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Legal Restrictions and Challenges for Police and Law Enforcement Authorities


Terrorists are becoming increasingly adept at using social media and online platforms to recruit, campaign, and radicalize, leading to an increase in their numbers and their reach. Law enforcement officials are pressed to respond to this rising tide and, as a consequence, have adopted a number of strategies designed to counter extremist narratives and restrict and penalize radical online activities. The purpose of this chapter is not to debate the success of these endeavors but, instead to identify restrictions and challenges that have an influence on the outcomes of these strategies. Legal restrictions are varied, but two of the more prominent issues include jurisdictional boundaries and the protection of constitutional rights. In addition to these legal restrictions, understanding non-Western communities and practicing cultural sensitivity poses a challenge, as does the need to acquire the cooperation and participation of the private sector; these factors can influence the success of a counter-terrorism campaign. This chapter will focus on these particular considerations within the context of the strategies and measures employed by law enforcement to counter escalating extremism.

Publication Information

Full Citation:

Hodwitz, Omi. 2019. "Legal Restrictions and Challenges for Police and Law Enforcement Authorities." In Online Terrorist Propaganda, Recruitment, and Radicalization, ed. John R. Vacca. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. https://www.crcpress.com/Online-Terrorist-Propaganda-Recruitment-and-Radicalization/Vacca/p/book/9781138048263

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