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If all forms of battle ever known have converged on any one medium, it is the social media. Sans social media, electronic and print media would run out of steam in no time. What started as a medium of individual social interaction and community creation as an afterthought, has been transformed into a full fledged battlefield. Cyber space has been the theater of war and social media it’s main tool. From small personal bickering to trolling to full fledged terrorist activities, social media and cyber space is the favorite medium par excellence.

All comprehensive requirements of terrorism / terrorists are met by the reach, anonymity, instantaneous communication, multi-media intervention, personalised services as required, social media ably supported by other systems of the cyber world. Planning, recruitment, dissemination of the ideology, meticulous execution and operations, creation fear psychosis, claiming responsibility, crowd sourcing for lots of resources, money laundering etc; you name you have it.

The story starts in all earnestness with 9/11 and keeps improving every single day, down to this day. From steganography to VOIP, no internet communication is left unused. The attackers of 26/11 used satellite phones, VOIP technology for call routing, planning and coordination. Estonia, a Baltic country which is constantly evolving in terms of technology became a battleground for cyber terror in April 2007, after disputes regarding the removal of WW II Soviet statue located in it’s capital, Tallinn. ISIS’s use of social media has been described by one expert as “probably more sophisticated than that of most US companies.”

ISIS has been euphemistically described as ” The Digital Caliphate.” The ISIS supporters operated through creating 25,000+ pieces of social media per day, ever changing strategy, use of Dark Web and encrypted application being at it’s core. Its been a multilingual operations in English, French, Russian and Arabic. A simple extrapolation of this model will give a fair idea how much social media across the world is being used for terror and the intensely connected organised crime.


Sanjay Sahay

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