Al Qaeda has also kept up with the today’s technology and is trying to gain more followers through the use of social media among the young muslim generation in Europe and the Czech Republic.
“A dominating role is mainly played by the jihad website and the social media such as Facebook and Twitter, where radical ideas have been spreading uncontrollably, along with stands that influence young European Muslims’ thinking,” (Czech News Agency)
Due to the weakened military capacities, Al Qaeda is instead focusing on promoting its pro-jihad ideology to the young muslims in Europe, including the Czech Republic. As social media is so widespread and the presence of Al Qaeda is very strong in its propaganda, fear has increased throughout the region.
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The terrorist groups have proved to be very efficient and experts of social media like Youtube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. They’re also capable of hiding their identities through encryption tools, making it harder for government agencies and social media networks to eliminate those accounts. Al Qaeda has had an internet presence of almost 2 decades, it’s no wonder how they’re able to use it to its advantage by manipulating and brainwashing young minds to do their bidding and believe in their cause. “The Taliban has been active on Twitter since May 2011, and has many thousand of followers. Tweeting under the handle @alemarahweb, the Taliban tweets frequently, on some days nearly hourly.” (Telegraph) They know the influence of social media and are constantly engaging with people all over the world, with their focus on Europe and the Czech Republic. Al Qaeda might not be taking a direct approach and uploading videos of beheading, but it’s still using social media to promote its ideology, which will lead to the loss of more lives.
With the increase of social media presence in the Czech Republic and Europe, the threat of independent terrorists is imminent as it’s difficult for intelligence agencies to locate such individuals as it’s easier to track groups through meetings and messages. However, even though the Czech Republic is an ally and assists the US in its anti-terrorist efforts, it isn’t a primary target for such terrorist organizations.
Social media in this situation is seen as a disadvantage. While it helps increase marketing efforts and exposure of groups and companies, terrorist groups aren’t excluded from the mix. As these terrorists are also highly trained hackers, uncovering such attacks pose a greater challenge for the government agencies and the outcome might not be favourable for the general public.