Stuart Varney: There’s a bold statement I read from you – ISIS is ahead of us in technology. That seems incredible to me. Do you want to explain it?
Steve Emerson: Well let me modify that. Let’s just say there’s a cat and mouse game and the mouse seems to be winning at this point. ISIS has been able to exploit its use of Western technology to the point of basically encrypting its communications, using American and Western technology to avoid being hit by drones, using American and Western technology and building logarithms to avoid being shut down by Twitter. Twitter shut down 15,000 accounts, but ISIS continues to send out tens of thousands of Twitter feeds. And in fact I have with me these manuals that we obtained from ISIS – I’m not going to publicly reveal them – but they reveal for example [that] “beginning in 2014 Twitter accounts connected with ISIS began tweeting technical information advising jihadists how to foil attacks by American drones, laser guided bombs and missiles.” The document, it’s pretty incredible.
Varney: How did they do this? Are they recruiting Muslims who are raised in Western technology culture? Is that how they’re doing this?
Emerson: Well they’re recruiting all types. They’re recruiting social media experts. Well first of all they’re recruiting soldiers and that’s one key to their success. So they’ve got a territory. They’re becoming a self-contained state with all the accoutrement of the state. They’ve got weapons, they’ve got territory, they’re starting to get their own currency, they’ve got money. And now they’re beginning to develop their own technology. They are recruiting [specialists in the West]; they deliberately focus on social engineering recruits in the West. And in fact [although] it has not been known publicly but they actually managed to get a senior IT official of a Western law enforcement agency to defect to ISIS in the past year.
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