A couple months ago while I was waiting to do a TV appearance I met a guy named Laith Alkhouri. Laith specializes in studying the so-called "deep web", where terrorist groups communicate, recruit, plan, discuss and more. Our initial conversation touched on the fact that ISIS fighters and recruiters were actually giddy about the prospect of a Trump presidency, believing he would wreck the US in various ways through generalized incompetence but also be drawn into another ground war in the Syria and northern Iraq where ISIS now rules - something which may sound like something that would terrify ISIS but is actually their fondest wish. In any case, in the course of the conversation, I got more interested in the "dark web" itself.
We've all heard and known for years that terrorist groups use the internet to communicate, chat, propagandize and recruit. We hear about this on the news all the time. All the domestic terrorists in the US found recruiters and propaganda online. But where exactly does this happen? Like if I decided that I wanted to learn more about being a jihadist and maybe trade in TPM to go kill people in Syria, where would I go online exactly to find out more? And where is it on the web that these folks go when they want to communicate at least semi-secretly? I realized that while I'd known for years that jihadism lives on the Internet, I didn't know anything about how it worked, where they congregate, how they recruit or maintain operational secrecy. But Laith lives in the "dark web." That's his job. So I asked him to write our latest story for The Arch, which we're publishing today. Check it out, a totally fascinating story.