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Terror on the World Wide Web: India MUST act fast

Last updated on: December 7, 2011 14:01 IST

Terror on the World Wide Web: India MUST act fast

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Vicky Nanjappa

A recent United States report has indicated that the Lashkar-e-Tayiba has been using the Internet extensively to radicalise youth across the world in order to take up the cause of jihad.

Although it is a well known fact that terrorists have always been net savvy, the use of the World Wide Web today has gone up ten fold.

Although India is focusing most of its resources on cleaning up social networking sites, the bigger worry is how the Internet is being used as a major tool to rope in the youth into the world of terrorism.

Intelligence Bureau reports show that greater emphasis is being laid on roping in the youth through the Internet as compared to the scenario a couple of years back where it was done on a man-to-man basis.

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For terrorists the World Wide Web works better, as they save themselves the trouble of sending in the experts to carry out recruitments.

 

Moreover, it has been proven that self motivated terrorists have always posed a bigger risk to the security system when compared to those who have been brainwashed.

There are nearly 100 websites in India, which carry out this job.

Once a person reads through the content and is convinced that he wants to take up the cause of jihad, he has various means within that website to contact other persons who will lead him up to his destination.

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It has become a nightmare for the security agencies to keep a tab on such sites.

Cyber crime experts say that almost all these messages are garbled.

However, the bigger problem is that such sites appear and disappear at ease, which makes it very difficult to keep a tab on them.

Also, such websites are constantly modified. The content is changed the moment the security agencies lay their hands on them. This indicates that there is constant monitoring on the sites.

In at least over 50 cases, it has been found that the persons hooked on these sites try getting back into them every day and hence never lose track of what is happening.

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In India, it has also been found that some websites have become very interactive in nature. Terrorists have been gathering information about some targets and all this data is provided to them by the user.

In addition to this they have also been generating funds through donations, as they pose to operate as a charitable trust for the purpose of furthering a religious cause. This aspect has found many takers, security agencies point out.

While this is one aspect pertaining to radicalising the youth, the Internet has proven to be an excellent medium to connect with each other.

With the help of hackers they have managed to encrypt messages and pass on information. More often than not they have managed to fox agencies.

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The mistake that our security agencies always make is to chase something more complicated and in the bargain forget about the easy methods that are used to communicate.

This was found during the 9/11 attacks in New York when security agencies chased encrypted messages while terrorists continued to use the normal e-mail to talk with each other.

Security agencies believe that the self motivated ones are the most dangerous.

Usually those who have been radicalised by another person always have this sense of dependency and there have been times when they have felt forced to do something against their will. However the likes of Kafeel Ahmed of the Glasgow case, T Nasir among other who have gone through a process of radicalisation on their own have proven to be deadlier compared to the rest of them.

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