Scholars in the News

Fox Fellow Clint Watts Quoted in The Guardian on New Form of Online Extremism

The Guardian

Social media companies and lawmakers have been urged to prepare for a looming type of extremism born from foreign actors mobilising US citizens to carry out violent acts in their homeland.

Speaking during a Senate committee hearing on extremist propaganda and social media, Clint Watts, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, warned of foreign countries using the kinds of persuasive techniques previously used to recruit Islamist terrorists to manipulate political discourse and mobilise unwitting Americans to attack specific targets.

Watts described this new type of threat as “Anwar Awlaki meets Pizzagate”, referring to the US-born jihadist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, credited with using social media to inspire terror attacks around the world, and the viral online conspiracy theory that led an armed man from North Carolina to discharge his weapon in a Washington pizza restaurant.

Read the full article here.