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Terrorist Web Threat May Be Over-Hyped, Says Report

Interent's Role in Nurturing Extremism and Terrorism is Overstated

We've heard it said that a terrorist's most powerful weapon is the Internet. For our part, we've seen no shortage of stories about extremist recruiters using Facebook, or Twitter, or even 'World of Warcraft' to further their dastardly deeds. We've always been a bit incredulous, and now a report from the International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence backs that up, indicating most terrorist networks are offline affairs.

The report, called "Countering Online Radicalization: A Strategy for Action," indicates that attempting to block access to online content is ineffective, that "[radicalization] is largely a real-world phenomenon that cannot be eradicated by simply 'pulling the plug.'" The report goes on to explain that the growth of terrorist networks is primarily done through real-life social activities, not online ones, concluding:
While the Internet provides a convenient platform for activists to renew their commitment and reach out to like-minded individuals elsewhere, it is largely ineffective when it comes to drawing in new recruits. Many experts who have studied the problem have concluded that the Internet can support and facilitate but never completely replace direct human contact and the ties of friendship and kinship through which intense personal loyalties form.
So, that's one less thing to worry so much about online. Now if only we could do something about all these worms. [From: Fox News]

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Tags: defense, internet, network, networking, safety, security, social networking, SocialNetworking, terrorism, terrorist, terrorists



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