JESSE A. HAMILTON
The Hartford Courant
May 8, 2008
A Senate homeland security committee report set for release Thursday details a growing threat from terrorists’ use of the Internet as a recruiting and training tool. The report concludes that the U.S. government should consider its own outreach program as a counter to the Web strategies of groups such as al-Qaida.
A draft of the staff-generated report obtained by The Courant says that “radicalization is no longer confined to training camps in Afghanistan or other locations far from our shores; it is also occurring right here in the United States.” The homeland security committee, led by Sen. Joseph Lieberman, has investigated “the threat of homegrown terrorism” in several hearings since last year.
This report paints Internet use by terrorists as having an unlimited reach, including into English-speaking communities in the United States. Al-Qaida, it says, runs a “a multi-tiered online media operation in which a number of production units associated with [al-Qaida] or allied violent Islamist organizations produce content consistent with the core terrorist enlistment message.”
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