Tag Archives: marketing

#ISIS Recruiting and Internet Jihadism

When I began writing my latest novel, Paladine,  it was supposed to a be my attempt to write a “normal” assassination thriller.  An ex-Special Forces commando goes into business as a mercenary.  His targets: terrorists.  However, when I got into the research I was shocked.  I knew there had to be radicalized jihadists living in the United States because the FBI has arrested many of them in sting operations.[1] [2] However, there is evidence, readily available from Internet sources, that Sheik Mubarak Ali Jilani, a sheik from Pakistan, a suspected terrorist which the U.S. government alleges is the founder of the terrorist organization, Jamaat ul-Fuqra[3], is also the founder of  Muslims of America, Inc.[4] which allegedly has established jihad training compounds in the States which are classified by law enforcement as “classically structured terrorist cells.” [5]  A storage locker maintained by the group in Colorado Springs was raided by local police in 1989, who found a cache of firearms, grenades, plastic explosives and target practice silhouettes labeled “Zionist Pig” and “FBI Anti-Terrorist Squad.”[6][7][8][9]

Claims have been made by the anti-Islamic group, Christian Action Network[10] that the MOA trains men and women to be jihadists and to take action upon Gilani’s order.[11]  Reports by the Anti-Defamation League indicate that the group’s emails and web sites have featured writings by anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers and advocate jihadist violence.[12]

The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) was established in 2004 to serve as the primary organization in collecting and analyzing all intelligence pertaining to terrorism possessed or acquired by the U.S. government.[13]  However, according to a 2011 Congressional Report, it is powerless to do any of its own enforcement and, instead, must rely on other government agencies. The report provides: “Arguably most important, however, is the capability of ensuring that analysts are integrated into the counterterrorism effort, that operational planning is shared with analytical offices so that particular reactions or threats can be anticipated and assessed. The most important “wall” may not be the one that existed between law enforcement and intelligence agencies prior to 2001, but the one that often persists between analysts and operators. The latter may lack the time and opportunity to integrate analytical efforts into their ongoing work, but if the country is aiming for a “zero defects” approach to terrorism, close attention to intelligence is a prerequisite. Some experienced observers maintain that “zero defects” is unrealizable, some failures are inevitable and argue that it is more responsible to minimize failures and limit their effects. The use of intelligence by policymakers and military commanders is in largest measure the responsibility of the Executive Branch, but some observers argue that the quality of analysis may be enhanced when analytical efforts are regularly reviewed by congressional committees and hearings are conducted to ensure that they are properly prepared and fully used.”[14]

President Obama held a briefing with his national security team at the NCTC in December 2015[15] but it was largely symbolic, resulting in no change in policy.  As an example of enforcement’s shortcomings, the terrorists in that case were on both watch lists – TIDE and TSDB – but were cleared as potential threats by the bureau – twice.  After they were cleared, they went on to commit one of the most horrific terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

There is a growing threat from the so-called “lone-wolf” attacks, such as we have seen in Nice and other parts of Europe, but there are also jihadists recruiters for the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Nusra using social media to connect with potential jihadists for financing and soldiering.[16]

What is most alarming is that most of the recruits are young people; many of them teenagers.[17]  While recruiting used to be face-to-face, many recruits to ISIS and other terrorist organizations come from social media, where the terrorist organizations all have Twitter and Facebook pages.  The teenagers are exposed to the terrorist propaganda, and by the time they make contact to sign up, they have already been radicalized.

Current economic and social conditions are putting more than usual pressures on young people.  The virtual reality of the Internet creates an escape from real life that can be more destructive than drugs.  When suicidal tendencies turn into homicidal tendencies, it is easy to see how more lone-wolf terrorist attacks like the Bastille Day attack in Nice on July 14th could occur, not only abroad, but on U.S. soil.

While enforcement is a problem that must be addressed on a national level by connecting up law enforcement with the latest data on suspected terrorists, the radicalization of young people is a local problem that must be solved within families, schools and peer groups.  Perhaps religious leaders of traditional Islam can do more to reach out to these young people, using the binary, technical language of their generation.

[1] Pfeiffer, Alex, 31 Suspected ISIS Terrorists Have Been Arrested in the U.S. In the Past Year, The Daily Caller, August 6, 2016

[2] Goldman, Adam, The Islamic State’s suspected inroads into America, The Washington Post, August 8, 2016

[3] Bocuher, Richard, Daily Press Briefing, United States Dept. of State, March 27, 2002

[4] Mauro, Ryan, Muslims of the Americas (MOA), The Clarion Project, February 12, 2013

[5] Brown, Carol, Muslims of America training compounds, American Thinker, September 20, 2015

[6] Hossenball, Mark, Another Holy War, Waged on American Soil, Newsweek, February 28, 1994

[7] Mauro, Ryan, Muslims of the Americas (MOA), The Clarion Project, February 12, 2013

[8] Brown, Carol, Muslims of America training compounds, American Thinker, September 20, 2015

[9] The Blaze, For the Record, Sleeper Cells Inside Our Nation?, Febraury 19, 2014

[10] Is There a Muslim Terrorist Training Camp Near You?, The Conservative Papers, May 7, 2013

[11] Brown, Carol, Muslims of America training compounds, American Thinker, September 20, 2015

[12] Muslims of the Americas: In Their Own Words, Anti -Defamation League, http://archive.adl.org/extremism/moa/

[13] NCTC website: https://www.nctc.gov/index.html

[14] Best, Richard A., The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) Responsibilities and Potential Congressional Concerns, December 19, 2011, Congressional Research Service

[15] White House, Office of Press Secretary, Statement by the President After Briefing at National Counterterrorism Center, December 17, 2015

[16] Bardin, Jeff, What it’s like to be recruited by ISIS online, May 22, 2015, Business Insider

[17] Geiger, Gloria, This is How ISIS Uses Social Media to Recruit American Teens, November 20, 2015, Teen Vogue

Described by critics as “one of our strongest thriller writers on the scene,” author Kenneth Eade, best known for his legal and political thrillers, practiced law for 30 years before publishing his first novel, “An Involuntary Spy.” Eade, an up-and-coming author in the legal thriller and courtroom drama genre, has been described by critics as “One of our strongest thriller writers on the scene and the fact that he draws his stories from the contemporary philosophical landscape is very much to his credit.” He is the author of the “Brent Marks Legal Thriller Series”, the fifth installment of which, Killer.com, won best legal thriller in the 2015 Beverly Hills Book Awards, and the “Involuntary Spy Espionage Series”.Said Eade of the comparisons, “Readers compare me in style to John Grisham and, there are some similarities, because John also likes to craft a story around real topics and we are both lawyers. However, all of my novels are rooted in reality, not fantasy. I use fictional characters and situations to express factual and conceptual issues. Some use the term ‘faction’ to describe this style, and it is present in all my fictional works.”

Eade has written fourteen novels, which are now in the process of being translated into six languages. He is known to keep in touch with his readers, and offers a free Kindle book to all those who sign up at his web site, http://www.kennetheade.com.

Email: info@kennetheade.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KennethGEadeBestsellingauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KennethEade1

Source: Internet Jihadism

Writing and Marketing

Okay, so you wrote a great book, it has a fantastic cover, a wonderful eye catching name, and you’re ready to be the next bestseller on the New York Times Best Seller List.  Now what?  This post is called writing and marketing for a reason, and that reason is that marketing begins before you publish, and continues after you publish your book.

Before you publish

Your book must include marketing inside of it in order to compete against the hundreds of thousands of books being self-published.  Your book may have the catchiest title of any book written in the century, but, these days, it’s ebook sales that count, and, in order to have your book noticed, your title has to be written, not as a book publisher, but as an SEO expert.  Don’t be afraid to put your key words in your title; you are not John Grisham and this is a must for the self-published author.  Select the easiest category for your book to compete in (this may take some trial and error.)  After you have done that, then pick the seven best key words, by experimenting with the Amazon search feature.  Select key words that are the most popular as generated by the “auto-fill” feature in the search box, and select key words that consist of more than one or two words, if possible.  For example, your key word will be picked up better by Amazon’s search engine if it is “legal thrillers kindle ebooks” instead of just “legal thrillers.”  Don’t be afraid to play with the key words until your book shows up on the first page of search results.

So, you have an SEO worthy title, good key words, a catchy cover that shows up well as a thumbnail, your book has been professionally edited, and you are ready to go, right?  Wrong.  You need to build in marketing into the ebook itself.  Ask your readers to leave a review.  Put links and descriptions to your other works in the end of the book.  Put in a link to your mailing list and ask your readers to subscribe.

Okay, you’ve done all that.  Now you’re ready to publish, right?  No, not even close.  Nobody is going to look at your book unless you have reviews.  That brings to mind the old chicken and egg question.  How is anyone going to review your book unless it has been published?  You can give advance copies to your friends, so that, when your book is published, you can have reviews published on it right away.  You need a minimum of ten.  Go to professional sources and ask for reviews.  No, not Publisher’s Weekly and the like.  Sure, you can, but they reject most unknown authors.  Go to Midwest Book Review http://www.midwestbookreview.com/get_rev.htm and San Francisco Book Review http://sanfranciscobookreview.com/submission-guidelines/ and submit an advance copy of your work at least 60 days before your publication date.  These reviews charge a small reader fee and are not like Kirkus, who charges a fortune for their reviews.  You can also approach Foreward Reviews, but outfits like InD’Tale Magazine http://www.indtale.com/submit-book-review  are more likely to publish your review, and will not charge you (except $10 to have your cover featured in the review.)

Ready to go?  No, you are still not ready to go.  You still need to inform the public that your book is out.  A press release is a great idea, and Piece of Cake PR is probably the best.  You can reach them at: http://www.pieceofcakepr.com/ .  But probably nobody is going to read your press release.  Clout Media has great publicity packages on Fiverr.com that will get your book reviewed, and articles put out on the Examiner and IPublishing News.  You should also be working with blogs and book tours to put out the word.  Unfortunately, not all of them are going to be effective and it is a case of trial and error.  Some of the better ones are pointed out in the next section.  I have done all the trial and error for you.

After Publishing

You have launched your book, alerted the media, and have your party hats and champagne ready.  Sadly, your job has only just begun.  Now you must implement a long-term marketing strategy that will keep you busy every day if you want sales.  You must start with a professional looking web site.  For example, look at http://kennetheade.com .  This was made using 1and1.com’s website building tool, or http://apatriotsact.com , which was made using Wix.com.  Make sure you have a mailing list signup, in order to build a base of readers whom you can inform of your next release, discounts on your books, free offers, and ongoing content.  You should have a blog as well, and I have found that it helps to build a brand by putting out articles.  For example, my fiction books surround real issues, such as bank fraud, genetically engineered foods, or environmental hazards.  I write articles about these subjects and post the articles in local newspapers or Opednews.com.  You also need an author Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a Youtube account.  You can experiment with inexpensive book trailers by using Fiverr.com gigs to help you.  After all, self-published authors don’t often have a video budget.  I will touch on social media marketing in the next guest post.  It is not all what it is cracked up to be, but, unfortunately, you have to have a presence in social media.

You must use your KDP features every enrollment period.  Start out with a free giveaway, and don’t use all the days at once.  After two days, the freebies usually taper off, so I would plan to use two and then three or three and then two.  The next promotion should be a 99 cent promotion using KDP countdown.  But you can’t just schedule it and wait for the fireworks.  That requires its own promotion, which I will cover in the next guest post.  You should be prepared to invest at least $100-$300 in your 99 cent promotion.

Please feel free to email me at: info@timessquarepublishing.net if you have any questions, or just want to share more ideas.  And good luck!  It’s a jungle out there, but if you follow these tried and true tips, you will do fine!