This month, START, the Vivekananda International Foundation and Facebook hosted a workshop on “Opportunities for Public-Private Partnership in Countering Online Extremism and Recruitment,” under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Mission to India. The workshop was held in New Delhi, India.
The workshop brought together terrorist recruitment and policy experts, information and communications technology specialists as well as Muslim community leaders in India, to get a better understanding of the dynamics, strategies and tools being used for terrorist recruitment on the internet. The workshop served two primary objectives: (1) support the development of community-based efforts to counter online radicalization and recruitment in Indian cyberspace; and (2) provide policy inputs to relevant decision makers within the government.
“The threat from extremism online is global, but each country faces unique challenges regarding how these groups reach out and radicalize,” said Brandon Behlendorf, START’s Assistant Research Director. “Efforts like these are necessary to improve our collective understanding of the problem and identify approaches that reach across the affected communities. This is a problem that governments, civil society, technology partners and religious communities will have to face together.”
Panel discussions covered a range of topics from ISIL recruitment strategies globally and regionally, to collaborations and technology sector initiatives to counter online recruitment to strategies to empowering communities. Among others who offered remarks was U.S. Ambassador to India Richard R. Verma, BJP National Spokesperson MJ Akbar, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, and Monika Bickert, Director – Global Content Policy, Facebook Inc.