Reality Check: Christopher Cornell and ISIS' propaganda machine - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Reality Check: Christopher Cornell and ISIS' propaganda machine

FOX19 -

How does it happen? How does ISIS turn a seemingly normal young man, like Tri-State native Christopher Cornell, into a would-be terrorist? It's not an accident, but the direct result of a strategic and sophisticated propaganda machine.

Just last month, the FBI issued a bulletin to law enforcement agencies nationwide warning that the Islamic State is using social media to bombard young Americans with radicalized messages, ISIS going so far as to produce a Hollywood-style film with explosions and violent imagery; It's titled 'FLAMES OF WAR' and can viewed (in part) right now on YOUTUBE.

Nowhere is ISIS more dominant than on Twitter. According to a recent study by The Brookings Institute, last fall there were more than 45,000 Twitter accounts linked to ISIS. The average account having approximately one thousand followers, many of those accounts relying on BOTS--software that automatically sends out hundreds even thousands of tweets every day, tweets predominantly originating from Syria Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

So who's reading these tweets? The government said it's mostly teens and people in their early 20s, but it's a broad group covering people who were raised Muslim, those who converted, married and single people, male and female, rich and poor, U.S.-born citizens and recent immigrants.

"We Muslims…we are normal people like you. We are not people who simply just go out and fight Jihad. We have families. We go outside with our families, you know? We're normal people too," Cornell told FOX19Now exclusively from jail.

Twitter recently suspended 2,000 Islamic State accounts, mostly high volume distributors. The problem is many of those accounts are already back up and running under different names. All part of ISIS's plan to radicalize young people like Christopher Cornell.

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