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The Internet and Leaderless Terrorism Assignement
The Internet and Leaderless Terrorism Paper
Over the past decade, the face of terrorism has encountered significant changes. Although the governments are still concerned about the well-established and organized terrorist groups, they have witnessed a trend portraying the increase of the lone-wolf attacks and small cells of individuals who are not connected to large terrorist organizations. Since 9/11, the news headlines have focused on people operating alone to commit acts of terrorism and small Islamist cells plotting attacks on American soil. The Internet has played a crucial role in facilitating the development of the lone-wolf and small cells, commonly referred to as leaderless terrorism, as illustrated in this paper.
According to Michael (2012), the Internet has an egalitarian characteristic that helps people acquire a greater voice and interact directly with other persons throughout the globe. The Internet serves as a medium for connecting a virtual community of like-minded individuals. Consequentially, it becomes easy to influence the persons and recruit, train, or communicate propaganda to them. Notable examples of lone-wolf attacks or leaderless groups influenced by the greater political climate or Islamic agenda can be seen from Richard Poplawski who communicated his racist views on different websites and opened fire on law enforcers in Pittsburgh and the San Bernardino massacre committed by Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook (Cole, 2016).
The Internet has transformed the time-tested traditional hierarchy of the extremist organizations, which required the members to appoint a leader and meet face-to-face to plan their activities. Historically, terrorist organizations could be pinpointed on the basis of the ring-leader, such as Osama Bin Laden for the Al-Qaeda. The Internet has instead created a new model that allows terrorist organizations to recruit members in four phases. They include the net phase (marketing to different users in various social media platforms), the funnel phase (exploiting the vulnerabilities of the users to facilitate social bonding), infection phase (exposing the recruits to radical information and propaganda), and activation stage (launching an attack) (Weimann, 2014)....................GET A PLAGIARISM FREE COPY