Recent threats to Twitter's top executives made by a pro-Islamic State (IS) jihadi media group are the latest developments of a long-lingering threat: jihadism on social media.
We always hear about the overwhelming social media campaigns by the Islamic State (IS), and how they flood the internet with gruesome images of beheadings, threats, military achievements, and victories. But what about al-Qaeda (AQ) fighters and supporters? After all, geographically speaking, they include a much larger array of areas and groups, from AQ in Afghanistan, Shabaab al-Mujahideen in Somalia, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Algeria, and al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS).
Sometime over a year ago, a teenage American girl using the pseudonym "Grape" posted in response to a question on Ask.fm:
On September 26, 2014, Alton Nolen attacked two women, decapitating one, at the Vaughan Foods plant in Moore, Oklahoma. In a review of Nolen's Facebook profile, which is listed under the alias "Jah'Keem Yisrael," his first post appears to have been on February 16, 2009, and his last on September 24, 2014.
The Islamic State's phenomenal ability to entice young Western Muslims to the battlegrounds of Syria has relentlessly made headlines throughout 2014, with the activities of these fighters raising threat levels around the world. As noted recently by SITE Intelligence Group Director Rita Katz, jihadi groups in Syria go to great lengths to target propaganda at Westerners and to encourage disaffected and idealistic young Western Muslims to leave their home countries for battle.