US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States
The present descriptive study examines the Islamic States IS use of social media to launch its message and expand its propaganda to the world. IS focus on the Syrian Arab Spring revolution that started on March 15, 2011, as a foundation of tacit and explicit support of some Syrian people to evolve into a reorganized terrorist group. Examination and analysis of articles, reports, magazines, ISs publications and social media posts such as those found on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook constitute the main methods of research for this report to deduce how IS expanded its social media organizational capabilities between 2011 and 2014. The study incorporates a mixed method approach consisting of both archival and statistical research. The collected data was analyzed qualitatively by using the document review method. The inductive approach used to analyze the data was the Framework Analysis using scientific theories to validate the effectiveness of the research questions. Research findings from social media suggest that IS is a sophisticated organization driven by religious and political ideas to create an Islamic Caliphate. IS uses social media as a primary means of information dissemination, making the distribution of its media decentralized. One of the limitations of this study is the danger of virus and malware attacks from terrorists that make researchers increase their investigations.