Ex-CIA operative lawmaker: ISIS social media reach 'phenomenal'

Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes Democrat running for Will Hurd's seat raises over million in first 100 days of campaign Democrats keen to take on Cornyn despite formidable challenges MORE (R-Texas), a former undercover operative for the CIA, tells The Hill that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has an uncanny ability to wield social media as a weapon.

"ISIS's ability to leverage social media to hit tens of millions of people at a time is phenomenal,” the freshman lawmaker said. "You look at the recent events in my home state of Texas, in Garland, last week, where you had these two individuals that were really inspired by ISIS — based on the rhetoric that they were seeing up online — so we have to be able to counter that threat."


Hurd, one of eight House Homeland Security Committee members appointed to the Task Force on Combating Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel, said that it is difficult for Americans to counter the Islamist ideology alone. U.S. allies in the Middle East also need to be "involved in countering that message."

Listen to Hurd discuss the ISIS threat and solution with The Hill's Molly K. Hooper in the video clip above.