Countering the Virtual Caliphate: The State Department's Performance, Hearing Before the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, Second Session, July 13, 2016   [open pdf - 2MB]

This is the July 13, 2016 hearing on "Countering the Virtual Caliphate: The State Department's Performance" held before the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs. From the opening statement of Chairman Edward R. Royce: "Today we continue our oversight of the administration's response to ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] and to Islamist extremism. Specifically we will be looking at the State Department's effort to counter ISIS' message online. As the committee heard last month, the Internet is awash with terrorist propaganda and this includes horrific videos of beheadings, of firing squads, of torture of men, women, and children. ISIS operates a vast network of online recruiters; online propagandists. The mission of these individuals is to expand their ranks across multiple continents, including our continent, including right here at home. So this is on the Internet, what would be called their 'virtual caliphate.' They use popular media sites, and through that process ISIS can reach a global audience - it does this within seconds. Once lured in, they communicate privately on platforms with sophisticated encryption encouraging tens of thousands - including many from Western countries - to travel to Syria, to travel to Iraq, to travel to Libya and join the fight. But more and more the virtual caliphate is calling on its followers not to take that trek to Syria or Iraq or Libya or other camps, terrorist camps that they have set up, but instead to attack where they are - to take up arms at home." [...] "As we will hear today, ISIS' online presence is just as critical to the organization as the large amounts of territory that it controls, whether that control be in Iraq or Syria or Libya. Defeating ISIS on both the physical and virtual battlefields requires very strong, very decisive action." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Richard Stengel.

Report Number:
Serial No. 114-205; Serial Number 114-205
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Publishing Office: http://www.gpo.gov/
Media Type:
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