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

Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdOvernight Defense: House passes T spending package with defense funds | Senate set to vote on blocking Saudi arms sales | UN nominee defends climate change record Senate panel advances bill to protect government devices against cyber threats House passes amendment to block funding for transgender troops ban 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.