Terrorism 2.0 and its implications; the purpose of this article is to explain how the Internet phenomenon has become one of the largest tools used by illicit actors and terrorists or affiliates.
Retreating until June 2014, when the self-proclaimed Islamic State was announced, occupying initially more restricted areas in Iraq, notably in Mosul and a little later in Raqqa, we see that Islamic State has resorted to the use of social media for the spread of its propaganda and propagation of the daily operations carried out in various geographical areas. Since this date we have been accustomed to the dissemination of videos where not only the operations, but also the summary executions of foreigners held hostage by the Islamic State, were reported. At an early stage, their communications had a higher incidence on Facebook and Twitter, with special emphasis on the first phase on Facebook, with Twitter busy at the next stage, where most of the fighters would manage their accounts as better suited to them.
In its clear majority, this phase is dominated by the English fighters, with all their knowledge and experience in managing the networks, whether it be with the aim of radicalisation or the dissemination of the information to be disseminated. It is during this period that several government agencies are aware of the need to assign a component of cyber intelligence, to lock or intercept in real time what was being reported in fractions of seconds, whether it was in a sentiment analysis, semantics or introducing social network analysis.
During this phase, we have also seen the introduction of online radicalisation, acting as an autonomous and distinct process of a whole known assembly in the past, being something new and colliding with the regular activity carried out in the mosques.
For the first time, the world was receiving religious journals and the goal of carrying out the spread of the Jihadist propaganda, both about operations, and in the field of Islamic theology interpreted by the elements of Islamic State. This was the case for the introduction of the Dabiq magazine, which was presented every two months starting in June 2014, containing and constantly highlighting the attacks carried out by its fighters overseas. It was later replaced by Rumiyah, having both finished when the entire media production capacity of the Islamic State was destroyed.
During the first half of 2015 the first reported data disclosures of members of the various US forces was carried out by the cyber unit of the Islamic State, which was led by a British fighter who was later executed in Raqqa by coalition forces. By 2015 all the operations carried out by Islamic State fighters overseas were in their large majority coordinated by Central Command, which originated in Syria. This was the case with the preparation and implementation of the attacks in Paris in November 2015.
After this period, there is a total immersion for the use of new communication tools such as Dark web forums and Telegram, the latter being where most of the communication is disseminated.
Today we can see that even after the loss of the entire territory, the online spread continues to take great strides, with greater proactivity and efficiency in the management of the various channels used. We have been looking at the introduction of several different languages, as well as groups and channels, some of which allow for the full interaction of the various actors.
As can be seen, the weight of the Internet today is significantly greater than in the previous decade, and there is a very pressing need for preventive measures to be implemented to monitor the full spectrum of the communication.