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October 23, 2012

Terrorists Leveraging Social Media to Draw in Fellow Psychos

By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor

No matter how strong your convictions are in any subject, no one deserves to be killed or suffer from your actions. That is something terrorists need to wake up and realize and that causing devastation and sorrow doesn’t make someone more empathetic to your opinions. But what about using social media to recruit fellow believers that are willing to risk their lives as well as other innocent lives to get their point across?

That is exactly what seems to be happening more and more via these mega sites, according to the United Nations. Now, cruel masterminds are using their Facebook (News - Alert), Twitter and YouTube accounts to attract attention from the masses that might be able to help them carry out their next catastrophic attack.

In a just released report titled, “'The Use of the Internet for Terrorist Purposes,” the UN is revealing that being able to recruit followers for violent plans has transitioned away from outdated methods including spreading a message via speeches and forged ahead into the social media space, something that is not only free of charge but can significantly up the ante on how many people can be informed in a much a shorter period of time. Forget traveling around the country or world to spread your message of hate, now just type and 1,2,3 you are ready to send out information that could lead to the devastation of countless lives.

Additionally, the findings highlighted in scenario in which Adlene Hicheur, a French national, was ultimately captured for planning out al-Qaeda terror strategy.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Executive Director Yury Fedotov stated that potential terrorists are increasingly using communications technology such as the Internet to get in quicker contact with a much wider spectrum of naïve listeners.

"Just as Internet use among regular, lawful citizens has increased in the past few years, terrorist organizations also make extensive use of this indispensable global network for many different purposes," Fedotov said in a recent article.

The scary fact that these murderers have access to a tool like the Web in which they can gather a large amount of followers is something that is unlikely to be curtailed any time soon.

“Today, about 90 percent of organized terrorism on the Internet is being carried out through social media. By using these tools, the organizations are able to be active in recruiting new friends without geographical limitations," added Gabriel Weimann, from the University of Haifa."Social media is enabling the terror organizations to take initiatives by making ‘friend’ requests, uploading video clips and the like and they no longer have to make do with the passive tools available on regular websites."

Edited by Rich Steeves
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