11 November 2014
The propaganda function of the Internet is arguably more significant than its function as a virtual terrorist training camp. The long-term answer to online extremism requires preventive measures that are concerted online and offline.
The transnational militant organisation Islamic State (IS) which has seized control of large swathes of Iraq and Syria in the past year, recently published its online magazine, Dabiq. Its articles in Arabic and several other languages including French, German, Russian, and Indonesian, focus on ideological and strategic narratives, unlike Al-Qaeda’s Inspire magazine that contained bomb-making recipes and other terrorist instructions. Inspire and Dabiq represent two major challenges of online extremism, namely Internet as a terrorist learning laboratory and the spread of extremist narratives to promote online radicalisation.
The spread of terrorist tradecraft online and the appearance of e-learning courses on explosives on certain extremist forums have heightened concerns about the use of the Internet as terrorist learning sources. Although the utility of online manuals is somewhat limited as they only provide abstract knowledge, real world training and combat experience in conflict areas such as Syria and Iraq remain the chief avenues for acquiring terrorist skills.
…Navhat Nuraniyah is an Associate Research Fellow at the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS), a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.
CENS / RSIS / Online
Last updated on 12/11/2014