Katarina Jonev: The Cyber Face of Terrorism

If we ever believed that religious fanaticism does not go hand in hand with modern technology, we were wrong. The fact is that there are terrorists who want to, can, and widely use cyber weapons to carry out terrorist attacks. This includes the denial-of-service attacks on the network infrastructure, setting logic bombs to selected information systems, dissemination of propaganda and ideology. Hackers and online activists of the currently the world’s most notorious groups – the Islamic State have made a real revolution in the use of social networks for terrorist purposes, and which has become one of the trademarks.


In addition to taking a physical territories, the Islamic State has shifted its operations to cyber terrain conquering cyberspace with the skillful use of social networks. From high-quality video material mounted on YouTube channels, which might have been directed by Hollywood’s most creative directors, though printing and distribution online newsletters in 5 world languages, posting of the shots and videos of horrific crimes, to the use of the popular hashtag, by creating a large number of profiles on Facebook and Twitter, ISIS in their fight against the West and for the sake of spreading their goals, ideas, ideology, has widely used by all modern means of communication.


ISIS has the most modern propaganda machine compared to other terrorist organisations. Unlike, say, Al-Qaeda, which focuses their messages mainly to the like-minded, ISIS use a revolutionary, popularistic way to attract a broader and more massive crowd, addressing “global” audience. The group is fully aware of the enormous power of social networks like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and others, and use Internet communications as an effective means of distributing their ideology and send political messages. Only acceleration with hashtag # WorldCup2014 during the football World Cup, ISIS drew attention to its activities to millions of people.

They know how to make a digital warfare. And therefore it is the most dangerous violent organisation ever.

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