School of Computer and Information Science, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia
As a consequence of the war on terror, al-Qaeda and associated jihad groups have evolved and made increasing use of internet technologies for cyber recruitment. Recently, there has been an increasing focus on recruiting home grown terrorists who can more easily escape the scrutiny of cross border entries. Case study analysis indicates that links do exist between cyber tools, radicalisation and terrorism, however, the strength and nature of these relationships is generally unclear. Evidence does seem to support that cyber tools are most significant in the initial phases of recruitment and radicalisation. Coupled with this is the strong evolution of the use of cyber tools from hosted jihad websites to the use of social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace as well as forums such as Yahoo groups. Additionally, al-Qaeda’s latest development is an online magazine that contains a wide range of material from inspirational narratives to practical bomb making techniques. It is argued that these links between evolving cyber tools and cyber recruitment/radicalisation must be taken as a serious threat with possible responses outlined.