Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2019

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Christopher Toulouse, Ph.D.


It is no secret the Islamic State of Syria, otherwise known as ISIS, has become one of the most dangerous and brutal terrorist organizations in recent history. In recent years the Islamic State has been gaining strength and followers from around the world. Individuals from other countries will leave their homes and families after contact through social media to travel to Syria and fight alongside the organization. This thesis provides insight on the dangerous implications ISIS’s perfection on online recruitment and their successful radicalization tactics has. It will also provide an explanation as to why nations, specifically the United States have had so much trouble in weakening or eliminating ISIS’s virtual footprint. I argue my position through an analysis of behavioral characteristics that are susceptible to online radicalization as well as a comparative case study explaining the critical differences with Al Qaeda and ISIS’ extremist methodologies and public relations. Lastly, I highlight the multiple unsuccessful attempts the United States has done to counter the extremist virtual presence. With this thesis, one will get a better understanding as to why ISIS has forced nations to drastically change the way they fight terrorism.