Jihadis and the Internet

03.09.07 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

A new report (pdf) from a Dutch counterintelligence agency warns of the growing role of the Internet in Islamic extremist circles.

“The Internet is an important platform for radicalisation and can even serve as a virtual [terrorist] training camp. Jihadis not only use the Internet as a resource, but can also attack the Internet itself with terrorist activities (the Internet as a target) or use the Internet against other targets (the Internet as a weapon),” and so forth.

See “Jihadis and the Internet,” National Coordinator for Counterterrorism (Netherlands), February 2007.

Fortunately or unfortunately, much of the report is overly credulous and cannot be taken at face value, according to George Smith of GlobalSecurity.org and the Dick Destiny blog.

Among other examples, he noted the report’s citation to an online manual on the use of botulinum toxin as a weapon. But the manual itself is either a hoax or a primitive misunderstanding, and has previously been debunked by Dr. Smith, a chemist (Secrecy News, 08/08/05).

It “is an example of someone professing to know what he is doing on poisons who profoundly and obviously does not know what he is doing,” Dr. Smith said in 2005.

The new Dutch report excludes “the now large critical body of work” on the magnitude and character of the terrorist threat, Dr. Smith said. “It’s the standard script.”