14 June 2017
With terrorists becoming even more Internet-savvy, youngsters will be more easily seduced to swell their ranks.
Dr Rohan Gunaratna, professor of security studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at the Nanyang Technological University, said: “The age of terrorism is becoming younger. With terrorist mastery of cyberspace, impressionable children and teenagers will be influenced by terrorist propaganda.
“Increasingly, the world will witness more youth, teenagers and even children radicalised and joining terrorist groups.”
Dr Rohan is also the head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR).
Another research fellow from the ICPVTR, Mr Remy Mahzam, said that last year alone, the Singapore authorities detained or placed a total of nine people under Restriction Orders.
Citing another 18-year-old who wanted to train with ISIS and die as a martyr in Syria, Mr Remy said: “The indoctrination of young minds with radical tendencies marks a troubling shift in how young people have been co-opted into the extremists’ propaganda strategy.
“For extremist groups, the young generation represents the future, as they will become the next generation of stakeholders or fighters to champion the extremist ideology and radical beliefs.”
“The youth are the most vulnerable as they consume more media and are being exposed to a myriad of influences, including religious extremism. There is a need to reach out to those who are in danger of being self-radicalised, especially by crafting initiatives for a technology-savvy generation,” Mr Remy added.
ICPVTR / Online / Print
Last updated on 16/06/2017