation for Defense of Democracies Document
Ambassador Alberto M. Fernandez Vice President Middle East Media Research Institute Document

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