Methodology Discussion

Methodology Discussion / how does the Islamic State exploit Facebook to pose a direct threat to the US? \”Theoretical Framework\”

The primary terrorist threat facing the USA is how the Islamic State creates its network beyond its borders. By understanding the nature of the threat and internalizing it, this research aims to find an answer to this question as well as why the Islamic State is now relying heavily on Facebook. This deep understanding of ISs approach can provide a clear meaning to its utilization of the most prominent social network platform. This case study can, therefore, be utilized as an organizational principle of analysis to highlight the terrorist group\’s approach to recruiting so the United States government can plan and implement a comprehensive security plan.

Terrorisms trends are no longer only showing on acts of violence, such as kidnapping or destruction of property. Terrorists are now not only taking full advantage of the new technology and not only posing cyber threats by abusing systems controlled by computers to conduct criminal financial activities and economic warfare, but they are also exploiting social media channels, such as Facebook, for propaganda and recruitment in what has escalated into a cyber war. The Islamic State has become one of the most influential terrorist organizations on social media with unprecedented success in recruiting and propaganda.

The research also discusses the Islamic States ability to adapt to the new counter-terror agencies and intelligence organizations consistently. Furthermore, the study analyzes how IS can operate and control an effective decentralized network of terrorists across the United States, and how can the networks organization complicates the efforts of security task forces in an attempt to increase ISs predictability of operations. The research will explain, how IS can survive after several deadly US raids on the main links in its chain of command!

The research will also depend on the literature review, gathering information from other sources and documenting it, evaluating it, integrating the previous research, explaining how it integrates into this research and presenting it to the reader. After collecting the data, the research will construct a narrative around it, while using examples, and will analyze the result and base the research conclusion on these results by assessing the results. The research will state all the facts and trends, compare literature, present its analysis, and will leave the decision to the readers to make a conclusion.

An Essential element of this research is narration, which attempts to explain the connection between the terrorists network and their ability to conduct missions by utilizing these networks and risking their exposure to various government, and counterterrorism agencies. Furthermore, the study analyzes how IS can operate and control an effective decentralized network of terrorists across the United States.

This exploratory research will attain an understanding of the underlying motivations, opinions, and reasons the Islamic State uses Facebook as a terrorist tool against the United States and its allies. The research will provide insight into the problem, which will help develop a hypothesis for the previously mentioned elements. This research will also uncover the trends in thoughts and opinions to help analyze and explain the Islamic States approach.

By following the qualitative research methodology, this study will carefully examine the scholarly interpretations of social media\’s misuse by terrorists, while resorting to only peer-reviewed and scholarly articles to discover any consistent trends in the terrorist organization behavior as well as scholars views on this topic in comparison to this researchs hypothesis.

The absence of sufficient guidelines for applying qualitative tools in research points to the limitations of the qualitative research, ( Klotz and Moser, 1974) The qualitative methodology does not yield measurements, and it does not provide accurate numbers as statistics do, and definitely, cannot define terminology such as terrorism. Despite its limitation, qualitative research can examine terrorists network structure, which IS has managed to keep secret until now. In addition, qualitative research can investigate how these terrorists networks evolve, and how they avoid detection by the authorities. Most dangerously, how they recruit and inspire the lone wolves devastating attacks such as the one on the Boston Marathon. IS has been embracing these tactics and encouraging them. These attacks are essential for the Islamic State to claim as victories and to tout its efficiency so it can recruit more members.
The qualitative research can also explain how many Americans can be not only IS sympathizers, but they are also capable of planning fatal attacks against their fellow citizens. This case study is a relevant tool for analysis, observation, and tracking the Islamic State technique development. Economists categorize suicide terrorists as rational agents, mainly because these missions contribute to serving the Islamic States goal. The research analyzes how IS can manipulate the recruits to view the expected utility of their sacrifice as an action that outweighs their expected utility of living.
This level of manipulation requires changing the entire belief system of the would-be terrorists, and to convince them that their death is of more value than their life. This concept, in turn, requires the terrorists to value consequences after death. The attacker\’s expected utility of self-sacrifice can be increased by some of the following: rewards in the afterlife accorded to a martyr (Berman and Laitin, 2005), the prestige and friendship given to the bomber prior to his or her mission (Wintrobe, 2005), the public good passed to future generations (Azam, 2005), and any payment granted to the bomber\’s family (Berman and Laitin, 2005).

This study will attempt to reveal the ingenuity of the Islamic states rhetorical processes in not only recruiting new terrorists but also brainwashing them into believing that their death is more valuable than their life. They also manage to convince them that their chances of going to paradise increases with their willingness to commit suicide and take as many infidels as possible with them.
Plethora of researchers discuss terrorism, its causes, and effects but there is no in-depth study as to how the Islamic State utilizes Facebook to pose a significant threat to the US. There are more studies to conduct to answer this question adequately, and this research addresses this danger but leaves the conclusion to the reader.