The internet is one of the preferred tools for terrorists to communicate and collaborate. They profit of several advantages provided by internet to manage their activities including recruitment, information access, communication…and more. Internet grants a better place for terrorists to organize their networks and cooperate worldwide to reach their goals.
A new study published recently discussed the role internet plays to shape the international terrorism. This interesting research that collected the point of view of several experts is conducted in Walden University, USA and published in an international Journal of Information Assurance & Cybersecurity.
Today, with the internet, “terrorists no longer have to depend on traveling to far distances or doing face-to-face meetings in order to recruit or plan terrorist attacks.” They profit of the easy connection of people over the world offered by the internet to interact between members and spread terrorist propaganda to reach larger audiences more than what can be attained by other means of communication.
The internet has great impact on international terrorism and how terrorist members use internet to communicate away from the eyes of police and counterterrorism agencies. As shown by the study findings “the use of the Internet by terrorists has shaped international terrorism in that it has resulted in major challenges for counterterrorism agencies in the United States and abroad due to the ability of terrorists to easily close, change, and create new websites or accounts”.
Another advantage provided by internet is the “free and inexpensive Internet programs, as well as advanced encryption software” as stated by the research. These programs give the opportunity for terrorist networks and members to manage their activities unseen by counterterrorism agents.
Experts stated that though efforts in fighting terrorism online, but “challenges in shutting down terrorist websites are still present. Therefore, additional counterterrorism strategies are needed as online terrorist recruitment continues to evolve and develop by reaching greater audiences through different social media and networking sites.”
The research concludes that counterterrorism agencies and organizations fighting terrorism should “should recognize the opponents’ tactics and respond to them in a timely and effective manner. By being proactive about international terrorism and by learning to track communication that is being transmitted on the Internet” countries will be able to respond right away and effectively.