Bringing out the big guns: U.S. to ‘blunt Islamic State’s message’

Bringing out the big guns: U.S. to ‘blunt Islamic State’s message’

[Ed. – Finally, we’re going to coordinate the countermessaging?  Whoa.  Now you’re messing with an SOB, ISIS.  Fear. The. Countermessage.]

The Obama administration is revamping its effort to counter the Islamic State’s propaganda machine, acknowledging that the terrorist group has been far more effective in attracting new recruits, financing and global notoriety than the United States and its allies have been in thwarting it.

At the heart of the plan is expanding a tiny State Department agency, the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, to harness all the existing attempts at countermessaging by much larger federal departments, including the Pentagon, Homeland Security and intelligence agencies.

The center would also coordinate and amplify similar messaging by foreign allies and nongovernment agencies, as well as by prominent Muslim academics, community leaders and religious scholars who oppose the Islamic State, also called ISIS or ISIL, and who may have more credibility with ISIS’ target audience of young men and women than the American government.

With the Islamic State and its supporters producing as many as 90,000 tweets and other social media responses every day, American officials acknowledge they have a tough job ahead to blunt the group’s digital momentum in the same way a United States-led air campaign has slowed ISIS’ advances on the battlefield in Iraq and, to a lesser extent, in Syria. …

Many of the plan’s details are still being worked out, but administration officials are expected to describe at least its broad outlines during three days of meetings, sponsored by the White House and beginning Tuesday, intended to showcase efforts underway in the United States and abroad to combat what the authorities call violent extremism.

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