Terrorist use of internet the virtual battlefields
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Terrorist use of Internet : the virtual battlefields ?. Contents and evolution of the use of Internet by extremist networks. Different use of the Internet (1). Spreading propaganda material (messages to the Umma, reviews : Al Somoud etc.)

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Terrorist use of internet the virtual battlefields

Terrorist use of Internet : the virtual battlefields ?

Contents and evolution of the use of Internet by extremist networks


Different use of the internet 1
Different use of the Internet (1)

  • Spreading propaganda material (messages to the Umma, reviews : Al Somoud etc.)

  • Sending messages to the ennemy (communiqués) and challenging him (by sending videos of hostages e.g.)

    Zone for proselytism and « horizontal » communication


Different use of the internet 2
Different use of the Internet (2)

  • A remote « university of terrorism  » (counter-interview & counter-surveillance techniques, IED’s handbook etc.)

  • Means of communication for jihadi members (« vertical communication »)

  • Access to sensitive information(e.g. cartography by Google Earth etc.) in order to plan terrorist operations


Different aspects of internet
Different aspects of Internet

  • Islamist Internet sites(ansar al haqq, minbar-sos, al mourabitoun etc.)as well as non specifically islamist web sites

  • Chat rooms and islamist fora with different levels of confidentiality(from low to high level of security : al hesbah, al ekhlaas etc.)

  • Use of encryption(« moudjahideen secret 1 & 2 »)


Who are the activists on internet 1
Who are the activists on Internet (1)

  • Terrorists networks, through their « Emirs » and official spokemen

    - Abdelmalek DROUKDAL & Abou Mohamed Salah for Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb

    - Oussama BEN LADEN, Ayman AL ZAWAHIRI & Abou Yahya Al Libi for Al Qaeda

    - Abou Omar AL BAGDADI & Abou Hamza AL MOUJAHIR for Islamic State in Irak etc.


Activists on the internet 2
Activists on the Internet (2)

  • Cheikhs

  • Fatwas

  • Advice to the muslim community on religious texts and islamic law (Chaaria)


Activists on the internet 3
Activists on the Internet (3)

Islamic media groups :

As-Sahab, Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), Al Furqan Media, Al Ansar Media etc.

Translation

Film production & editing

Broadcasting


Activists on the internet 4
Activists on the Internet (4)

  • Web users with extremist views

  • On-line discussions on « jihad related matters »

  • Relay for propaganda (e.g translation of propaganda material etc.)


Is internet a vector for radicalisation
Is Internet a vector for radicalisation ?

  • Internet : one facilitation tool for radicalisation among the global process of radicalisation

  • The crucial role of jihadi websites(links and the feeling of « belonging to a community »)

  • Islamic websites : a narrow one-sided point of view (the « information bubble » )


Evolution of extremist propaganda
Evolution of extremist propaganda

  • Increasing number of communiqués, videos and audios posted

  • Improvement in the productionand editing of videos and propaganda material

  • Evolution of the message in itself(from a strong religious focus to more political and « environmental » messages)


Counter measures
Counter-measures

  • Towards a common European legislation?

  • July 1881law and anti-terrorist act of Sept. 1986 : « public incitation to commit terrorist acts… »

  • Law of the 21st of June 2004 aimed at Internet : « communication to the public by electronic means… »


Are counter propaganda efforts over the internet possible
Are counter propaganda efforts over the Internet possible ?

  • Radicalisation factors not all grounded in the religious field

  • Motivation of extremists can be more « revolutionary » than strictly related to religion

  • Counter-radicalisation methods in Western countries : what legitimacy ?


Counter propaganda
Counter-propaganda

  • Issues :

  • The choice of religious texts

  • Understanting all the aspects of the doctrine

  • What do « defensive jihad », « offensive jihad », « excommunication » mean in our modern societies ?

  • Difficulties to counter-attack on extremism without attacking faith itself


Cyberterrorism myth or reality
Cyberterrorism : myth or reality

  • A definition :

    « to destabilize a country by trying to paralyse or disrupt parts of its critical infrastructures in a direct cyber-attack (e.g denial of services, viruses) or by exploiting its vulnerabilities (e.g wireless technology etc.) »


Cyberterrorism 2
Cyberterrorism (2)

  • Objectives :

    - vital national networks such as water supplies, electricity networks or communication means …


Cyberterrorism 3
Cyberterrorism (3)

  • Need of a « long-term strategy » in order to identify targets and their vulnerabilities

  • The success of this kind of cyber-attacks may be uncertain and the impact on the population less important than the one of a more « conventional » terrorist attack (like bombings in urban transportation systems e.g)


Conclusion
Conclusion

  • Al Qaeda and affiliated groups follow the evolution of the Internet and are using it in a quite efficient manner

  • Security services must be vigilant and not underestimate the capabilities of terrorist networks in this matter