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The strategic importance of the Internet for armed insurgent groups in modern warfare

31-12-2007 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 868, by Wael Adhami

This article shows that groups engaged in a jihad have made the Internet their main outlet to the world. With a particular focus on Iraq, the author argues that the Internet does not serve as a platform of recruitment for jihad but is rather the most effective way for armed insurgent groups to win the “hearts and minds” of Muslims worldwide.

   

Wael Adhami
holds a master’s degree in defence and security policies. 

 
Abstract 
In modern times the Internet has become the only tool which can be used to spread information instantaneously and free of charge to anyone in the world who has an Internet connection. The ability to spread information is vital for any party engaged in an armed conflict. This article will show that groups engaged in a jihad have made the Internet their main outlet to the world. It will further examine the content of Islamic and jihadi websites, their main objectives and the communication strategies used. However, and with a particular focus on Iraq, the author will argue that the Internet does not serve as a platform of recruitment for jihad but is rather the most effective way for armed insurgent groups to win the ‘‘hearts and minds’’ of Muslims worldwide.

   
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