Author Biography

Dr. Robin Thompson has an extensive background in security, counterintelligence, and information operations. She has been a USAF Security Forces officer, a civilian Special Agent with Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI), and an independent security consultant in the private sector. Currently, she is the Lead Counterintelligence Special Agent for a NASA Center. She has a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice from Minot State University and received her Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership from the University of Phoenix. She is also certified as a Chief Information Officer from the Information Resources Management College at National Defense University, is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College and Air War College, and is certified as a Six Sigma Black Belt.



Subject Area Keywords

Al-Qaida, Asymmetric warfare, Complex operations, Cybersecurity, Democracy and democatization, Global trends and risks, Islamic culture and politics, Middle East, Nonstate actors, Radicalization, Regional conflict, Social movements, Stability operations, Terrorism / counterterrorism, Violent extremism


The use of social media tools by individuals and organizations to radicalize individuals for political and social change has become increasingly popular as the Internet penetrates more of the world and mobile computing devices are more accessible. To establish a construct for radicalization,the power and reach of social media will be described so there is common understanding of what social media is and how it is utilized by various individuals and groups. The second section will answer the question of why social media applications are the perfect platform for the radical voice. Finally, the use of social media and its influence in radicalizing populations in Northern Africa and the Middle East during 2011 will be analyzed and recommendations proposed.