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Ultra outfits using cyber space to radicalise youths

By R Dutta Choudhury
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GUWAHATI, May 5 - Use of the cyber world by terrorist outfits to spread their messages and to influence youths is a major challenge faced by the security forces not only in India but in the entire world. Though such terror groups are yet to strike in Assam, the threat perception cannot be overlooked, and police and security forces will have to be on high alert to thwart any such attempt.

Highly placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that the recent terror attacks in Sri Lanka and other countries around the globe proved that no country is safe as the terror groups do not have to send their own people to carry out subversive activities. They can influence local youths to carry out such attacks by sitting thousands of miles away and such incidents are happening all over the world. �The terrorist groups now do not have to set up camps and train their recruits. They can radicalise youths to work for them from other countries by using the cyber space, which is the most disturbing aspect and poses a major challenge to all the security agencies,� sources admitted.

The new game plan of terror groups like the Islamic State and Al Qaeda is to use the cyber space to motivate youths to work for them and the outfits do not have to send their own men to carry out attacks. Sources admitted that it is very difficult to deal with such attempts as �no one can read minds and if one youth is radicalised, it is not possible to know about it till he or she indulges in any kind of unlawful activity.� Sources pointed out that the police and security forces can keep watch on social media to find out whether anyone is involved in spreading malicious propaganda. Even the Assam Police is doing it. But it is difficult to ascertain if any youth is secretly supporting the ideology of the terror groups. If the terror groups manage to poison the minds of youths by using the cyber space, there is no way the security agencies can be aware of it.

Giving some examples, sources said that Anwar Al Awloki, one of the main motivators of the Al Qaeda, used to motivate youths of different countries with his motivational speeches using the cyber space and brought out a magazine called Inspire. He was successful in his attempts to motivate youths of different countries to work for the outfit. He even trained up youths of different countries to make bombs by using the locally available materials by using the cyber space and his trainees caused blasts in different countries.

Giving another such example, sources said the Bodh Gaya blasts were carried out by a group of activists of the Students Islamic Movement of India and the persons involved in it, who were arrested and convicted later, did not receive training in any terrorist camp. The youths involved in the attack decided to take revenge against the attacks against Rohingya in Myanmar, and they learnt the art of making bombs through internet and tried it out in a jungle near Ranchi before launching the attack.

Sources said that both the Islamic State and Al Qaeda have formed Indian subcontinent units and their units � New JMB and Ansar Bangla Team have managed to establish roots in Bangladesh, which may pose a threat to Assam and West Bengal in the days to come. �So far, the security agencies have not noticed any activity of these outfits in Northeast India, but no one knows whether such outfits managed to poison the minds of anyone,� sources added.

Sources also said that the Indian security agencies managed to crush the Indian Mujahideen by carrying out major strikes against the outfit in different parts of the country, which forced a few senior leaders of the outfit to take shelter in Pakistan. �But the security agencies may not always be lucky to launch pre-emptive strikes against terror groups,� sources admitted.

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Ultra outfits using cyber space to radicalise youths

GUWAHATI, May 5 - Use of the cyber world by terrorist outfits to spread their messages and to influence youths is a major challenge faced by the security forces not only in India but in the entire world. Though such terror groups are yet to strike in Assam, the threat perception cannot be overlooked, and police and security forces will have to be on high alert to thwart any such attempt.

Highly placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that the recent terror attacks in Sri Lanka and other countries around the globe proved that no country is safe as the terror groups do not have to send their own people to carry out subversive activities. They can influence local youths to carry out such attacks by sitting thousands of miles away and such incidents are happening all over the world. �The terrorist groups now do not have to set up camps and train their recruits. They can radicalise youths to work for them from other countries by using the cyber space, which is the most disturbing aspect and poses a major challenge to all the security agencies,� sources admitted.

The new game plan of terror groups like the Islamic State and Al Qaeda is to use the cyber space to motivate youths to work for them and the outfits do not have to send their own men to carry out attacks. Sources admitted that it is very difficult to deal with such attempts as �no one can read minds and if one youth is radicalised, it is not possible to know about it till he or she indulges in any kind of unlawful activity.� Sources pointed out that the police and security forces can keep watch on social media to find out whether anyone is involved in spreading malicious propaganda. Even the Assam Police is doing it. But it is difficult to ascertain if any youth is secretly supporting the ideology of the terror groups. If the terror groups manage to poison the minds of youths by using the cyber space, there is no way the security agencies can be aware of it.

Giving some examples, sources said that Anwar Al Awloki, one of the main motivators of the Al Qaeda, used to motivate youths of different countries with his motivational speeches using the cyber space and brought out a magazine called Inspire. He was successful in his attempts to motivate youths of different countries to work for the outfit. He even trained up youths of different countries to make bombs by using the locally available materials by using the cyber space and his trainees caused blasts in different countries.

Giving another such example, sources said the Bodh Gaya blasts were carried out by a group of activists of the Students Islamic Movement of India and the persons involved in it, who were arrested and convicted later, did not receive training in any terrorist camp. The youths involved in the attack decided to take revenge against the attacks against Rohingya in Myanmar, and they learnt the art of making bombs through internet and tried it out in a jungle near Ranchi before launching the attack.

Sources said that both the Islamic State and Al Qaeda have formed Indian subcontinent units and their units � New JMB and Ansar Bangla Team have managed to establish roots in Bangladesh, which may pose a threat to Assam and West Bengal in the days to come. �So far, the security agencies have not noticed any activity of these outfits in Northeast India, but no one knows whether such outfits managed to poison the minds of anyone,� sources added.

Sources also said that the Indian security agencies managed to crush the Indian Mujahideen by carrying out major strikes against the outfit in different parts of the country, which forced a few senior leaders of the outfit to take shelter in Pakistan. �But the security agencies may not always be lucky to launch pre-emptive strikes against terror groups,� sources admitted.