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Online Radicalization to Violent Extremism

NCJ Number
248024
Date Published
August 2014
Annotation
After discussing and providing examples of the online methods used by violent extremists to recruit people to their cause, this paper explains the role of community policing in countering this effort.
Abstract
Using a combination of traditional websites, mainstream social media platforms, YouTube, and other online services, extremists broadcast their views, provoke negative sentiment toward enemies, incite people to violence, glorify martyrs, create virtual communities with like-minded individuals, provide religious or legal justifications for violent actions, and communicate individually with new recruits to groom them for violent activities. This paper proposes the implementation of community policing principles in the development of strategies for countering online extremist propaganda. One of the key components of community policing is citizen engagement. This involves identifying ways the community can become involved in addressing various types of crime and disorder, including online appeals by violent extremists. Community members surf the Internet and participate on social media, where they may encounter extremist messages, appeals, and strategies. They can become sources of information about what is occurring on the Internet regarding how violent extremists are using the Internet. Police agencies should make an effort, through agency websites and social media, to encourage citizens to report extremist activity on the Internet. 11 notes