KAZAN, June 5 (RIA Novosti) – Governments around the world must be more agressive in fighting the spread of extremist ideology over the Internet, the head of Russia’s Federal Security Service said Wednesday.
“We should be more active and aggressive on the Internet … switching from the tactics of locating and blocking extremist websites to active propaganda work in cyberspace aimed at revealing to Internet users the destructive nature of terrorism, and exposing the true goals and intentions of the people who inspire and defend it,” Alexander Bortnikov told a meeting of senior security officials from countries that have partnered with Russia in the fight against terrorism.
The Federal Security Service chief said terrorists widely use the Internet to promote and disseminate extremist ideology, as well as lure new followers, especially young people, radicalize them, train them and entice them to carry out terrorist attacks.
“I believe one of our common tasks is the prevention of the use by terrorists of information and communication capabilities of the global Internet in their interests,” he told the participants of the meeting in Kazan, capital of the Russian republic of Tatarstan.
He stressed that effective prevention of terrorism is only possible if there is a clear understanding of the sources of this phenomenon, the tactics used by extremists to conduct ideological and armed warfare, and the reasons for the vulnerability of certain population groups to propaganda rhetoric exploited by terrorist leaders.
Russia ranks ninth overall on the list of countries affected by terrorism, according to a report released last year by the Institute for Economics Peace (IEP), an Australian think tank.
The rating assesses 158 countries over the past 10 years, factoring in the number of attacks and casualties, as well as relevant factors such as relationship networks, human rights, group grievances and governance.
The main stages of the development of the Internet
The majority of terrorist attacks in Russia, the report found, took place in the volatile North Caucasus region, where a low-intensity Islamic insurgency has simmered for years.
About 45 percent of the attacks in the country have targeted police officers and government officials, the IEP reported.