Internet important tool in recruiting extremists in SE Asia02 April, 2009
|By Allison Orr|
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute has released a new report, Countering Internet Radicalisation in Southeast Asia. While noting that the Internet has come be a powerful tool for terrorists in areas such as tactical operations and propaganda activities, this report focuses on its use as a tool to radicalise potential supporters. The research has found that the Internet is becoming increasing important in this area, with extremists now using interactive web forums, social networking sites and chat rooms to entice new recruits. So important is the Internet to recruiting that the authors predict it may become the dominant factor in radicalisation in the region.
The research has also found that the average age of terrorists in the region appears to be declining, which may account for the central role played by the Internet.
The report discusses several approaches to counter this development, including blocking sites, creating counter-narrative websites to promote tolerance, and intelligence-led methods to tackle the problem.