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Terrorists use tech to brainwash youngsters: Experts

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi
Filed on November 17, 2019 | Last updated on November 17, 2019 at 09.55 pm
brainwash, terrorists, experts, youngsters

(Supplied)

These groups are recruiting young people from across Europe, Arab and other regions and to radicalise them.

Misuse of new technologies is one of the biggest challenges in countering extremism as terrorists are using the Internet to radicalise youngsters, experts have said.

During the National Conference on Addressing Crime and Violent Extremism a Collective Responsibility, which kicked off in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, regional and local experts said that extremists are skilled at manipulating the Internet to expand and spread violent ideologies. These groups are recruiting young people from across Europe, Arab and other regions and to radicalise them.

Judge Hatem Aly, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) representative for the GCC region, said: "Extremists are always one step ahead because they enjoy new technologies faster than others. They have no limits and regulations governing them, unlike governments that have to go through protocols to use certain technologies.

"Terrorists use technologies to brainwash youngsters. With the new technologies, these people recruit and radicalise members right from the comfort of their homes using the Internet. They meet their target groups online. They exchange reading materials, radicalise them and teach them how to create home-made biological weapons before planning on how they can execute terror activities."

Aly, however, noted that the UN was coordinating with nations to counter terrorism through innovative approaches and use of new and emerging technologies.

Discussing the emerging trends and patterns of crime and violent extremism at a regional level, Major Thamer Ahmed Al Harkan, GCC Police head of the counter-terrorism and organised crime division, said the GCC nations are working tirelessly to fight terrorism and organised crimes. "We are trying to exchange information on terror activities, analyse data and come up with strategic plans that have helped us tackle terrorism in the region," said Al Harkan.

"The UAE has for long fought extremism and terrorism through teaching and encouraging tolerance and peaceful co-existence among people and establishing centers for fighting extremism in the region and across the world."

He noted that social media has opened doors for extremists to spread their radical ideologies but the UAE has implemented measures to curb this and protect its people.

Mariam Al Ahmadi, activist and Wajeb board member and head of the strategic planning committee said: "Societies should take part in spreading awareness about the dangers of violent crime and also work together in the fight against extremism in order to protect communities against extremist ideologies."

ismail@khaleejtimes.com

Ismail Sebugwaawo


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