Al Qaeda’s Use of Technology
It is perceived that Al Qaeda’s online extremist material poses a threat to individuals in the United States. Conduct research on the extent of the problem and devise possible methods to prevent and counter Internet radicalization. Write a one to two page paper to discuss how they use and have used technology to further their terrorist activities. How has their use of technology changed over time?
Al Qaeda’s Use of Technology
The use of advanced technology, which involves online extremists poses a threat to individuals in the United States. In the recent attacks, such as the 9/11 attacks, Al Qaeda operations made use of the Internet to collect information on flight times, which they utilized in making reliable communication in real-time, among others, through terrorist cells as well as sharing information and coordinate their attacks. Al Qaeda has become more of an unseen enemy through the use of the Internet to increase its use of mass media to inspire its supporters and demoralize its enemies. Al Qaeda has the pride of being innovative and capable of striking America on its soil.
The Internet has become a powerful communication tool for Al Qaeda and its affiliate groups. Al Qaeda has created many websites such as the Jihadist website and host publications, news and messages. The websites have posed a threat as they work as the mobile training camps by offering training materials, manuals for making explosives as well as discussions on the potential future targets. The Internet has enhanced the reach of affiliation and recruitment through the creation of a virtual platform. The rapid spread of technology has impacted more in the West, and the Internet is useful in the spaces and members daily. Al Qaeda has taken advantage of the Internet for developing itself to serving the next generations of Jihadists.
The Al Qaeda attacks through the Internet are open in their communication and dissemination of information, which is encoded by prearranged code words. Dissemination of propaganda and the identification of potential recruits and encourage them to commit violent acts and look for opportunities to draw targets as well as the exploitation of music videos and online video games. The Internet provides an avenue for terrorists to access new audiences and instruments for radicalization.
There is a need to device possible methods to prevent and counter internet radicalization. The starting point involves the creation and raising of awareness of the threat by providing communities with practical information and tools that help to keep safe while online. The technology industry must be involved in making considerations about policies, technologies and tools that should be employed in countering violent extremism that is being spread by the Al Qaeda online. Internet safety needs to be developed in companies that involve measures such as fraud warnings, identify protection and safety tips that should be collaborated with countermeasures on online violent extremism from the technology industry.
It is important to devise a plan to prevent and counter internet radicalization through enhancing the implementation of the Internet safety approach laid towards addressing online violent extremism, through coordinating Federal activities and assessing the progress against the plan as well as the identification of additional activities aimed at countering online radicalization to violence. The key strategy is the dissemination of information about the threats and risks that online violent extremism has to the personal and community mental health. Therefore, the Federal and local governments should use the existing initiatives to raise awareness on how to stay safe from online violent extremism. From that point, the Federal government should be keen to implement the efforts by investigating and prosecuting those who engage on the Internet to recruit others in planning to perform violent acts as well as ensuring individual privacy and civil liberties are upheld.
Holt, T. J., Freilich, J. D., & Chermak, S. M. (2017). Internet-based radicalization as enculturation to violent deviant subcultures. Deviant behavior, 38(8), 855-869.
Monaci, S. (2017). Explaining the Islamic state’s online media strategy: A transmedia approach. International Journal of Communication, 11, 19.