17 July 2008

Islamic Terrorism & The internet

Terrorism and Internet: a US Senate report1 analyzes the extensive use made by Al-Qaeda of the Internet in its war for hearts and minds. The report voices concerns over the exposure of American citizens to the websites of Al-Qaeda and other radical Islamic organizations.


1. Al-Qaeda and other radical Islamic organizations in the Middle East and elsewhere have managed to harness the media revolution which has taken place in the last decade. Those terrorist organizations massively exploit such media as Internet and television for the battle for hearts and minds which takes place alongside the ongoing fighting on the ground. Using an extensive infrastructure of websites and other media, they disseminate their ideology and political messages, generate public interest in their activities, and try to win support and sympathy for their cause.

2. In our age, Al-Qaeda and other radical Islamic terrorist organizations have come to realize that the Internet is just as important as the Kalashnikov, the rocket, or the roadside charge. Therefore, those terrorist organizations make extensive use of the Internet, both in the intensive battle for hearts and minds and to advance operative needs: maintaining contact between terrorist organizations and their operative infrastructures, at times separated by considerable distance; transferring such know-how as manufacturing explosives and building rockets; and collecting donations either directly or through Islamic charitable societies affiliated with the various terrorist organizations. Those uses are described in detail in the US Senate report (analyzed below) and in Information Bulletins published in recent years by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center . 2

3. Using the Internet, Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations can overcome geographic distances and quite easily circumvent the restrictions imposed by the international community. They do so by exploiting the freedom of speech (the First Amendment to the United States Constitution) and the commonly held public view that the Internet should remain free of censorship, also taking advantage of the fact that Western countries do not take effective measures against terrorist organizations' websites. Thus, the Internet remains a medium in which radical Islamic ideology is distributed virtually undisturbed, preaching hatred, violence, and terrorism, and transferring operative instructions to terrorist networks across the globe.

Continue reading: Terrorism & The internet

Further reading: Nato & Youtube

Video: Then British front of the internet Jihad

1 comment:

Jock McDoc said...
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