That the Internet is vital to the strategy of today’s terrorists is well known. But the extent and ways in which militant groups make use of it are less understood.
Gabriel Weimann, a professor at the University of Haifa in Israel, provides valuable insight into this subject in his new book, Terror on the Internet: The New Arena, the New Challenges. In sum, terrorists employ the Internet more elaborately and effectively than ever as a propaganda and recruitment tool, a way to communicate with volunteers as well as mainstream Muslims, and a virtual how-to terror guide and training camp already used by some of the newest terrorists.
Weimann starkly illustrates this perverted subculture, for example, the posting of footage of mutilated American soldiers titled “Jihad Candid Camera” and a Hamas site targeting children with cartoon-like pictures and songs.
This is a valuable book. The terrorists’ mastery of the Web is a crucial weapon in their arsenal.