Abousamra is a Muslim from the Boston area. He is the son of a doctor. He is a computer expert, a graduate of Northeastern University, where he made the dean’s list. If only we could alleviate the grinding poverty and social marginalization of young men like this, they wouldn’t turn to jihad.
“The American computer wiz running brutally effective ISIS social media campaign: College-educated son of top Boston doctor is on FBI Most Wanted list,” by Michael Zennie, MailOnline, September 4, 2014 (thanks to Pamela Geller):
A college educated American citizen with a knack for computers is believed to be one of the men running the brutally effective ISIS social media operation, which is helping to attract hundreds of fighters from across the world – including the U.S., Britain and Canada.
Ahmad Abousamra, 32, was born in France and raised in the upscale Boston suburb of Stoughton. His father is a prominent endocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. He attended the exclusive Xaverian Brothers Catholic high school and made the Dean’s List at Northeastern University.
He graduated with a degree in a technology field then took a job at a telecommunications company.
U.S. officials tell ABC News that he is now putting his skills to work for ISIS, the brutal terrorist organization that has been effectively using 21st century methods like Twitter memes, Facebook posts, selfies and YouTube videos to promote its radical 6th century Islamic ideals.
In 2004, federal authorities say, Abousamra left his American life behind and traveled to Iraq in the hopes of fighting U.S. soldiers as part of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Instead, he was recruited to the groups ‘media wing.’
‘If you do have a European language ability, if you have computer skills, if you are quite clever and you come join ISIS, you are likely to be used for social media output,’ Peter Neumann, the director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, told ABC.
When he returned to the U.S. in 2006, he was questioned by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. He was released without charge and slipped out of the country and back to Syria.
In 2009, he was charged with federal terrorism offenses. He is currently on the FBI’s Most Wanted list and the government has offered a $50,000 reward for his capture.
Most Wanted: The FBI is offering a $50,000 reward for the capture of Abousamra, who is wanted on federal terrorism charges
Brutally effective: ISIS has managed to use 21th century tactics to promote its brutal 6th century worldview
Authorities now believe Abousamra is in charge of running social media for ISIS, according to ABC
ISIS has shown remarkable sophistication with its online presence. When the group released its video showing the execution of journalist James Foley, it was simultaneously posted on dozens of online forums, Twitter accounts of other social media sites.
A slew of Twitter and Facebook accounts spread the group’s message by posting pictures of the brutal executions and torture that ISIS terrorist bestow on their enemies – all while staying a step ahead of Silicon Valley’s attempts to shut them down.
Jihadist fighters who join ISIS, meanwhile, project an image of a certain kind of twisted glamour, showing off their new life and posing with weapons and on military vehicles.
‘ISIS understands very well that in order for an act of terrorism to be effective, it needs to actually terrorize people,’Mr Neumann told ABC.
‘The act of communication that follows the act of violence is almost as important as the act of violence itself.’