Handbook of Terrorism and Counter Terrorism Post 9/11
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Handbook of Terrorism and Counter Terrorism Post 9/11

Edited by David Martin Jones, Paul Schulte, Carl Ungerer and M. L.R. Smith

Almost two decades after the events of 9/11, this Handbook offers a comprehensive insight into the evolution and development of terrorism and insurgency since then. Gathering contributions from a broad range of perspectives, it both identifies new technological developments in terrorism and insurgency, and addresses the distinct state responses to the threat of political, or religiously motivated violence; not only in the Middle East and Europe, but also in Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and North and South America.
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Chapter 9: Intelligence in the age of Twitter

Joshua Rovner

Abstract

Political upheaval in North Africa and the Middle East after 2011 was facilitated by new social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. These platforms enabled political activists to rapidly mobilize protesters, who could then provide real-time reports via their own social network accounts. The result was a staggering burst of information from thousands of new sources, all offering their own perspectives on complex and changing events. According to some news reports, the US Intelligence Community struggled to make sense of this flood of information, and its apparent failure to do so raised questions about its ability to provide policymakers anything useful beyond what the new media provide. Intelligence agencies also face new challenges from an expanding number of think tanks and private sector analysis firms. These outfits often portray themselves as quasi-intelligence organizations, and some actively recruit government analysts to bolster their credentials. While social media have created an explosion in new sources of information, the rise of private sector intelligence has intensified competition for policymakers’ attention. This chapter analyses how both these issues raise important questions about whether and how traditional intelligence agencies can remain relevant to policymakers and contribute something useful to the policy process.

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