CIA Director Brennan: Social Media Makes It Harder to Fight Terror

/ Source: Reuters

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Social media and other technology are making it increasingly difficult to combat militants who are using such modern resources to share information and conduct operations, CIA Director John Brennan said on Friday. In a speech before the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Brennan said such communications heighten the challenge of dealing with diffuse threats and attacks across the world from groups like Islamic State, known also as ISIS or ISIL, which has taken hold in Syria and Iraq. "New technologies can help groups like ISIL coordinate operations, attract new recruits, disseminate propaganda, and inspire sympathizers across the globe to act in their name," Brennan said. "The overall threat of terrorism is greatly amplified by today’s interconnected world, where an incident in one corner of the globe can instantly spark a reaction thousands of miles away; and where a lone extremist can go online and learn how to carry out an attack without ever leaving home," he said.

While U.S. agencies have boosted efforts against cyber-based threats, those bent on committing acts of terrorism have also improved their use of technologies, Brennan said. Islamic State militants have used social media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and other technology to spread their militant message. Brennan said a variety of strategies, including monitoring social media, are needed to help identify threats.

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— Reuters

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