Islamists are taking advantage of Twitter to spread their violent propaganda. Writing in the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point’s journal, independent academic investigators Nico Prucha and Ali Fisher state:
Twitter has become the main hub for the active dissemination of links guiding users to digital content. These jihadists decided to engage in physical violence after being active within the virtual dominions of al-Qa’ida where exposure to the media had an impact on their personal lives and understanding of religious conduct.
Some al Qaeda videos linked to tweets have gotten more than 5,000 views; one has more than 10,000 hits. The videos often claim that al Qaeda avoids killing civilians.
Former U.S. intelligence officials have stated that that before the 9/11 attacks, new recruits would have to meet known jihadists in person before they became violent, but in the last five years, social media has sufficed to turn recruits to violent Islam.