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Terrorists turn to social media for recruits– Pantami

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DG/CEO of NITDA, Pantami. Photo: TWITTER/NITDA

Terror organisations now recruit foot soldiers through the social media, according to Dr. Isa Pantami, minister of Communications and Digital Economy.

Pantami also urged military and intelligence agencies to use big data to fight the war against terrorism.

The minister who spoke while delivering a paper titled, “Counter Terrorism Through Innovative Approaches and the Use of New and Emerging Technologies, during the Leadership in Counter Terrorism and Counter Violent Extremism Course 2 Lecture at the Nigerian Army Resource Center (NARC), Abuja, urged the Army to leverage emerging technologies in counter terrorism

He said that data can be analyzed to understand background, motives, modus operandi and methods of communication of persons or groups of interest.

Pantami cited a project by the Qatar Computing Research Institute, where big data was used to scrutinize and analyze social media such as Facebook and Twitter in order to locate the origins of supporters of terrorist organization ISIS.

Over a period of 3 months, researchers monitored and analyzed three million tweets.

He said that terrorism and violent extremism undermine peace and security globally.

“The topic is very timely as Nigeria faces its own share of this global trend that divides communities, aggravates conflicts, and destabilizes entire regions. It is evident that terrorists are exploiting social media, encrypted communications and the dark web to spread propaganda, recruit new followers and coordinate attacks.

“This rapidly evolving phenomenon requires the use of innovative approaches to both “counter” and “prevent” terrorism and extremism, with the development of new and emerging technologies such as: Big Data Analytics; Internet of Things (IoT); Robotics; Machine Learning; and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

“The Law enforcement authorities are presented with a huge variety of technologies to stay ahead of threats.

“With the protection of life and property as one of the primary roles of government, His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has identified ‘Providing Security for all citizens’ as one of its priorities. Achievements in the fight against terrorism in the North Eastern part of Nigeria is a clear indication of the government’s effective strive towards curtailing the endemic insurgency in the region. And other ongoing initiatives such as this training program is an indication of the government’s commitment to a long term strategy to prevent and counter all terrorist activities.


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