Poetslife

6/25/2017

Memorandums of Understanding are Critical

Prepare...Prepare...prepare for natural and man-made disasters...and it will pay off when disaster strikes, and strike it will.
We just had a major fire in Mount Airy. A huge warehouse went up...fast.
As with any disaster, there were many lessons to be learned from this event.
Here, I would like to note an oft overlooked prep that worked very well...the creation and signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOA) with businesses that we invoked for the fire.
We had MOA in place with several local business that we called on for supplies during the fire.
They delivered the supplies and things went much more smoothly due to that fact.

Have your MOA's up-to-date, signed, and ready.Here are some photos  and videos of the fire and its aftermath.


TOWN OF [Name]
[State]
AND EMERGENCY CONTRACTOR
MEMORANDUM OF
UNDERSTANDING

Town of [Name] Emergency Contacts:

Mayor [Name, Phone, Email, Twitter]
Town Administrator [Name, Phone, Email, Twitter]
Town Engineer [Name, Phone, Email, Twitter]
Director of Public Works [Name, Phone, Email, Twitter]

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
             This Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") is entered into this (Date), between (Vendor or Contractor  ______________________________________________________, (hereinafter referred to as “Vendor”), and the Town , Maryland (hereinafter referred to as “Town”).
             WHEREAS, the Town in cooperation with other jurisdictions is responsible for providing for and securing the safety of its citizens and properties in the event of an emergency or disaster; and
             WHEREAS, the Town intends to use this MOU as a method to immediately secure on an emergency basis necessary goods, materials and services in the event of emergency or disaster; and
             WHEREAS, for the purposes of this MOU, an “emergency” or “disaster” shall be defined as defined in the Code of the [Town], Section 26-2A. and/or any natural or man-made event that has caused or threatens to cause imminent serious and/or widespread personal injury and/or property damage to citizens residing in the Town or in reasonable proximity to the Town, or to property located in the Town or in reasonable proximity to the Town, and which has been declared to be such by any appropriate officer of the governments of the United States, State of Maryland, Carroll County, Frederick County and/or the Town to include the Mayor of the Town; and
             WHEREAS, a declaration of an event as an “emergency” or “disaster” by any appropriate officer of government as described above shall be conclusive as to whether any such event was of such character so as to constitute an “emergency” or “disaster”; and
             WHEREAS, pursuant to the Code of the [Town}Section 26-2C., the Town is authorized and encouraged to enter into arrangements for standby services in the event of an emergency as defined in the Town Code. 
             NOW THEREFORE, the parties agree as the follows;
 1.                  The Town and Vendor hereby agree to jointly collaborate during an emergency or disaster occurring in the Town to provide the necessary goods and services needed to respond to such an emergency or disaster.
2.                  Vendor agrees to provide to the Town without advance payment the following equipment, goods, materials and/or services on an emergency basis needed to respond to an emergency or disaster:
 ·         Item(s) or Services
3.         The Vendor will thereafter promptly submit to the Town adequate documentation for the cost of goods and/or services provided. The Town agrees to reimburse Vendor the fair market price for such goods and/or services acquired and utilized by the Town to respond to the emergency. The Town shall promptly return to Vendor any such goods or materials that the Town did not utilize in substantially the same condition as such was received. The Town will reimburse Vendor the reasonable price of any such goods or materials even if not utilized to respond to the emergency if not promptly returned to Vendor in substantially the same condition as was received by the Town. In no event will the Town be responsible to reimburse Vendor for any goods or materials, although initially acquired by the Town to respond to the emergency or disaster, but which is promptly returned to Vendor in substantially the same condition as such was received by the Town.
4.   Nothing contained herein shall be construed to bind the Town to procure the goods and/or services outlined herein or to provide such to any area within the Town or outside the Town limits even in the event of an emergency.
5.   Nothing contained herein shall be construed to provide an exclusive right on the part of Vendor to supply materials, goods or services to the Town. It is expressly acknowledged that the Town has or may enter into similar MOUs with other vendors for identical or like goods and/or services and that the Town pursuant to any such Memoranda shall have complete discretion on determining from which vendors to obtain any such goods and/or services.
6.   The parties agree to comply with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations during an emergency of disaster. 
7.         This MOU is effective on [Date] unless modified in writing before that date. This MOU shall automatically renew for an additional 24 months.at the end of the initial term and upon the same terms and conditions as set forth herein, unless, at least 180 days prior to the end of the initial term, either Party provides the other Party with written notification of its intent not to renew.
8.   This MOU may be terminated by either party upon thirty (30) days written notice. Termination of this MOU shall not relieve the terminating party from any obligations assumed prior to the effective date of termination.9.   The following persons shall serve as the contact persons for any issues related to this MOU (please supply both regular and after hour contact information).
 a. All notices and invoices given under this MOU, except for emergency service requests, shall be made in writing.
 b. Each Party to this MOU shall identify single points of contact in support of the administration of this MOU for addressing of interagency issues that may arise hereunder and to whom notices provided or required hereunder shall be delivered.
c. Each Party will make certain that it has an updated list of staff contacts to facilitate communication and to resolve issues as they may arise.d. Each Party agrees to assign appropriate staff to serve as a single point of contact should any personnel changes occur.e. All notices shall be sent to the addresses set forth below:

Town:              [Mayor Name}
[Town Hall Address]                       
                                                                          
                                              
Vendor/Service Contact Information (complete all that apply):       

Business/Service Name:  ________________________________________

Business/Service Contact:  _______________________________________

Address:  _____________________________________________________

Email:  _______________________________________________________

Phone: ________________________________________________________

Fax:  ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_________________________________________________________

Website:  ______________________________________________________

Facebook Page:  ________________________________________________

Twitter Name:  _________________________________________________

10. This MOU shall be governed and interpreted under the laws of the State of [Name].
11. This MOU may be amended only with the written consent of both Parties. Amendments may not change significantly the scope of this Agreement. 
12. Neither Party assumes liability for the acts or omissions of the other party or its agents. Nothing in this MOU shall be construed to extend the immunities of one Party and its agents to the other Party or its agents. 
13. Neither Party may assign any rights or interests nor delegate its duties under this MOU, in whole or in part, without the express prior written permission of the other Party. Without such written permission, any attempted assignment or delegation shall be wholly void and totally ineffective for all purposes. 
14. A waiver by any Party of any breach or default by the other Party under this MO shall not constitute a continuing waiver by such Party of any subsequent act in breach of or in default hereunder.
15. This MOU signed by all Parties constitutes a final written expression of all terms of this MOU and is a complete and exclusive statement of those terms.
16. This MOU contains the entire agreement between the Parties hereto and shall not be modified, amended or supplemented, or any rights herein waived, unless specifically agreed upon in writing by the parties hereto. This MOU supersedes any and all previous agreements, whether written or oral, between the parties.
  
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have executed this MOU on the date set forth above.

                                                                   THE MAYOR , MARYLAND
                                                                   _________________________________________
By:      [Mayor’s Name]
            [Email]
            [Phone #]
__________________________________________
By:

________________________________________
Title:

_________________________________________
Vendor/Service:










































6/06/2017

Data Situational Awareness

Every day you exercise situational awareness.
Maybe your son is about to do yard work. You remind him it is critical, as a red head, to put on and reapply sunscreen to avoid pain and skin cancer. As skin cancer can be prevented by wearing sun screen, applying sunscreen is an excellent way, or strategy, for preventing skin cancer.
The same strategy applies to your data. Like applying sunscreen to prevent skin cancer, you can apply a variety of measures to prevent your data from being stolen or compromised. I’d like to suggest you apply that common sense situational awareness you apply to other areas of your life to protecting your data.
Hackers are like the sun. They are out there 24/7 probing, locating data they can steal, and stealing it. Like the sun, they are a reality and you must deal with them. Also like the sun, they are not going away.
For your data situational awareness, be aware that hackers are always probing your device (tablet, computer, cell phone, etc.) but what they want is your data. Therefore, you must have a multi-layered strategy to protect your data from very real threats…like ransomware that can:
·         Prevent you from accessing Windows.
·         Encrypt files so you can't use them.
·         Stop certain apps from running (like your web browser)
All ransomware will infect your device and demand that you pay a ransom to get access to your computer or data. DO NOT let that happen. Here are some tips to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Ransomware: WanaCry Example

One of the most recent hacking probes occurred on Friday, May 12, 2017. It was known as WannaCry. It attacked computer system data on approximately 350,000 computers in more than 150 countries within the span of 48 hours.
WannaCry is a unique ransomware strain that exploits a critical Microsoft Windows Server Message Block (SMB) vulnerability to spread like a worm, lending to its rapid propagation after just a few hours of initial detection. The exploit spread across network shares, encrypted data on the shares and left users unable to access their data unless they paid a ransom in the form of untraceable Bitcoin currency.
Thousands of users turned on their computers that day to see the following message:
This massive ransomware attack was less successful than it would have been had they not sought their ransom payment in bitcoin. As criminals who use bitcoin to hide their activity to avoid being discovered, arrested and prosecuted, they assumed everyone knows how to obtain and pay them in bitcoins. Bad strategy on their part because, for all the computers they attacked the best estimate is that they only collected approximately $40,000 in bitcoin ransomware payments.
Although this attack eventually fizzled, we may not be so fortunate the next time. Hackers continuously analyse where they went wrong, redo their code, and send out a variation on the original ransomware several times after the original ones. Maybe you can take the steps suggested here before the follow up WannaCry code or other ransomware attacks your data.
You need a strategy to prevent data loss from ransomware and other attacks. Here are a few suggestions for how to get started.

Simple Ways to Prevent Loss of Data

·         Use strong passwords and change them frequently
·         Keep all your software up-to-date
·         Add the most recent software patches
·         Double check every email to confirm it is safe
·         Verify that you know the email sender before opening it
·         Verify any link in the email is safe before you click it
·         Back up your data (more below)

Back Up your Data

A basic strategy is to keep device, offline, or cloud backups of your data. And to be able to use your data, you will also want to back up your software programs at least once.
For ransomware attacks like this WannaCry, having backed up your data prior to the attack enables you to ignore it. If you have all your data backed up, you cannot be fleeced out of your money.
Adopting a strategy of redundant backup is a good practice. The table below lists several tools that will help you ensure that you can back up your data so it is available when you need it. Chose one or two that are most useful to your circumstances.

Tools
Description
Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is taking services, including backup services, and moving to shared systems. Applications and services are accessed via the Web, instead of your hard drive. The services are delivered and used over the Internet. The cloud infrastructure is maintained by the cloud provider (such as https://aws.amazon.com/). This is a strategy that particularly applies for those who use their device and data outside their office.
Online Data Backup as a Company Service
There are many companies that will store your data at their data center on their servers, for a fee (such as Carbonite, Rackspace, etc.) and many other companies will backup and protect your data daily, for a fee online backup service that will automatically backup and synchronize your data across multiple devices.
An online backup service makes it easy to access data from a mobile office. Even if you have just one computer, this is a great way to ensure consistent backup and accessibility of your data after a system crash, ransomware attack, natural disaster, or other threats to your data.
External Hard Drive
An external hard drive is a storage device located outside of a computer that is connected through a USB cable or wireless connection. An external hard drive is usually used to store media that a user needs to be portable, for backups, and when the internal drive of the computer is already at its full memory capacity. These devices have a high storage capacity compared to flash drives and are mostly used for backing up numerous computer files or serving as a network drive to store shared content. External hard drives are also known as removable hard drives. Available online or in retail stores such as Best Buy, Wal Mart, or Staples.
USB Flash (Stick, Jump, Thumb) Drive
Insert to your device USB port. They are removable and rewritable. They are storage capacity has risen and their price has dropped. It is a good practice to keep one with your keys so you always have it available to copy files, especially in an emergency. USB sticks are constantly increasing in capacity and are highly useful for quick data backups. They are highly portable. Available online or in retail stores such as Best Buy, Wal Mart, or Staples.
Backup Ghost Computer
If you have valuable business or family data, you can invest in a backup computer or device. Keep all your data on two devices and if one goes down you will have another one with all your vital data. Computer prices have fallen so much in the past few years this is an option.

Do not risk being locked out of your data. Create a backup system NOW that includes archiving and routinely back it up. You can do this manually or automatically.

Auto Install or Manually Install Patches

Consider that those who applied readily-available Microsoft Windows patches on a regular basis BEFORE the WannaCry attack were protected. Other companies installed patches immediately upon hearing of the WannaCry malware and were protected. Both strategies worked, but is it always better to install the patches via auto install well in advance of an attack.

Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, and Other Data Protection

There are many excellent antivirus, antimalware and other data protection software packages available. Prices and features vary. Many free ones are available online. Here is a link to a few: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2388652,00.asp

Don’t Fall for Phishing Scams

Phishing is a leading way that cybercriminals steal data. You receive an email that has an urgency to it. Inside the mail is a link that the sender urges the recipient to click. The link takes the user to a fake website and your data can be compromised. NEVER open a phishing email!

Power On

Final Tip: Data depends on devices (computers, tablets, laptops, cell phones, etc.) that depend on POWER. To make sure you can access your data, make sure you always have power by maintaining extra that transmit power to your devices by remembering to have these items working and available.
·         Mouse batteries.
·         Computer batteries
·         Power cords
·         Surge protector
·         Laptop batteries

5/23/2017

Church Emergency Evacuation, Shelter-in-Place, and Lock-Down Plan

Christian churches are vulnerable to natural disasters and man-made attacks. All should have an emergency operations plan, evacuation, shelter-in-place, and lock-down procedure. 
Here is a procedure we have created at my church, St. Michael the Archangel in Poplar Springs, MD
We have a large number of children and elderly who would have to be evacuated in an emergency, and after two years of planning and testing, the plan below works for us. Adapt it to your unique church setting.

Church Emergency Evacuation, Shelter-in-Place, and Lock-Down Procedure
At St. Michael’s, we take the safety and security of all St. Michael’s parishioners, and especially the children, very seriously.  Central to our Emergency Response Plan (ERP) is this Emergency Evacuation, Shelter-in-Place and Lock-Down Plan and instructions. Please learn and know these instructions as you may need to use them during an emergency.
1.    Say a quick prayer.
2.    Call 911.
3.    Remain calm as others will look to you for strength and guidance.
4.    Notify your Zone Leader and your church leaders with details of the emergency.
5.    Implement proper protocols such as those below.
6.    If following the shelter-in-place protocol, verify everyone has done so.
7.    If following evacuation protocols, continue with the steps below.
8.    Do NOT use elevators.
9.    Have the children sit down and remain silent.
10.  Locate and bring your attendance folder and emergency pack.
11.  Take attendance and verify all your assigned children are accounted for.
12.  Report any injuries to your Zone Leader.
13.  Communicate your accountability status to your Zone Leader.
14.  Be aware of and assist the physically handicapped, elderly, or those with special needs.
15.  Follow the evacuation maps posted in your room or the gathering areas.
16.  To exit, proceed to the nearest safe aisle or hallway and then to the evacuation areas.
17.  While evacuating, inform and evacuate other personnel who may be injured or unaware.
18.  Assemble outside in the predesignated areas (see Zone Maps on the wall).
19.  Once you exit, do NOT go back into the building.
20.  Take attendance again and verify everyone is accounted for.
21.  Communicate your attendance report to the Zone Leader.
22.  Follow all instructions from the fire department, police, and church leaders.
23.  Ensure in the proper reunification of parents and children.
24.  The Incident Leader will account for the status of each zone.
25.  Zone Leaders will update the Incident Leader after exiting the building.
26.  Zone Leaders will update the Incident Leader of the status of all classroom Team Leaders.
27.  Only reenter the building if and when the all-clear is given by the fire department.
Caution: To keep the roads and intersections clear for emergency vehicles, instruct everyone to NOT go to their cars.  Vehicles could cause a delay in those responding to the emergency. 


ERP Team Leaders Check List
  1. Check off each task you complete and return this list to the Zone Leader.
  2. Remain calm, others will look to you for strength and guidance
  3. Bring your attendance folder.
  4. Bring your Emergency Pack.
  5. Ensure the proper protocols for conducting the Evacuation, Shelter-in-Place or Lock-Down are followed.
  6. Ensure all areas of your class/area have been fully evacuated or have Sheltered-in-Place.
  7. Ensure all children are accounted.
  8. Once in the Evacuation or Shelter-in-Place area, have the children sit down, remain silent and take attendance.
  9. Report your status to your Zone Leader, to include injuries and missing persons.
  10. Ensure the proper reunification of children and parents.
  11. Write down the name of each parent and child you reunite and give this list to the Zone Leader.

3/23/2017

ISIS Use of Social Media as a Force Multiplier

“Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives.”John Adams Letter to Benjamin Rush 18 April 1808 

I wrote and published this article in a small obscure security journal in 2014. It still holds so I'm republishing it here in 2017.

ISIS has proven very adept at using social media tools to win power, influence, recruits and strategic advantage over their opponents. So far, they've used social media tools (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Google+, Snapchat and others) to celebrate and publicize their strategic, battle field, psychological and opponent success after they have achieved them. 
Here, I will examine how they could use social media as a significant force multiplier if they coordinate their assault with their social media skills to cause panic, chaos, death and destruction in the United States. To do so, I will highlight how easily ISIS or an ISIS clone can create widespread panic through the use of social media tools as a force multiplier if they use these tools in tandem with an actual physical assault within the United States. 
A social media force multiplier as I use the term here is an individual or small team who, through the use of special tactics, can do the damage of a much larger force. It is easy to understand that a skilled sniper is a force multiplier on the battle field. Why? Because snipers are capable of force multiplication without ever directly engaging the enemy, they are a commonly known force multiplier. 
Where we use social media tools as ways to share information, fun, family, and find and build friendships, ISIS uses them as a weapons platform.  In reality, social media is the ultimate dual use technology. And ISIS has figured out a way to use as a weapons platform to attract recruits, to transmit their ideology, tactics, battles, blood lust and psychological operations, on a scale that is exponential, not linear. 
That is what they have already done in just a few years since the Obama Administrations dystopian so called, “Arab Spring” I propose that they will come at the American people with a battalion-sized unit of jihadi social media “snipers” who will create chaos, death, destruction, and panic to millions of American civilians on the level that will be 9/11 times 1,000.
Enter “#ISIS” as a search term in Twitter, or YouTube, or Google+, or in any social media platform.  You will be amazed at the number of entries that display when you do, and most of those entries support them.
For example, when I did so on December 4, 2014, the very first entry of the majority that all supported ISIS or had no idea what religion they were evident.
Or, if you prefer, use the acronym for the Islamic State in the Levant, enter “#ISIL” as a search term in Twitter and you will get similar results.
More remarkable, when these same USC Berkeley students were asked who was responsible for the bloodshed in the Middle East, the vast majority blamed the United States.
If you think that ISIS confusion and outright support is unique to UCS Berkeley, a majority of Harvard University students also say the U.S. is a bigger threat to world peace than ISIS. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/10/08/twisted-ivy-harvard-students-say-us-bigger-threat-to-world-peace-than-isis/
If we read the other posts about ISIS on Twitter, this same misinformation about who ISIS is and how they accomplish their goals is widespread.
“So what?” you might ask. So a few students are misinformed or misguided about ISIS. After all, ISIS is in the Middle East and hardly a threat to us here in the U.S. thousands of miles away.
Well, the 9/11 Commission reached a number of conclusions about what we had done wrong in the years leading up to that disaster, but their number one finding was that our intelligence community suffered from a “lack of imagination.”
That lack of imagination continues.
With social media tools, whatever safety we enjoyed once behind oceans and land masses is gone. Hacker’s daily strike at our government, our corporations, and our infrastructure’ digital gold. As they are after specific information, be it financial, military, or otherwise, they generally do not destroy the servers or data or destroy electronic, digital, water, financial or other networks.
But what if ISIS were to strike those same networks? And what if they used their substantial knowledge of social media as a force multiplier to increase their destructive capability to justify their actions to the world?
They’ve already proven themselves to be very adept at using their social media tools to recruit and train candidates from dozens of nations. They’ve uploaded their combat and recruitment films to Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Their assault on Syria and Iraq was probably the first combat operation that was carried live on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social media.
They have demonstrated a professional grasp of messaging and messaging tools. They understand that the optics as captured in social media is as important to their victory as anything they achieve on the battlefield.
So…let’s take just one scenario.
Let’s assume that for a year or two they accumulate weapons and explosives inside the U.S. If they preposition operatives and supplies in just 300 (or 100 or even 50) U.S. neighborhoods, they have a rather formidable force.
Then, they pick a day for a coordinated attack and hit hard.
But knowing how powerful social media can be as a force multiplier, they not only stock piled arms and explosives. They also set up hundreds of accounts on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and other social media, and preprogrammed smart phones to spread their message rapidly…all as a force multiplier.
As in Syria and Iraq, they have one operative with a cell phone recording every action. As fast as it happens, it is uploaded to social media. And they comment about it all, enjoying the element of surprise and the advantage of first report without counterviews reported.
Now our misinformed USC Berkeley and Harvard University students are useful multipliers for ISIS. A recognized tenet of social media marketing is trust. Anyone who markets a product or a service on social media must have their customers trust to assure that their message is recognized and broadcast to a wider customer base.
So, too, with ISIS. They need others to identify with their message and to transmit it once they upload it. Given the indicated sympathy of the USC and Harvard students, they have a trust base outer ring. Their own committed sympathizers assure they get to the inner ring who can then multiply the impact of their propaganda to a much wider ring.
With a terrorist journalist assigned to each strike force, they could quickly disseminate their message. A violent, coordinated, well executed attack on a large number of American neighborhoods accompanied by a professional social media campaign, in addition to causing a large loss of life and significant damage to property, could accomplish the penultimate goal of every terrorist organization: panic.
And they have mastered this ability already. One Tweeter named Mahdi under the name “Shami Witness,” an executive from Bangalore, India:
“…spent his mornings, afternoons and evenings sending thousands of tweets of propaganda about the Islamic State militant group, acting as the leading conduit of information between Jihadi’s, supporters, and recruits.
His tweets…were seen two million times each month, making him perhaps the most influential Islamic State Twitter account, with over 17,700 followers.”[i]
And how do we roll back these live terrorist tweets? Well, the Islamic terrorist strike in Sydney, Australia at a Lindt café and chocolate store at the height of the Christmas shopping in the heart of the financial district. What did the Sydney police tweet?
FredZeppelin retweeted
@ABCNewsLive @ABC @9NewsAUS Sydney police have requested NO Tweets. Lives in danger; don't want to provide gunmen with info they don't have
This was excellent counter intelligence by the Sydney police. They knew the right information to tweet, and did so.
Remember, in contrast to prior terrorist hostage takings going all the way back to when the Palestine Liberation Organization would hijack planes in the 1970’s when all hostages were silenced, the terrorists at the Lindt store allowed their hostages to keep their phones. Why?
Why would they do that when doing so would provide an opportunity for them to communicate with their families and the media?
For precisely that reason. The terrorists had some hostages call news outlets and try to get on the air. Again, why? I argue they know by now very how powerful a force multiplier can be and they deliberately used it. While misguided, uninformed or defeatist analysts in the West may label these actors “lone wolfs,” they are well aware they are part of a larger 1,400 year long tradition of martyrs bent on global domination.
Here is Marcia’s social media post from the Lindt Café that was also meant as a force multiplier. 
Has our foreign policy elite identified the ISIS social media weapons platform threat or developed policies to eliminate it?
Well, to judge by one white paper on the topic put out by the well-funded and prestigious Brookings Institution called, “The ISIS Twitter Census: Defining and describing the population of ISIS supporters on Twitter” by J.M. Berger and Jonathon Morgan, the answer is yes to the first question but no to the second.
The Brookings report examining the phenomena of ISIS social media skill on Twitter, just one of several social media weapons platforms they use, only to conclude with bizarre recommendations about nuance and gender, such as:
“Government, for its part, must do something it has not traditionally excelled at: fully address a complex situation and attempt to find a nuanced approach.”
And “There are many attendant questions that should be of interest to civil libertarians. These include, for example, whether suspensions disproportionately impact people of certain genders, races, nationalities, sexual orientations, or religions. Twitter in particular discloses literally no information about the accounts it suspends, yet this activity takes place every day. Again, this is an area in which companies would be well-advised to consider proactive measures, and it is an area where government oversight may eventually come into play.”
After decades of following terrorists, with ISIS being the latest brand, their websites, their enablers, supporters and members, trust me...NONE of them are nuanced. None worry about civil liberties, gender, or sexual orientation. They are equal opportunity killers.  And they are very clear when they say on their websites: “We have been at war for 1,400 years. You forgot. We didn’t.”
The Brookings analysis reminds me of the monks of Lindisfarne monastery debating theology as the Vikings arrive and debated with their broad axes. That is a metaphor for what we face today with the Mohammedians, whatever politically correct psycho-babble Brookings and the foreign policy elite religiously parrot in the media daily.
The daily atrocities of ISIS, from enslaving, raping and selling Christian, Yazidi and other women, their hanging bodies from gantries of towns they conquer, their cutting off human heads, their torture and killing of prisoners, their destruction of ancient cultural treasures, their use of children as soldiers, their throwing gays off roofs, their burning or churches and homes...well, their savagery is endless. But it is not nuanced.
Conclusion: Orson Wells in his famous 1938 drama “War of the Worlds” achieved massive citizen panic using just his voice and an earlier social media tool, the radio. ISIS has far more sophisticated tools at its disposal, and it knows how to use them.
Once underway, this kind of large-scale citizen panic is difficult to contain. As they have already cut off captives heads, engaged in mass murder and mass rape, enslaved thousands, turned Christian churches into prisons, recruited, trained and activated suicide bombers and engaged in other widespread and repeated violent behavior, their launching multiple attacks inside the U.S. is easily imaginable.
Given their proficiency and experience coordinating their attacks with social media propaganda, ISIS using social media as a multiplier force is easily imaginable. The full impact of that attack is not imaginable, although their use of these social media tools for the past several years in the Middle East and globally shows they are proficient in their use.
We can shut down ISIS social media tools BEFORE their use of them results in large numbers of death, panic, mayhem and destruction. Twitter has finally begun to shut down thousands of jihadi accounts, but thousands of others spring up when they do.
Maybe the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the dozens of other intelligence agencies the taxpayers give billions to each year can assist Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Facebook and the other social media tools ISIS uses as weapons platforms in the task of shutting down their force multiplier.
The consequences of waiting until AFTER this social media force multiplier is used on a larger scale are unimaginable. We can connect the dots on this one NOW. We can also take care of this threat NOW if we show the wisdom, courage, and action that our future depends on. The millions of men and women who gave their lives and limbs for this country deserve no less. So, too, do our children and grandchildren whose precious lives hang in the balance.


Background Resources


Footnotes

[i] http://www.channel4.com/news/unmasked-the-man-behind-top-islamic-state-twitter-account-shami-witness-mehdi