How Terrorists' Use of Social Media Points to the Future

Posted Jun 21, 2016

Terrorist spread fear via social media. We’ve seen this before. Or have we?

This past week of sorrow was flooded by new reports that the Orlando killer was inspired by online extremism. Chilling new information was also revealed about Omar Mateen’s posts on Facebook before the attack.

According to CBS News, the killer posted social media messages that his attacks were in support of ISIS. He promised more “attacks from the Islamic State [ISIS] in the USA.”

Even more trouble came when Mateen phoned the local news channel. Here’s how it was described by Matthew Gentili, the station producer on duty:

"I answered the phone as I always do: 'News 13, this is Matt.' And on the other end, I heard, 'Do you know about the shooting?'" Gentili said.

As the producer replied that he had been getting reports about it, Gentili said the caller cut him off.

"I'm the shooter. It's me. I am the shooter," the person on the other end said.

Gentili said he was left stunned and speechless, and then caller said he did it for ISIS, before starting to speak in Arabic.
Further, the New York Times reported:

The gunman who committed the massacre at a popular gay nightclub in Orlando used multiple Facebook accounts to write posts and make searches about the Islamic State. “Now taste the Islamic state vengeance,” he declared, denouncing “the filthy ways of the west.” He even searched for references to the massacre while he was carrying it out […]

And on Sunday morning, after opening fire at the Pulse nightclub and while a three-hour standoff with police was underway, “Mateen apparently searched for ‘Pulse Orlando’ and ‘Shooting,’ ” the letter states. ...
MSN reported that the gunman, “… searched on social media for news of his murderous rampage, according to the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.”

As America mourned the tragic loss of more life in one of our beloved cities, another act of terrorism occurred in Europe. Outside of Paris, a policeman and his partner were killed in another horrific incident. And once again, social media was an accomplice of this extremist attack.

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