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Most young terrorist recruitment is linked to social media, said DOJ official

ISIS so adept in its use of social media for propaganda and recruitment, that most cases of domestic terrorism can now be traced to social media platforms.

"We've got to get the message out: Terrorists are using social media to target young kids," said John Carlin, assistant attorney general for national security at the Department of Justice.


CNBC’s Andrew Ross-Sorkin interviewing John Carlin at the Cambridge Cyber Summit on Wednesday, October 5, 2016.
David A. Grogan | CNBC
CNBC’s Andrew Ross-Sorkin interviewing John Carlin at the Cambridge Cyber Summit on Wednesday, October 5, 2016.

Those comments came in an on-stage interview with CNBC's Andrew Ross-Sorkin at the Cambridge Cyber Summit at MIT on Wednesday.

Internet terrorists are deliberately using social media to target tens of thousands, he said.

ISIS and others are using platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to reach isolated teens here in the United States, and they know how to get their attention with social media posts, Carlin said.

"They have a terrorist with a kitten in one hand an AK-47 in the other hand," he said.

Terror suspects and their families are at times actually thanking the FBI for arresting terror suspects and intervening before those young people lose their lives to terror networks, he said.

The conference is sponsored by CNBC, MIT and The Aspen Institute.