The Slippery Slope of Material Support Prosecutions: Social Media Support to Terrorists
34 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2014 Last revised: 6 Sep 2015
Date Written: August 22, 2014
On September 21, 2013, a group of al-Shabaab gunmen attacked the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, killing nearly seventy civilians. Al-Shabaab’s media wing, HSM Press, launched a public relations campaign on Twitter claiming responsibility for the attack, posting live information and pictures, and taunting Kenyan and global security forces with threats of future action. More recently, ISIS' social media campaign has drawn much international attention. This Note discusses whether the U.S. government could successfully pursue material support to terrorist charges against social media companies for allowing designated foreign terrorist organizations to use their services and if so, the constitutional and policy implications.
Keywords: terrorism, material support, ISIS, social media
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