UAE: Authorities warn of extremists attempting to recruit youth on social media

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Abu Dhabi - The Sawab Centre warns that recruiters for these groups often spread misinformation.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Sun 8 Aug 2021, 11:35 AM

UAE authorities have warned about extremists influencing young people and recruiting them to join terror activities through social media platforms, including WhatsApp and Facebook.

The Sawab Centre is the UAE’s online engagement initiative supporting the global coalition against extremism and promoting positive alternatives. It has also warned youngsters against believing lies and rumours spread through social media, especially those promoted by extremist groups like ISIS (Daesh), to mislead followers to join their ideologies and organizations.

“The deluded followers prey on the young to spread their distorted ideology. The future is yours to weave. Don’t let Daesh steal it from you,” Sawab Centre warned on Twitter.

“Daesh members are forging documents and creating fake identities to escape the consequences of their terrorist and criminal actions. Due to multi-faceted international cooperation, their efforts to run from their past will fail as they continue to be brought to justice.”

The Centre had cited the case of an accused extremist who was recruiting young people through Facebook and Whatapp to join his terrorist group in Malaysia. He intended to send the recruits to the Middle East and North Africa to help ISIS.

In a series of tweets posted recently, Sawab Centre warned that “Not everything we see on social media is 100% real.”

“Social media sites are open to everyone. Some people use the platforms to exchange views, news and to share beautiful moments between parents and friends, but the deluded followers use them to spread lies,” said the Centre.

Officials warned that the extremists were exploiting the psychological gaps of those recruited. They instilled misleading ideas and misconceptions in their minds and portrayed themselves as loyal followers of religion.

“To avoid extremist thoughts, people should maintain strong values ​​and proper understanding of religion, so they are not affected by the lies of the deluded followers,” officials advised.

According to Sawab Centre, the deluded followers claim that they are the only ones who know God better and the only ones applying the principles of religion correctly and therefore, they must kill everyone who disagrees with them in opinion.

“For extremism has no religion, and no logic to follow, and it is a dark path that leads to destruction,” said officials.

The Centre has urged people to promote useful ideas and fight wrong information, considering that the impact of the word may be greater than the individual imagines.

Residents were also told to support the spirit of citizenship and a sense of responsibility towards society as it was the key to safety and progress for the children of any society.

Officials warned that those who live in isolation from their family and society were vulnerable to being recruited as they might have become weak without any help or support.

The Centre urged people to remain close to their families and understand what they face or go through to protect them from the dangers of extremism.


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