A Look into Modern Terrorism and the Recruitment that Precedes It
Modern journalism has turned words like Mujahideen, al-Qaeda, Al-Shabaab, and Taliban into common names in the American household. This isn’t by coincidence, nor did it happen without the hard work of several parties. Terrorist organizations have been working constantly under the radar to make their names known to the public, spreading the word of their holy mission and power. The methods used to present themselves vary, from an internet presence to suicide bombing. Both tactics are surprisingly effective, with varying amounts of success gained by the groups who employ them.
Social media in the forms of Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Reddit are quickly becoming sizable platforms for the online masses to discover major events across the globe. These new web platforms allow for the easy spread of information, including terrorism. Terrorist attacks are now often broadcast across social media platforms almost instantly. Intentions through the online community widely vary: from spreading awareness for fundraising, blood donations, and uniting to keep peace, to other extremes, such as terrorist propaganda, recruitment, and weaponization. Online social media is now used heavily by terrorist organizations to reach new members as well. These peer-to-peer networks allow for easy communication between people affiliated with terrorism and possible recruits. Even more so, encrypted websites allow for safe chat rooms and free communication before commitment to terrorist organizations (Ishengoma). This highlights the fact that modern terrorism is constantly evolving, moving forward at the speed of light, allowing for little delay in action. Terrorist recruitment must be reduced as one of the first steps to stop terrorism in the Middle East. Government administrations must lay aside political differences, and work together to stop a blossoming threat to world security. As these groups spread out across multiple countries, their line of defense becomes thinner. International cooperation is essential in finding their weakest link, and infiltrating it, and that link is their online presence.