| GEO World|
| Asian militants get more sophisticated online: study|
| Updated at: 0900 PST, Sunday, April 19, 2009|
SINGAPORE: Southeast Asian militants have grown more sophisticated in using the Internet to spread radical ideas, recruit and train supporters, according to a new study urging governments to take action.
The Internet's role as a training and recruitment tool is likely to increase in significance and could threaten the region if it is not countered effectively, the study said. "To put it bluntly: security agencies may detect the bomb manuals, but miss the process of radicalisation that produces the bombers," says the joint report from Singapore's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
It indicates that terrorist groups in the region are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their use of the Internet, posting hacking and bomb-making videos, and even developing their own online media units. "Terrorist groups in Southeast Asia are increasingly using the Internet as a means to radicalise people as well as to recruit and train supporters," said the study, made available to journalists at the weekend.
"Using this international platform, they're attempting to shape people's ideas about whose ideology is right and who should win. "Importantly, they are not attacking only the West but are drawing on their narrative to attack the governance arrangements of regional states."