Expert says 10,000 extremist websites on the web

Mar 26, 2013
This handout photo of a video grab that was posted on jihadist forums on January 9, 2013, by a group calling itself "al-Sahara Media Foundation" reportedly shows al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) fighters preparing for war in northern Mali. The image was provided by the SITE Monitoring Service. There are more than 10,000 extremist websites on the Internet, according to analysts.

There are more than 10,000 extremist websites on the Internet compared to fewer than 100 countering them, an analyst Tuesday told a conference which stressed the need to rebut militant propaganda.

"In many ways, the terrorists are very successful in cyberspace," said counter-terrorism analyst Rohan Gunaratna, who heads the International Centre for and Terrorism Research in Singapore.

"It is very important for us to build in the next 10 years the capacities and capabilities to counter the increasing presence and the operation of these groups in cyberspace."

Speakers at the International Conference on Terrorist Rehabilitation and Community Resilience said moderate Islamic groups and governments should make a concerted effort to counter extremist propaganda on the Internet.

YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social media are increasingly being exploited to spread extremist views, and moderate religious leaders and governments must keep pace to counter their arguments, they said.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a keynote speech that self-radicalisation through constant exposure to radical views online was a "growing phenomenon".

"Jihadist sites and sermons by charismatic ideologue firebrands are just a mouse click away," said Lee, who also stressed the need for closer international cooperation against terrorism.

Some 500 security analysts, academics and religious leaders attended the forum.

Islamic scholar Ali Mohamed, co-chairman of Singapore's Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG), said cyberspace "is shaping up to be the new battleground for hearts and minds".

The RRG counsels and reindoctrinates jailed militants and helps them reintegrate into society, including some arrested in late 2001 for allegedly plotting to bomb US and other targets in the city-state.

"Terrorists are increasingly exploiting the Internet as a tool for and radicalisation," said Ali.

"RRG believes that this is one of our greatest challenges today—to deal (with) and counter the pervasive spread of terrorist ideologies and views online."

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User comments : 11

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PC76
2.5 / 5 (8) Mar 26, 2013
Should this article be here on a science focused web site?

An interesting article but I think it does not fit with the purpose of this site.
VendicarE
3 / 5 (6) Mar 26, 2013
And they didn't even include in their count, Heritage.org, Cato.org, the American Enterprise Institute, the NRA or a host of other extremist Conservative groups working to destroy America.
Sean_W
2.1 / 5 (7) Mar 26, 2013
To gain a "hate speech" label from the Southern Poverty Law Centre it is sufficient for a site to promote fair and equal custody laws and propose that high suicide and dropout rates for boys and men and high male job fatalities are bad things. That constitutes misogyny for them. So I won't accept any stats on extremism on say so.

I also wonder if any of those mere hundreds of sites countering extremism include the many anti-extremist sites which are labeled as Islamophobic hate speech for criticizing terrorists groups.

Sean_W
1 / 5 (4) Mar 26, 2013
Should this article be here on a science focused web site?

An interesting article but I think it does not fit with the purpose of this site.


I think technology issues fall within the scope of the site but that's just my personal opinion. It is a story that leans further into the political than most tech stories.
bottomlesssoul
not rated yet Mar 26, 2013
What about rebutting all the other nonsense websites which now number in the billions? And what decides extremism, isn't that cultural-centric or even egocentric? Barry Goldwater went to his grave proud of being an extremist.

Perhaps instead of rebut a healthier verb, ignore, would be better. Maybe it's better to ignore nutcases.

That being said, please ignore this
rwinners
2.3 / 5 (6) Mar 26, 2013
Any dep-weed can put up a website.

How about giving us some traffic statistics, say from CNN, the networks, the 'news' networks, etc vs all those 'nasty' extremist websites.
I'll bet there is no contest.
ODesign
5 / 5 (1) Mar 27, 2013
This is a good pretext for arguing pro-censorship of opposing views. First come the studies, then the black lists and then the concentration camps.
.
By the way, notice the words "self radicalization"? that's right out of news-speek from the book 1984. It's a word trick to mislead people by making it sound like something other than it is. "Self Radicalization" is a phrase they came up with like "enhanced interrogation."

Read the book "1984 "by George Orwell. When we say that a person was self-taught or self-motivated, we look at them in a positive light. We didn't like saying that about people we disagreed with so we made up new words and stopped using the old ones. It's becoming difficult in todays society to hold so many contradictory things in the head at the same time.
HTK
1 / 5 (4) Mar 27, 2013
10,000 extremist websites....

1000 followers each.... that's 10,000,000 extremists and wannabies and that's a really conservative figure.
Mannstein
2.6 / 5 (5) Mar 30, 2013
Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice and moderation in the pursuit of justice no virtue. Barry Goldwater.
Lurker2358
2.6 / 5 (5) Mar 31, 2013
Maybe it's better to ignore nutcases.


No idiot.

Ignoring nutcases doesn't solve the problem. It only allows them to bolster their numbers and abuse or kill others.

How do you think 911 happened? Ignoring the nutcases; that's how.
julianpenrod
1 / 5 (7) Mar 31, 2013
When people complained about websites removing, say, accusations they placed in comments sections about dangers of vaccines, quislings for the New World Order gloated, "Well they own the site and they have the right to decide what's printed. That's private property, and Constitutional rights don't extend to private property!" This may cause this not to be printed or to be removed, but why don't the different servers and sites exercise the same "moderating" they use to remove legitimate reference to material that demonstrates that homosexuality has traits in common with clinical self destructive obsessive sexual perversion? The answer appears clear, and already proved. There is no such thing as "terrorism". September 11 was a fraud. al Qaeda is as much an arm of the New World Order as Iran and North Korea.

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