Physicists Will Predict ISIS Attacks With An Algorithm

Posted: Jun 17 2016, 5:47am CDT | by , Updated: Jun 17 2016, 5:53am CDT, in News | Latest Science News


Researchers to Predict ISIS Attacks With an Algorithm
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  • ISIS Attacks may be Predicted in the Future via an Algorithm

Physicists are saying that ISIS attacks may be predicted in the future via an algorithm.

Terrorist attacks are unpredictable yet they are occurring time after time and disturbing the peace and security of the developed world. The loss of human life and limb is the ultimate tragedy and thus the quest for a way of countering these senseless and mindless acts of sabotage is well underway.

Especially after the recent Orlando shooting in a night club, the world seems to have woken up to the constant threat of terrorism about which a nation’s government has to be extremely vigilant. 

Such extremist fringe groups as ISIS lend clues as to where their next strike will be. The social media is littered with posts and Twitter rants that point the finger at possible terrorists in the making.

A physicist named Neil Johnson recently created a program to sift through the debris of psychobabble found on the Internet. To separate the wheat from the chaff and identify terrorists and terrorist plots that were being hatched was the ultimate goal.

The mathematical heuristic that was created may just come in handy in the counter-terrorist measures taken by the governments of nations threatened by terrorism. 

The study, "New online ecology of adversarial aggregates: ISIS and beyond," published in the journal Science today. 

The physicist and his colleagues mined the depths of the posts on the Internet which showed signs of extremism and fanaticism. All the rants and hatred spouted by the flagbearers of militant and radical versions of Islamism were examined and weighed in the balance.

Ultimately, a formula was devised which could predict the possibility of a terrorist attack with reasonable accuracy. Especially the slightest hint of sympathy with the Islamic State in the online forums was taken as a starting point in the making of a terrorist or extremist.    

The experts have however shown their skepticism regarding the whole thing. While they have appreciated the brainstorming that went into searching for clues regarding the terrorist mind, they also warned that such simplistic tools as looking for sympathizers were not enough.

Terrorist attacks could not be predicted with surety unless the secret was let out through some other channel beforehand. While it is an interesting way of monitoring terrorist tendencies as they coalesce in the minds of people, to start suspecting that someone is a terrorist on the basis of words alone goes into the realms of the thought police.

More information such as whether the suspect had access to explosives or was in touch with ISIS would be needed in order to confirm the fact that he or she was a terrorist.

Yet the physicist Neil Johnson is adamant that this is the right way to go about things. According to him it predicts patterns that build up to the crescendo of violent extremism and the fire and brimstone fanaticism that is so typical of ISIS and its followers.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
Sumayah Aamir (Google+) has deep experience in analyzing the latest trends.




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