Sunday, July 25, 2021
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Social media enabling radicalisation: US Ambassador

Social media platforms are enabling radicalisation, US Ambassador to India Richard Verma said.

“Social media platforms are enabling radicalisation, recruitment, and networking among like-minded individuals from afar,” Verma said during his address at the Megacity Security Conference here.

“The return of foreign fighters from places like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria also casts ominous shadows. More so than ever before, small groups and individuals have access to lethal and even military-grade technologies that give them the ability to attack a city’s functioning.

“India has been a model of inclusiveness,” Verma told reporters when asked why have so few Indian Muslims joined the IS.

To a query on his assessment of threat perception of the dreaded terror group to India, Verma said it is for Indian officials to address that question.

“But as President (Barack) Obama said, this is a serious threat and we intend to intensify our strategies and it will require diligent efforts from all levels,” Verma said.

For countering terrorism in mega-cities, governments must create an ecosystem of cohesion and inclusivity, the US Ambassador said.

“We have to get to the root causes of unrest. As cities grow bigger here is a potential that certain sections of population become disaffected and frustrated. So there is an importance of good governance,” he said.

The US Ambassador also spoke of India-US cooperation on terrorism front including “shutting of the terror outfits finances and networks”.

Communications and transportation networks essential to the daily livelihood in cities also can serve as enablers that allow groups to recruit and maintain networks with relative anonymity. Even smart cities, which offer the promise of a greener and more sustainable future, can be vulnerable to cyber attacks”, he said.

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