Segments in this Video

"Self-Radicalized Terrorism" (03:49)


The WTC in New York City was first attacked by Al Qaeda in 1993. The second attack, on September 11, 2001, changed how terrorists were dealt with. New technology has made extremism even more dangerous. (Credits)

Terrorist Created (03:30)

In Daphne, Alabama, Omar Hammami was born to a southern, Protestant mother and a conservative, Arabic father who emigrated from Syria. Omar was a popular student in middle school, and in the summer of 8th grade, he visited Syria and met his cousins who taught him how to pray. There are self-radicalized terrorists who communicate on the internet, and fifteen years after 9/11, Omar Hammami took up arms with Islamic terrorists.

Social Media and Terrorists (04:46)

After the trip to Syria, Hammami had a religious awakening, and he came back to the states feeling isolated. This type of terrorist-in-the-making is very difficult for law enforcement to find. There are programs that work to find terrorist activities on social media accounts: Countering Violent Extremism, National Terrorism Center, and Social Media Intelligence.

Counter-Terrorist Program (03:44)

The Islamic Terrorist Organization, Lashkar-e-Taiba, committed multiple attacks in 2008 in Mumbai, killing 160 people in 4 days. The program STONE, Shaping Terrorist Organization Network Efficacy, shows a terrorist group, the lethality of that group, and how that group is weakened by targeting various members of that group.

Extremism (03:23)

In 2001, Hammami enrolled in College in Mobile, Alabama, but he withdrew after U.S. troops marched in Baghdad and thought it was his duty to fight Americans. Hammimi adopted a Salifi ideology, which is a mythical pure form of Islam that says followers can only achieve this ideology through violence. In 2004, Hammami moved to Toronto, married 19 year old immigrant Sadiyo Mohamed Abdille, and she became pregnant.

Connecting Terrorists (02:17)

Hammimi and his wife moved to Alexandria, Egypt in 2005 where he met an American friend with the same ideology, Abu Muhammad Al Amriki. After deserting his wife and child, Hammami and Abu Muhammad Al Amriki went to Somalia to fight with the Islamic Terror group, Al Shabab. Daniel Maldonado was a high school dropout from New Hampshire who converted to Salifi Islam in 2000.

Tamil Tigers (04:05)

The Sri Lankan terror group, Liberation of Tigers of Tamil Eelam or The Tamil Tigers, invented the suicide belt and use of women in terrorist attacks. People who are struggling have a strong need to belong to a group and they will do most anything the group asks of them in order to belong. The University of Maryland performs an experiment that shows why people might make sacrifices for a group in order to belong.

Al Qaeda Group (04:23)

In 2006, Hammami joined a terrorist Al Qaeda affiliate, Al Shabab, in Mogadishu Somalia. In October 2007, Hammami started using the name Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki, showed his face on the news. In 2009, Al Shabab released propaganda video tailored to recruit Americans showing an ambush in Somalia starring Hammami.

Tweeting Death (02:36)

Social networking companies do not want to hinder freedom of speech. In 2013, Al Shabab shot more than 175 people, killing 67, in Nairobi, Kenya; the event was lived tweeted. Twitter has taken down 360 thousand accounts related to terrorism since the middle of 2015.

Terrorist Content (03:18)

There is technology to disrupt global transmission of extremism-related content. Hany Farid, a computer scientist at Dartmouth College, says terrorist-related images on the internet can be identified and eliminated. Images have photo DNA, and this has eliminated four million child pornography pictures from being redistributed.

Terrorist on Video (07:42)

In March 2012, Hammami used YouTube as a platform to spread the word globally that Al Shabab wanted to kill him. In 2013, the United States had a five million dollar reward for the death of Hammami, and a month later, Al Shabab failed at an attempt to murder him. Hammami granted an interview with Voice of America on September 3, 2013, admits he is a terrorist, and was murdered nine days later.

Changing a Terrorist (03:22)

Mubin Shaikh is a Muslim who is the son of conservative Islamic parents who immigrated to Canada. Shaikh became an extremist, traveled to Syria, met an Imam who helped him, and now believes that he can de-radicalize others who are extremists.

De-Radicalization (05:48)

Minnesota has the largest Somali-American community in the United States and the greatest number of terrorist prosecutions of any federal district in the United States. There is no national protocol or tool to help judges or prisons, but Mubin Shaikh strongly suggests there are de-radicalization programs put into place. Daniel Koehler has de-radicalized Neo-Nazis for years, and Tamil Tigers were doing significantly better after a de-radicalization program in comparison to those who did not go through a program.

Credits: NOVA: 15 Years of Terror (00:56)

Credits: NOVA: 15 Years of Terror

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NOVA: 15 Years of Terror

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On September 11, 2001, an unimaginable horror unfolded that devastated a nation and the world. Fifteen years later, we are still gripped by terror, but it has transformed. The attacks have been coming fast and furious—to Boston, Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino, Orlando, Nice— but they are no longer commanded by a central entity. This is terrorism in the age of the Internet: crowd-sourced violence. In this special report, NOVA traces the evolution of terror strategies from the World Trade Center to today. How have radical organizations grown to make use of modern propaganda and social media tools in order to cultivate an army of self-radicalized killers? What is going on inside the minds of this new breed of terrorist? What new techniques and technologies can help law enforcement cope with this elusive threat? And how can psychology and technology be leveraged to end this dreadful cycle of terror?

Length: 54 minutes

Item#: FMK166782

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

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