FM: Prevent internet use by terrorists
Countries should resolutely work together to prevent terrorists from taking advantage of the internet, a major tool responsible for the dramatic increase in terrorism, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in Beijing on Friday.
Surveys show that most of those who carried out attacks in China had been “seduced and incited” by terrorist audio or video clips online, Wang said, adding that countries should focus more on this phenomenon.
Wang made the remarks during a symposium on countering terrorists’ use of the internet that was hosted by the Foreign Ministry under the framework of the Global Counterterrorism Forum, a body of 29 countries and the European Union.
The symposium attracted about 180 participants, including officials representing forum members, plus scholars and representatives from internet companies. It was the ministry’s second time hosting the symposium.
Wang said terrorist forces of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement have conducted a number of attacks both inside and outside China. According to a documentary by the Cyberspace Administration of China, the extremists released 73 terrorist audio and video clips in the first six months of 2014. In 2013, they released 109— triple the previous year.
Terrorist organizations are abusing the development of information technology to spread violence and extremist thought, and this “has broken through country and regional borders and activated dormant terrorist groups scattered in various places”, Wang said, adding that countries needed to widen their consensus and cooperate more in the fight.
He also called for the development of expertise and technology to tackle the spread of extremism through online channels. The international community should continue providing funds and training for developing countries to help them improve their counterterrorism measures and internet security, he said.
Zhang Jiadong, a researcher at Fudan University’s Center for American Studies, said the internet is even used to offer training for atrocities.
Also, social media, “a private space” online, poses a “grave challenge” for efforts to contain terrorism, Zhang said, because it can evade monitoring.
Mei Jianming, a professor of the People’s Public Security University of China, said preventing terrorists from taking advantage of the internet while guaranteeing that people can enjoy fully the convenience brought by themodern technology is an issue that needs to be addressed when tackling terrorism.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks at an anti-terrorism symposium on Friday in Beijing. It was organized as part of the Global Counterterrorism Forum.