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Vilent Islamist Extremism, The Internet, and the Homegrown Terrorist Threat: Majority and Minority Staff Report, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate
Joseph Lieberman (ed); Susan Collins (ed)
The first in a series of reports on the threat of homegrown terrorism inspired by violent Islamist extremism. This staff report concerns how violent Islamist terrorist groups like al-Qaeda are using the Internet to enlist followers into the global violent Islamist terrorist movement and to increase support for the movement, ranging from ideological support, to fundraising, and ultimately to planning and executing terrorist attacks. Section 2 examines the increasing number of homegrown incidents and the judgments of the intelligence and law enforcement communities that there will likely be additional homegrown threats in the future. Section 3 explores the four-step radicalization process through which an individual can be enticed to adopt a violent Islamist extremist mindset and act on the ideology’s call to violence. Section 4 identifies the disturbingly broad array of materials available on the Internet that promote the violent Islamist extremist ideology. The availability of these resources is not haphazard, but is part of a comprehensive, tightly controlled messaging campaign by al-Qaeda and like-minded extremists designed to spread their violent message. Section 5 of the report examines how these materials facilitate and encourage the radicalization process. Illus.
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