The House Committee on Homeland Security held a hearing on June 3, 2015, on the increasing efforts by extremists, such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), to use sophisticated social media and other Internet platforms to recruit members, share propaganda and inspire attacks.
ADL, which tracks how terrorist groups exploit new technology, works closely with the Internet industry and trains law enforcement around the country, submitted comprehensive testimony for the hearing record highlighting the extensive efforts of terrorists to harness new technology for recruitment and radicalization.
The League’s statement included details on the unprecedented number of individuals living in the United States linked to plots, conspiracies, and other activity on behalf of foreign terrorist groups thus far in 2015.
The hearing, titled “Terrorism Gone Viral The Attack in Garland, Texas and Beyond,” focused on the attempted violent attack at a Garland, Texas, community center last month. One of the apparent shooters, Elton Simpson, maintained an active presence on Twitter, with at least eight accounts that he used to network with ISIS supporters prior to the attack. Simpson is believed to have interacted with Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan, a permanent U.S. resident that may have inspired as many as 11 people living in the U.S. to take action in the last two years.
Led by Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Members heard from three subject matter experts: John Mulligan, Deputy Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Francis X. Taylor, Under Secretary in the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis and Michael B. Steinbach, Assistant Director of the FBI, on these issues.