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Terrorists recruiting members on social media, says minister


Terrorists now use social media as a medium for communications and recruiting new followers in perpetrating crimes in Nigeria, minister of communications and digital economy, Isa Pantami said on Tuesday.

“It is evident that terrorists are exploiting social media, encrypted communications and the dark web to spread propaganda, recruit new followers and coordinate attacks,” Pantami said while delivering a lecture on leadership in counter-terrorism and counter violent extremism in Abuja.

Pantami noted that an upgrade in skill and technology by Nigeria authorities can prevent counter-terrorism and extremism in the country.

He suggested that Nigeria’s security organisations approach their fight against terrorism with adequate data through technologies like Big Data Analytical, Internet of Things (IOT), Robotics and Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Pantami explained that through the use of Big Data Analytical, Nigeria’s military and intelligence agencies analyse data gathered “to understand background, motives, modus operandi and methods of communication of persons or groups of interest.”

“Increase in computing power and machine learning has made it possible to examine huge amounts of data related to crimes and terrorism to identify underlying correlations and causes,” Pantami said.

“The advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) presents the connection of devices to not only the Internet but also to each other. The IoT enables increased convenience, efficiency and energy conservation.”

The minister stated that IOT technology can be used for monitoring, identification, surveillance, access to the network and tracking down the locations of persons and terrorist groups.

He cited the example of a project by the Qatar Computing Research Institute where big data was used to scrutinize and analyze social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter to locate the origins of supporters of the terrorist organization ISIS.

Pantami urged the security organisations in the country to explore the use of technology to curb activities of terrorists in Nigeria.

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