Islamic State has raised the use of cyberspace as a weapon to advance its murderous agenda to the status of an art form. The frequency of mentions of IS (formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) in the media has grown virally from one hour to the next.
Even today, the number of mentions it attracts on Google is eight times greater than that of the veteran Al-Qaida group. In the world of IS, existence determines consciousness. Everything is here and now. The vision for the future can wait. That is how IS realized the aspiration held for many years by Al-Qaida and the other Salafist groups to institute an Islamic regime ruled by sharia (Islamic) law.
IS uses an extremely effective public relations and propaganda mechanism in cyberspace. Its talent in PR and marketing is just as good as that of companies in the business world. It publishes online magazines; produces and distributes high-quality videos (the well-edited film of the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, for example) that allow for international coverage; and sells merchandise online containing its logo.
The young members of IS write and share their posts on social media. This extroverted approach is an excellent fit for IS’s current strategy – preparing for global acts of terror by recruiting foreign operatives and creating new terror cells throughout the world.