A new report by the University of Haifa says that terrorist activity is increasingly moving to the Internet as groups designated as terrorist organizations use forms of social media to convey messages and gain supporters.
Professor Gabriel Weimann spent 10 years conducting a study of encoded and public Internet sites of international terror organizations, groups supporting these organizations, forums, video clips and other information relating to global terrorism.
“Today, about 90% of organized terrorism on the Internet is being carried out through the social media. By using these tools, the organizations are able to be active in recruiting new friends without geographical limitations,” he said.
Designated terror groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas have embraced not only the social networking aspects of these sites, but also use them for surveillance. There are reports that Hezbollah has searched for material on the Israeli army’s Facebook activity using social networks.
The networks are also often routinely used for terrorists to share “tricks of the trade” with one another. According to the report, the following post could be found on Hamas’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades’, social profile page: “I have a kilogram of acetone. I want to know how to make an explosive with it to blow up a military jeep.”