ISIL: They don’t always use physical attacks

For those of us who visualize the extremist rebel group as terroristic sweaty men in training camps with AK-47s, we aren’t wrong, but we aren’t totally right either. This is a terrorist group of the past, maybe from the early 2000s or the ‘90s. ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or also known ISIS, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is distinct in its sophisticated social media campaign.

As international terror attacks continue to take place, national security is hyper-vigilant. It seems quite often that news breaks of some disgruntled youngsters trying to make their way over to Syria to join ISIL in killing people. Fortunately, the FBI took notice on Feb. 25. Three men were arrested in New York for trying to fly to Turkey to join the group and provide material support.

ISIL has the added component of, essentially, a PR firm: Men sitting at computers, tweeting the group’s messages all day. The “hactivist” group, Anonymous, claims to have shut down over 800 Twitter accounts associated with ISIL. Numerous Facebook profiles, blogs and forums are suspected to be affiliated with the group.

ISIL’s online presence is formidable, and intricately planned and maintained. Its goal is to elicit international solidarity and to recruit foreign fighters. This effort has been a blatant success. Politicians from many countries have expressed concern over the amount of people defecting to ISIL, particularity malleable youth. Attacks abroad show no sign of slowing down.

How does ISIL attain the resources to create such an expansive and sophisticated infrastructure? In addition to smuggled natural resources, ISIL brutally robs its conquered population for everything its worth. Wealthy donors are another source of revenue. How can these streams of revenue realistically be cut off? The Middle East doesn’t have an IRS to audit people.

Georgia State students should stay informed — not just of Atlanta, of the world. Foreign policy affects our economy. Anyone interested in getting a job and supporting themselves is concerned with the economy, and transitively, foreign policy.

Say you’re a Turkish merchant in the oil business. This sketchy guy comes to you each week with copious amounts of oil. After a while, you would start to wonder where this oil comes from, and it wouldn’t be hard to understand that your money supports institutional murder. The Turkish economy has suffered a loss of Iraqi demand, and merchants like you are hurting. Depending on your situation, you may not care where your money goes.

While it continues to be profitable, ISIL’s terror capabilities increase, and national security risks rise internationally. To diminish the group, it seems as though taking its territory is necessary — but what happens after that? Who governs these broad regions in Iraq and Syria, and what happens to the area’s valuable oil supply? These questions seem to be ignored by mainstream media outlets, e.g., CNN, FOX, BBC. Any current threat of a terror attack, regardless of its likelihood, outweighs future concerns in arousing the public.

It’s also good form to show any potential employers, business partners and associates that you pay attention to the world, not just your own little bubble.