Using the Internet for Terrorist Recruitment and Mobilization

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Without recruitment, terrorism cannot prevail, survive and develop. Recruitment provides the killers, the suicide bombers, the kidnappers, the executioners, the engineers, the soldiers, and the armies of future terrorism. The Internet has become a useful instrument for modern terrorists' recruitment. It combines several advantages for the recruiters: it makes information gathering easier for potential recruits by offering more information, more quickly, and in multimedia format; the global reach of the Net allows groups to publicize events to more people; and, by increasing the possibilities for interactive communication, new opportunities for assisting groups are offered, along with more chances for contacting the group directly. Also, through the use of discussion forums and chat rooms, the Internet also allows members or potential members of the group to engage in debate with one another. Online recruitment by terrorist organizations is said to be widespread, though the Internet is used more for initial attraction, ideological recruitment and social support than for direct recruitment. Moreover, the online process is more often activated to reward recruits and suicide terrorists, thus serving as an additional indirect recruitment initiative. Finally, terrorist recruiters may use interactive Internet technology to roam online chat rooms looking for receptive members of the public, particularly young people, using sophisticated profiling procedures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHypermedia Seduction for Terrorist Recruiting
EditorsBoaz Ganor, Katharina Von Knop, Carlos Duarte
PublisherIOS Press
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-60750-257-9
ISBN (Print)978-1-58603-761-1
StatePublished - 2007

Publication series

NameNATO Science for Peace and Security Series


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