Small Wars Journal

Will ISIS Make Up For Lost Territory Virtually?

Will ISIS Make Up For Lost Territory Virtually? By Mark Pomerleau - C4ISRNET

Despite the physical gains made against ISIS over the past several months, one top military leader believes the group will try to “resurge” in the virtual space.

“Although the physical caliphate significantly has been reduced, what we think that will cause them to do is increase that virtual caliphate,” Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, commander of Army Cyber Command, told reporters during a media roundtable in July.

The military, and specifically the anti-ISIS cyber offensive called Joint Task Force-Ares he commands for U.S. Cyber Command, has not seen a reduction in business, Fogarty explained. Rather, the force has had to look globally to understand where ISIS is moving its operations as it loses its physical sanctuaries it once held in Iraq and Syria.

Part of ISIS’s power, Fogarty reiterated during a keynote presentation Aug. 21 at TechNet Augusta, was their ability to hit a worldwide audience, inspire recruits and look much larger than they were.

They use social media and cyber as important parts of their information operations toolkit to promote their message, Fogarty said, explaining how they can hit people who are predisposed to either their message or at least are distrustful of Western press…

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