The repercussions of Osama bin Laden's death will be felt around the globe as jihadists gear up their use of social media to unleash terror on the world. According to the UK government's counter-terrorism strategy, the al-Qaida is launching a 'cyber jihad' on the West and there have been increasing attempts by terrorists to 'invade' Facebook and other social networking sites.
The document released on Tuesday pointed out that there have been increasing instances of terrorists using online technology to organize attacks and the use of social media sites and video-sharing to disseminate information and radicalize people was quite 'commonplace'.
Since the death of Laden, al-Qaida has explicitly called not only for acts of lone or individual terrorism, but also for 'cyber-jihad',' it said.
The strategy said that attacks on IT systems would increase as terrorists have become very advanced in the use of technology as well as social networking and video-sharing sites. It added that the popular networking site Twitter will be used to 're-post media or forum articles enabling extremist content to be shared more quickly, widely and amongst people who would not normally search for extremist content.'
Mail Online reports that experts acknowledge the current existence of thousands of terrorist-related websites with a few dozen that were 'highly influential' and 'frequented by terrorists.'
Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May said, Advances in technology mean our response must improve to keep pace.
According to May, terrorists were using online technology like Google Earth and Street View to plan their attacks. She also added that the attacks in Mumbai in 2008 were carried out by terrorists who used 'off-the-shelf secure communications technology to stay in contact with each other.'
New innovations and improvements in softwares like encryption of mobile calls and text, peer to peer networks that enabled file and information distribution rapidly and securely as well as cloud computing, which offers new means for storing, sharing and distributing materials online, were used by terrorists for extremist propaganda and to disguise their actions, said May.
To tackle these new and emerging threats, our own technology must constantly evolve and adapt, she said.