Homework Questions

Homework Questions

Discussion Questions: For your forum post, distinguish the way the media was utilized by terrorist organizations in the past to advance their objectives to that being employed today. Specifically address both the pre-9/11 style terrorist means of communication and influence and contrast them with the current day terrorist internet/social media based methods.

Instructions: Fully utilize the materials that have been provided to you in order to support your response. Your initial post should be at least 350 words. Please respond to at least two other students. Responses should be a minimum of 150 words and include direct questions. You may challenge, support or supplement another student’s answer using the terms, concepts and theories from the required readings. Also, do not be afraid to respectfully disagree where you feel appropriate; as this should be part of your analysis process at this academic level.

Articles for assignment:

Terrorists and the Internet: https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/terrorists-and-in…

Lone Wolf Terrorism and Open Source Jihad: An Explanation and Assessment: https://www.ict.org.il/Article/1760/lone-wolf-terr…

Forum posts are graded on timeliness, relevance, knowledge of the weekly readings, and the quality of original ideas. Sources utilized to support answers are to be cited in accordance with the APA writing style by providing a general parenthetical citation (reference the author, year and page number) within your post, as well as an adjoining reference list. Refer to grading rubric for additional details concerning grading criteria.

Student #1 Joshua

There is no denying that there have been extreme technological advances around the world in recent years. With these changes in technology, it has allowed for easier access to information whether it be positive or negative. In today’s times, we often forget that it wasn’t until 1980 that the CNN began 24-hour news coverage, and in the 90’s the internet was just able to be utilized at home. For many of us, we remember when all of these advancements occurred. As much as technology has changed with the media, so have the tactics that are utilized with the media by terrorist organizations.

Terrorists are smart individuals, who have to be treated as such. Terrorists in the 1980’s and further on tactically utilized the media to their advantage. The first thing to note, is that terrorist organizations know and understand our laws associated with the media; “The Freedom of Press”. They also understand the technological advances that America had made in regards to sending the media coverage as quickly as possible. Therefor, it was free reign for terrorist to get their organization publicly displayed through their acts of terror. Number one, the longer the incident played out, the better it was for them. The more they carried on with the event, the more media coverage was involved, the more publicity their organization received, the more the media does their work for them. This continuous coverage only validates their existence, and furthers the issue. News reporters aren’t necessarily worried about issuing accurate information, rather information. As I say information, what I really mean is that they want to release the “bigger” news story than their competitors, which will earn them more ratings. They utilized this tactic in order to bring awareness to their organization, recruit more followers, and influence policy. In some cases, it worked as seen in the high-jacking of TWA Flight 847. In the end, this tactic influenced the release of members of the terrorist organization in exchange for the hostages that the organization was holding.

In today’s world, with the technological advances, terrorist organizations do not have to wait to the opportune moment to conduct an attack. They can do it at any point and time, and with the click of a button the video is on the web and accessible for millions of people to view. They can tailor this video to focus on their specific targets (i.e. age, race, religion, etc). With the advances in social media, the organization can allow a person to watch what they are doing live. With an app, a person can take a picture and alter it to however they need to in order for the picture to show what they want it to show. Gone are the days where “a picture tells a thousand words”. Further, the utilization of the internet allows people and organizations to speak to each other, who previously would have never been able to meet. It has terrorist the ability to gather accurate, reliable, and real-time intelligence in order to plan and conduct attacks at the most opportune moments. Yes, as convenient as many of these technological advances are for us, they pose huge intelligence threats.

Terrorists and media have always had a relationship. What we as Americans need to be careful of is what we say, and how we respond to situations. The media is not going to stop putting a huge emphasis on things if they feel like it will boost their ratings. The problem with this is, that by doing snippets rather than sharing the full story, it can be easily manipulated and used against the American people as propaganda to recruit more radicals. This relationship is a tricky relationship, and must be managed effectively and tactfully.


Hoffman, B. (2006). Inside Terrorism. Retrieved on: 29 October 2018. Retrieved from: http://apus.intelluslearning.com/v3/course-widget/…

Wojtasik, K. (2017). How and Why Do Terrorist Organizations Use the Internet?. Retrieved on: 29 October 2018. Retrieved from: http://apus.intelluslearning.com/v3/course-widget/…

Wiskind, C. (2016). Lone Wolf Terrorism and Open Source Jihad: An Explanation and Assessment. Retrieved on: 29 October 2018. Retrieved from: https://apus.intelluslearning.com/lti/#/document/1…

Student #2 Lewis

The media, whether progressive or conservative, is protected under the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This gives terrorists an open forum for displaying their acts/ attacks and/ or propaganda. Prior to 9/11, the media unwilling and unwittingly assisted in the propaganda of the terrorists around the world by displaying their acts of violence. One of the famous displays were the Munich attacks/ hostage situation. Terrorist organization relied heavily on face-to-face recruitment and large, ongoing terrorist activities for the news media to cover the story. Ever since the invention and broad use of the internet in the early 1990’s, terrorist organizations have utilized this method to recruit to the masses as well as having their own news agencies such as LTTE (Tamil Tigers) establish TamilNet.com in 1996. Today most terrorist organization use the internet and social media to show their training and violent acts around the world.

More in detail, prior to 9/11and the lack of ability for terrorist organizations to promote their “deeds” to the world they relied heavily on the news organizations to show what they were doing. Due to these news agencies realization that certain stories and footage bring in ratings and more viewers to get a story on what is going on in the world. Because of the success of individuals seeing the “glory”, “adventure”, or think that this is just “cool” seek to join these organization. Today with modern media, not to mention the mainstream media, platforms like the internet is the primary source. Internet websites such as YouTube and Live Leaks (as well as dark web sites) give terrorist organizations a platform to reach millions of more viewers compared to the pre 9/11 and internet era. Just as the U.S. military as well as other militaries around the world promote their military life/ glory, so does groups like ISIS. Groups like ISIS video their recruit training, battles on the front lines as well as murders of captured fighters as well as a civilian population and prisoners. This has sparked a surge in recruitment and is very well utilized and will continue to be. A combination of mainstream media (high rating from attacks), rhetoric, and the internet to include social media like Facebook and Twitter, has made the propaganda and recruitment for terrorist organizations extremely easy and successful. This is also a fantastic way for individuals who seek information to learn how to plan and execute terrorist attacks, to include building improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The media is a double edged sword. The terrorists can recruit and plan attacks as well as train/ motivate individuals towards their cause. However, the media also motivates their enemies to know and study their tactics as well as gather intelligence against them based on the technical side such as IP addresses and geographic scanning/ recognition software. With the first amendment in place, parties and people will use it properly and some will abuse it. It is the right of all to speak whatever they want, but all must remember that all words, just as actions, have consequences.