The Rise of Extremism and the Security Challenges

11 June – The speedy growth of extremist groups is creating many challenges for security management. The shooter of El Paso (Texas) massacre had posted a racist, anti-immigrant creed at the 4chan website that is known for white supremacy. He was also inspired by March 2019 mass shooting to many Muslims at Christchurch mosque in New Zealand.    

“A deeply concerning issue in the U.S. is the rise of white supremacist extremism. The white supremacist groups are emulating and using the same tactics that ISIS and al-Qaeda used to reach the younger population and radicalize people,” says Paul Goldenberg, a member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council. He has done important work in setting domestic and international policy for the legislation and investigation of hate crimes and related issues. He further says, “This radicalization process does not happen overnight. These extremist groups reach the young and disenchanted from around the country and across Europe to carry messages of hate,”.

Goldenberg believes that social media and internet are the ideal means for extremists to radicalize people and says “As wonderful and as useful as the Internet is, it has become a ‘breeding ground’ for those who are seeking to further their messages of hatred, bigotry and violence,” and adds that “Many of the recent mass shootings in the U.S. took place in mosques, synagogues and churches. All the perpetrators involved in these mass shootings clearly shared their manifestos and their intentions on websites such as The Daily Stormer, Stormfront and 4chan. Even more concerning, during the actual massacres, they videotaped or live streamed their actions to further leverage the web to reach a wider audience,”.

Picture by Latvian wikipedia use Zemgalietis of user Darouet, under the licenced Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic,  Igors Šiškins at a Latvian Legion.

Daniil Davydoff from intelligence service line at AT-RISK International says “The Internet has and continues to transform many aspects of radicalization”. He adds, that during a research he found a very friendly talk between an extreme right-wing person and a supporter of radical Islamist.

Identifying individuals and tracking conversations is also challenging as extremism supporters are very careful with their online privacy, and planned attacks by extremists are becoming another challenge.

He says, “What we need to do is very much like a virus – immunize our population against viral hatred and provide them with the tools and resources to empower themselves to understand how they can prevent violent acts.”

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