Hearing on Jihadist Social Network Use Today

Ways to counteract the use of Facebook, Twitter and Youtube for recruiting Islamist militants will be on the agenda Tuesday afternoon in a House Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence hearing.

As chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) has convened several hearings on the issue of “Muslim radicalization.” Tuesday’s hearing is titled: “Jihadist Use of Social Media – How to Prevent Terrorism and Preserve Innovation.” Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.), who chairs the subcommittee, cited the case of Colleen LaRose, or the so-called “Jihad Jane” as an example of how Islamists used the Internet to reach new recruits. “This hearing will examine the growing use of online social networks by jihadis to communicate and spread their messages of violence,” Meehan said in a statement. “It will also focus on government and private sector efforts to minimize jihadi content on mainstream websites and how to enhance these efforts while maintaining innovation.”

Among the invited witnesses are Evan Kohlmann of Flashpoint Global Partners; William McCants, an analyst for the Center of Naval Analyses; Andrew Aaron Weisburd, director of the Society for Internet Research; and Brian Michael Jenkins, the senior advisor to the president of the RAND Corportation.

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