THE INTERNET AS A MULTi-FACETED TOOL: POSSiBiLiTiES iN INTERNATiONAL COUNTERTERRORiSM

Introduction:



This paper discusses the role of the internet as a multi-faceted tool used and misused by different groups. This paper argues that the internet is ineffectively used by state governments , effectively used by post 9/11 terrorist groups such as Al Queda and ISIS, and should be used by international organizations such as the United Nations.


Context:



Terrorism, though often misinterpreted as a political ideology, is a strategy of coercive intimidation systemically aimed to instill fear in a target “to alter its behavior in the way desired by the terrorists”, often for “political ends” (Wilkinson 2012, 2 ; O’Kane 2012, 17). Though it is a socially- constructed concept, terrorism has tangible effects⎯ perhaps most famously, the 2001 9/11 attacks. This paper will analyze the following question: How has the internet provided a tool for both post 9/11 global terrorist groups and by counterterrorism efforts by a variety of actors? The internet, though most-definitely not the only tool used by global terrorist groups, helps to enhance their power and network. Analyzing terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS uncovers unique position of the internet⎯ it may be used to create extensive global networks to recruit, but also be used as means to counter such recruitment. From a constructivist approach, this essay argues the internet is a multi- faceted tool, one that terrorists exploit, governments misuse, and international groups can make use of. Specifically, while terrorist groups use the internet to establish a family-like community and platform for two-way interaction, a realist perspective hinders effective government counterterrorism. Ultimately, international cooperation is necessary to solve this problem...




THE INTERNET AS A MULTi-FACETED TOOL
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Author: Vurjeet Madan