Since 9/11, the world has been working hard to detect the terrorist threat and prevent the radicalism, influences, as well as terrorist propaganda from being contagious. Law enforcements are pushed for extra miles to discover and upset the terrorist activity.
Since Al-Qaida raided the internet in the late 90s, many terrorist groups have proceeded to use the internet as the means of communication and interaction. For them, the Internet has been the best companion to spread the words and proclaim open recruitment for the followers and sympathizers.
We know that lately, ISIS lost its territory in Iraq. But it does not mean that the threat is over. Still, their sides utilize the internet to send the messages to all sympathizers and followers. That’s why it is critical to be aware that online terrorist threat is real. All countries must leverage the cyber intelligence to tackle the terrorist group’s movements and prevent any effort in introducing the goals and objectives of terrorist groups.
ISIS has been considered as different from other terrorist groups. Back then, Al-Qaeda group relied on poor VHS videos and tapes to deliver their propaganda to the news offices. Then the videos would be run through censoring and editing procedure so that the viewers would be less affected by their propaganda. ISIS, however, is the first terrorist group to leverage the power of social media successfully. They use large social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to spread their messages to the world massively. No wonder that they’ve got many supporters from all over the world so quickly.
With this eminence, the recruiters will have safe passage to select the perfect candidates to join with the groups. Not to mention that they can use this for the next plots. The attempts to limit ISIS groups movements through social media had delivered some results. But yet, there have been still inevitable terrorists’ occurrences some parts of the world. One of them is Marawi.
Many experts said that Twitter and Facebook had become less efficient platform because both users and developers contribute to the community to restrict the terrorist communications. However, ISIS made another way. They switched to the more private social platforms, Telegram.
Telegram is the ace of encrypted communications and social application. But it is a double edge-sword for national and international security. While the public can participate in banishing terrorist idealism through Twitter and Facebook through report features, they can’t do the same with Telegram, thanks to the invite-only features and strict encryption settings. These features limit cyber agents and netizens to sweep all the terrorist activities through Telegram.