As President Obama vows to fight harder and smarter against ISIS, a new weapon is emerging to counter the terrorist organization: Big Data.
Beating ISIS will likely require more computer scientists like Zeeshan ul-hassan Usmani who lives in North Carolina.
Like many, Usmani watched news of the terrorist massacres in Paris and San Bernardino with horror. He wanted to do more than pray and condemn the violence.
Usmani runs the big data company PredictifyMe. He began to pour over data on ISIS recruits the way he normally analyzes data on consumers for major brands.
What could he learn from their online profiles? Who are these recruits -- and who is likely to be next?
Usmani estimates there are 71,000 people in the West (North America, Australia and Europe) who are "ready to radicalize."
Portrait of a typical ISIS recruit from the West:
The ready to radicalize population is overwhelmingly young and male. Usmani calls them "Jillennials" -- jihadis who are Millennials.
Contrary to popular belief, recruits from Europe and the U.S. are far more likely to be educated and come from middle or upper class families.
Usmani shared his data exclusively with CNN. His findings are similar to recent research by the Brookings Institution on "The ISIS Twitter Census" and George Washington University's "ISIS in America" report.
But Usmani focused mainly on Europe. He spent weeks analyzing as much data as he could find. He went through tweets, Facebook posts and the cases of people accused of terrorism in Europe.
What Big Data tells us about recruits
The research of Usmani, GWU and Brookings puts together a fuller portrait of who recruits are. Here are the top findings:
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