Terrorists Targeting Children Via Facebook, Twitter

Published March 15, 2010

| FoxNews.com

The Internet grew 20 percent uglier last year, with terrorists and racists increasingly turning to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter -- and targeting children, finds the 2010 Digital Hate Report.

The CD-ROM report, put out annually by the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Tolerance, aims to assist law enforcement, public officials, educators, parents and the news media to better grasp the scope of hate.  

The report, based on some 11,500 problematic Web sites, social networks , chat forums, twitter posts, other Internet postings, found that hate-filled language is increasingly filling social networks. In compiling it, researchers for the Wiesenthal center found such disturbing online content as video footage showing bomb-making instructions and hate games -- including one about bombing Haitian earthquake victims.

The report found a 20% increase to 11,500 in hate-filled social networks, Web sites, forums, blogs, Twitter feeds, and so on (up from 10,000 last year). It notes that beyond its role in our social lives, the Internet often acts as the incubator and validator of dangerous conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11 and organ theft.

The lone wolf terrorist, once primarily a domestic extremist character, is now a role heavily promoted by terrorist groups, found the 2010 Digital Hate Report.

The Wiesenthal Center uncovered expanded 'how-to' posts for terrorists, including binary and laser technology. And even more disturbing, the Center found hate games, including one inviting the user to bomb Haitian earthquake victims, continue to target young people

It's all part of a trend of terrorists targeting young people, the report indicates, a finding supported by recent news reports. Over the weekend, FoxNews.com reported that the 6-year-old son of a Colorado nursing student who ran off to Europe to join a terrorist murder cell was brainwashed into a hate-filled Islamic fundamentalist zombie, his family said Saturday. Her family said she struck up an Internet friendship with a Colorado radical.

And court records and other documents show that Colleen LaRose -- or "Jihad Jane" -- may have used YouTube as part of her alleged trail of terrorist activities.

The report was presented at a press conference at the New York Tolerance Center by Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal center, a pioneer in digital hate and terror, and Mark Weitzman, the center’s director of government affairs. Representative Carolyn Maloney joined in the unveiling as well.

The report is used by the FBI, Homeland Security, military officials, hate crime units and joint terrorism taskforces in the U.S. as well as Canada and Europe.

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