The State Department and United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) have undertaken a new counterterrorism mission that focuses on the relationships between organized crime, political or ideological extremism, and terrorism. The new mission includes counter-cyberterrorism efforts.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discussed the State/SOCOM partnership at a recent special operations conference, where she alluded to the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications’(CSCC) operations in Yemen and Central Africa.
In a recent effort, the CSCC countered al-Qaida propaganda on tribal Yemeni websites. CSCC’s Digital Outreach Team posted pictures of coffins wrapped with the Yemen flag to counter the images of coffins covered by the U.S. flag. The CSCC’s images were accompanied by Arabic messages regarding the human toll inflicted on Yemen by al-Qaida. The CSCC’s team also responded to pictures posted by al-Qaida supporters on Yemeni discussion forums.
The CSCC’s Digital Outreach Team is housed at the State Department, has a $6 million annual budget, and is staffed by experts from the intelligence community, the Department of Defense, and special operations forces. The CSCC focuses on various forms of counterterrorism communications, and its Digital Outreach Team specializes in counter-cyberterrorism.
For more information about the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, please follow the links below.
U.S. State Department, SOCOM Forge Unlikely Partnership, Defense News
US Cybercounterterrorism Team Takes on al-Qaida, Technology News