Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Jihadist Recruiting on the Internet

The most recent Terrorism Focus includes a brief article describing how jihadists are using the Internet for recruiting. It's one of the ways they turn sympathizers into active participants:

If preaching and disseminating fanatical and extreme ideas on the internet is itself a concern, the use of jihadi forums to entice potential terrorists is even more threatening and must be addressed before the young and pious are lured into extremism.

It only takes a quick glance at a handful of these websites to realize how effective and appealing they are to young Muslim men and women who seek to practice correct Islamic ideology and who wish to rid the Muslim world of "infidel colonizers."

The requisites of jihad and field operations are correlated to the jihadi media objectives in the sense that jihadis need money and manpower to sustain terrorist operations. Therefore, the jihadis chat with sympathizers of the jihad on Islamist forums, show them video clips of successful operations against the "occupiers" and provide religious lectures on the virtues of either participating in jihad or donating money to the mujahideen.

In some cases, the requests to take part in jihad are straightforward, where the forum user asks to go to a specific country for jihad.
These websites are one of the main means by which sympathetic audiences anywhere in the world can be radicalized. The decentralized jihadist movement encourages the development of "freelance" terrorists and supporters throughout the world.

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