In today’s world we are witnessing the “democratization” of emerging technologies with advanced technologies available as open source, cheap and easy to use. Thus, they can be instrumentalized by extremists who can exploit them in criminal and deadly ways, according to the Global Terrorism Index 2022 report.
“Non-state actors have always been interested in obtaining and utilizing innovative weapons; “Terrorists are interested in weapons that are useful in context, that amplify effects, are symbolically resonant, and can be used for unexpected purposes,” said author Dr. Christina Score Liang, quoted in the report.
In 1991, the US National Academy of Sciences made the now-famous prediction that “tomorrow’s terrorist may do more damage with a keyboard than with a bomb.”
The Internet and social networks, as well as the hardware to access them, have turned smartphones into new weapons of digital warfare, the report recalls.
+ “Attracting idealistic and naive youth to extremism” +
Social media acts as an effective enabler to drive naive youth into extremism, with social media platforms playing a role in 90% of radicalization cases in 2016.
In 2018, a research report analyzing the strength of Daesh’s network on Facebook was able to link between 1,000 profiles supporting its radical ideology in 96 countries and concluded that the Islamic State (EI) had a presence on the social media platform. Everywhere, professionalized and growing.
Right-wing extremists are particularly interested in recruiting and training the next generation of extremists, the same source notes.
Terrorists are recruiting young people online from the most visited sites such as YouTube, Twitch, Steam and DLive.
Together, these platforms host approximately “two and a quarter billion”
From monthly users who provide terrorists with a huge recruiting base.
The development of artificial intelligence and metaversions has become a major problem for intelligence services and the fight against extremism and terrorism, the report said.
Hence the call for vigilance on the part of the citizens, starting from the parents of the youth.