Center for Strategic Communication

[ by Charles Cameron — our stuff turned against us once again, this time it’s our symbolism ]



Richard Clarke, at that time Chair of the President’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Board and Special Advisor to the President for CyberSpace Security, said in December 2001:

Just as Al-Qaeda used 767s, transforming them into effective missiles, our future enemies will turn our technology against us.

It’s a recurring theme: as Seth Baum noted in April of this year in an article titled When Our Technology Is Used Against Us:

The 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, which killed 164 people, were made possible by the sophisticated use of information technology.

Baum links to an AP piece by Kathy Gannon, in which she writes:

In an Internet age, al-Qaeda prizes geek jihadis as much as would-be suicide bombers and gunmen. The terror network is recruiting computer-savvy technicians to produce sophisticated Web documentaries and multimedia products aimed at Muslim audiences in the United States, Britain and other Western countries.


So far, this is all techno-heavy stuff.

But they’re using our symbolism too, and turning it against us, as Ibn Siqilli notes in his blog post today, IN PICTURES: “Jihad Is Not Terrorism”:

Sad but true: Iwo Jihad.


To be honest, I don’t think this works for them. Using clips from the Lord of the Rings works far better, IMO, because it’s a symbol-system that can appeal to youth, and because it draws on a fantasy realm whose “good” and “evil” characters can be mapped directly onto their own identifications.

Propaganda is a subtle business. Still, kudos once more to Chris at Ibn Siqilli for spotting this and posting it.