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    Social Media Rise Makes US Vulnerable to Small Terror Cells, Lone Wolf Attacks

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    The United States may have little to fear from large terror groups after al-Qaeda's 2001 attacks but the rise of social media has made it vulnerable to smaller cells and lone-wolf terrorists, US sociologist and author David Altheide told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Altheide is the author of "Terror Post 9/11 and the Media," a book on how mass media and terrorism have been shaping social discourse post September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington.

    "The US may be safer from a large organized terrorist attack of large structures/events than it was in 2001, but it is not safer from attacks by smaller groups or even individuals, who can easily obtain deadly weapons. Recruitment of amateur jihadists is easier because of social media that have become more instantaneous, visual, and personal," he said.

    He argued that, rather than preventing violence, massive surveillance has contributed more to the spread of terror and greatly expanded fear. This, in turn, has promoted harsher policies and rhetoric to isolate and radicalize many US citizens.

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