The Australian Ambassador for Counter Terrorism, Bill Paterson, has claimed that terror outfits that have embraced the rise of technology, the internet in particular, to spread their messages and attract followers, are using Facebook to recruit loners from western nations like Australia to their cause. He stressed that social media has also encouraged the rise of home-grown terrorism, particularly among ‘disaffected loners sometimes on the margins of society,’ adding that Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik is a prime example.
He also pointed out that in democratic countries where internet censorship is seen as an ‘infringement of freedom of information’ or a breach on civil liberties, stopping terrorists from communicating on social media is difficult.
The report does not specify as to what terrorist outfits – Islamist or non-Islamist are involved. But it does indicate that if the desperate under-stressed and depressed western loners can be recruited and they can resort to acts like that of Anders Breivik, the Oklahoma-bombing Christian-convicts, the block-buster movie-inspired American schoolchildren cum ‘killer-kids’ or the Afghan-war weary US-army soldier-killers, why then they cannot recruit the unemployed poor individuals from a third-world country like Pakistan to become merchants of death.
As Bill Paterson suggests financial and psychological rehabilitative measures to let the lone westerners live a peaceful and productive life, why can’t the world comes to Pakistan’s help for initiating massive rehabilitative and development projects in the country, particularly FATA and Balochistan?
Instead of using trillions of dollars weaponry, channelizing of even half of this amount into generating economic activities in South Asia can prevent the region and subsequently the entire world from being vulnerable to terrorism threat.