In this session, the panelists discussed counter-terrorism in the New Media.
Advocate Moty Cristal, the founder and CEO of NEST Consulting Firm, discussed the need to readjust or change our traditional counter-terrorism/intelligence agency structures (i.e. those of MI6, CIA, SIS, Mossad, etc.) to 1) use the web for more than just intelligence gathering, such as for hacking jihadist websites, providing misleading information, operational deception, and attacking terrorist financing, and 2) to be more loose in nature, with more backchannel and track II operations. Concluding, Cristal stated that the new media ought to be used to â€œundercut public support to terror groupâ€ in order to â€œstrengthen resilience in communities at riskâ€¦ not in order to justify counter-terrorism policies
Professor Gabriel Weimann, of Haifa University, discussed the spread of jihadism in the new media platforms, such as on YouTube and Facebook. Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, the PKK, the Taliban, and other organizations all have YouTube pages and dozens of uploaded videos, including instructions on how to make bombs and poisons. Hamas created its own version, called â€œAqsaTube. Weimann, also, discussed the use of online tools such as GoogleEarth in planning attacks. Last, he discussed the â€œFacebook invasionâ€ outside by Al Qaeda, with the goals of reaching a larger pool of Muslims.
David Saranga discussed the need for respected members of the Muslim community to speak up, and spread a message of tolerance, which counters that of the jihadis who are trying to recruit them. (For more from david, you can follow him @DavidSaranga on Twitter)
Mr. Aaron Weisburg, of the Society for Internet Researchers, discussed â€œjihadis and social networking sites,â€ and potential counter-terrorism activity which can be taken against the jihadi groups online and/or can be sued to stop an attack from occurring.
Mr. Lee Smith, Senior Editor for The Weekly Standard and writer of Tablet magazine, discussed the rise in anti-Semitism and anti-Semetic rhetoric on the internet, and in particular in journalistic materials, such as the opinion blogs of the New York Times. â€œJews,â€ he said, â€œare in a double bind. Refrain from responding with outrageâ€ and lies become fact, respond and become the target of anti-Semitic remarks.