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Monday, March 27, 2023

An Insider Perspective: What the Internet Means to UK Jihadists

September 2016, just hours before I was due to interview the radical Islamist leader Anjem Choudary, I received a text. He asked, for reasons of propriety, could I bring someone along (a mahram)? It was a last minute request. The one friend who was willing and free had never heard of Anjem Choudary. ‘Who is he again?’ she asked. ‘I’m sure he’ll tell you,’ I said. And so he did, introducing himself with a speech about how many thousands of Twitter followers he had.

Choudary was a known social media influencer, sharing views aligned closely with those of Islamic State. Many of his supporters travelled to Syria and Iraq. Many did not come back. In the end his accounts were removed.

Scholars of radicalisation know that the net matters, even if the extent is unclear. We know that the Internet can act as a facilitator to radicalisation, aiding groups to recruit and propagandise.

Read more at the Global Network on Extremism & Technology

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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