“Jihad 2.0”: How to tackle on-line propaganda, radicalisation and recruitment?

4 October 2016

The internet is an increasingly effective tool of propaganda, radicalisation and recruitment for jihadist organisations. By nimbly exploiting the power of information technology and network-centred communications, terrorists have become active on leading social media platforms such as Youtube, Facebook and Twitter in order to spread their violent ideology, coordinate their actions and radicalise vulnerable individuals in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. Tackling this insidious challenge requires a cohesive and well-coordinated effort by policy-makers at national and transnational level, along with stakeholders including internet service providers and ordinary citizens.

Following recent deadly terrorist attacks in Europe, the EU has strengthened political coordination among member states and its operational ability to detect and help prosecute terrorism-inspired activities on the internet. However, technical and legal complexities make this a challenging task. How has the jihadist communication strategy evolved in the era of the internet? How do terrorists exploit the worldwide web to indoctrinate, recruit and coordinate new followers? And how can the EU and member states frame a truly comprehensive and multi-level response to such a threat, in coordination with the private sector and civil society at large?

Speakers included: Andrea Frontini, Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre (EPC), Andrea Plebani, Associate Research Fellow, Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale (ISPI), Milan, Tahir Abbas, Senior Research Fellow, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), UK, David Ibsen, Executive Director, Counter-Extremism Project, Lucinda Armstrong, Policy Officer, Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, European Commission