Radicalisation and the internet

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Radicalis ation and the internet



The freedom to voice political, religious or ideol ogical beliefs is an important and healthy part of any democracy. The Albanian Government respects the right of individuals to engage in free speech online, even when their messages may be extreme or unpopular.


Free expression and the internet



The internet has changed the way we communicate and interact with each other. both as individuals and as a society. The internet also plays an important role in allowing people to express their views freely on globally connected platforms. Itis not acceptable for any individual or group to use the internet to advocate the use of violence in  any situation, including to further a religiou s, ideological or political cause.


The Jaw and online behaviour

Social media and other internet networking sites should a/ways be used responsibly, and should not be used to threaten, advocate or direct the use of violence. Itis


illegal under Albanian law to use social media or the internet in a way that could be seen as intimidating, harassi ng or o                                                                                                                                                                    nsi v.t It 1 . a/so 111ega1 ro   se social media or the internet to make threats to kill or cause ser ous harm  to another indin vidual.











Extremist material can include:


  articles, images, speeches or videos that encourage hate or violence

  statements or posts made on social media, chat rooms or biogs that encourage hate or violence

  content encouraging people to commit acts of terrorism

  websites created or hosted by terrorist organisations

  terrorist training materials







The majority of people access the internet in a safe and lawful manner. but a smallnumber of people may use the internet to search out or post messages, video clips, images or content of a violent extremist nature. Over time, this material can affect a small number of people in our community who may be vulnerable to becoming

radicalised. Behavioural signs may be useful to help family members, friends and members of the public to seek assistance if they are concerned somebody they know

may be radicalising. These signs may include:

  becoming increasingly secreti ve about online viewing habits

  using online social networking platforms such as Facebook or Twitter to promote viol ence or other criminal behaviour to advance a cause

  downloading large amounts of violent extremist content such as:

o  online instruction and training manuals about making explosives or other methods to undertake violence

o  violent extremist literature, images and/or video clips that advocate the use of violence or other illegal behaviour to promote a cause.









UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy


Education does play a role

Thereis no denying that education plays an important role in the socialisati on of


UN Global Counter- Terrorism


young people and their moral development. Consequently, education features



Adopted by consensus in 2006


The United Nations General As sembly adopted the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy on 8 September 2006. The strategyis a unique global instrument to enhance national, regional and international efforts to counter terrorism.

Through its adoption that all Member States have agreed the first time to a common strategic and operational approach to fight terrorism, not only sending a clear message that terrorismis unacceptable in all its forms and manifestation

but also resolving to take practical steps individually and collectively to prevent and combat it. Those practical steps include a wide array of measures ranging from strengthening state capacity to counter terrori st threats to better coordinating United Nations system's counter-terrorism activities.


The adoption of the strategy tu/ filed the commitment made by world leaders at the 2005 September Summit and builds on many of the elements proposed by the Secretary-General in his 2 May 2006 report, entitled Uniting against Terrorism: Recommendations for a Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.


2016 marks the 10th anni versary of the UN Global Counter·Terrori sm Strategy.


Reviewed every 2 years


The General As sembly reyiews the Strategy every two years, making it a living document attuned to Member States'counter-terrorism priorities.


The Fifth Review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrori sm Strategy took pl ace on 1 July 2016. The General A ssmb/y examined the report of the

Secretary-Genera/  (A/701826) on the implementation of the UN Global Counter­ Terrorism Strategy over the past decade. It also gave further consideration to the Secretary-General's Plan of Action  to Prevent  Violent Extremism (A/70!674-

A/701 675), which was presented by the Secretary-Genera/  to the General

Assembl y in January 2016. The General Assembly  adopted the resolution (AIRES/70/291 ) by consenus.


4 pillars


The General As sembly reviews the Strategy every two years, making it a Ji ving document attuned to Member States' counter-terrorism priorities. The fourth review of the Strategy took place in June 2014 (AIRES/681276 ) and was preceded by a report from the United Nations Secretary -General (A/681841) that included

an overview of the evolving terrorism landscape, recommendations to address challenges and threats, and a compilation of measures taken by Member States and United Nations entities to fight against terrorism.

strongly in counter-radica/isation programs in several countries - such as the UK,

The Netherlands, Austria and Belgium. For the most part, these education interventions focus on teaching subjects that promote tolerance, understanding and citizenship.


The compulsory school curriculum in Albania includes civic values. Suggesti ons have also been made that the curriculum should incl ude teaching young people about different religions - including Islam.While these may be valuable in their own right, proposing curriculum changes that focus on a particular context such as the Middle East, or on a single issue such as democratic participation, or on the teaching of religion,is problematic. For a start, the argument that all schools should teach young people the core principles of Islam misses the point.


A study of vulnerability and resilience to al-Qaeda violent extremism and other types of violent activity (animal rights activism; cults; gangs; right wing

extremism and youth crime) found tolerance of other religious and ethnic groups is a factor in resilience to violent extremism.Religious plurali smis an important feature of our democratic society and is embedded in our Constitution.


As an alternative to teaching young people about specific religions, focusing on religious pl uralism through the teaching of our Constitution and fostering a sense of Albanian identify is a much more useful exercise.

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Conflict in Syria: what you can do to help

Conflict In Syria: what you can do to help



Organisatior1s providing aid to Syria a11d the region


United Natjons


The United Nations is endeavouring to render assi stance to 9.3 million peopl e affected by the Syrian crisis throughits Syria Humanitarian A ssistance Response  Plan (SHARP) and Regional Response Plan (RRP). For more information on these programmes and how you can donate funds through the United Nations,

visit the website for the UN Offi ce for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs .


The U11ited Nations High Cornmissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)


In 2014, UNHCB projects that it will assist 3.3 million people (660,000 families) affected by the Syrian crisis. This includes internally displ aced peopl e within Syria and refugees in neighbouring countries. UNHCRis currently supplyi ng emergency clothing, blankets and hygiene items to Syrian families as we// as organising emergency education facilities to enable refugee children to attend














1.Addr essing the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism

...  ....2. Measures to prevent and combat terrorism

3.  Measures to build states' capacity to prevent and combat terrorism and to strengthen the role of the United Nations system in that regard;

4.  Measures to ensure respect for human rights for all and the rule of law as the fundamental basis for the fight against terrorism.


Following is the full text of the Resolution and t1'rtl Plan of Action:


1. Plan of Action

2.  Measures to address the conditions oonducive to the spread of terrorism

3. Measures to prevent and combat terrorism

4.  . Measures to build States' capacity to prevent and combat terrorism and to strengthen the role of t,.. , United Nations s vstem in this regard

5. Measures to ensure respect for human rights for all and the rule of law as the fundamental basis of the fight against terrorism




In 2014, the Internati onal Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has supplied food for more than 770,000 people in Syria, repaired water plants to supply fresh water to 1.6 million people and provided essential medical equipment to the Damascus National Hospital.


The International Federatio11 of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies


The International Federa tion of Red Cross an d Red Crescen t Societies (IFRC)is the largest humanitarian network in the world. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC}, a member of this network, launched a polio vaccination campaign in coordination with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to deliver vaccines to children in some of the most challenging areas within Syria. During 2013, the IFRC supported the SARC to deli ver food to 1.2 million people, hygiene kits, mattresses and blankets to 1 million people and health care to 500,000 patients.


For more information about what the IFRC has achieved to date in assisting the Syria visit the IFRC website.


The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)


The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is providing winter clothes, health care and psychological help to the children of Syria, along with shelter and

sanitation facilities. This year in Syria, UNICEF plans to vaccinate 2.2 million children, provide education for 3.9 million children and secure access to safe drinking water for 10 million people .


Save the Cl1ildren


Save the Children is providing protection, education, health care, food, water and other supplies to Syrian refugees. Its core work focusses on alleviating pov erty, hunger, illiteracy and disease affecting the children of Syria.


The UN World Food Programme


The United Nations World Foo<! Programme (WFP) is delivering food to millions of Syrians struggling with starvation and malnutrition. This year, WFP staff will help 7 million Syrians li ving inside the country's borders as well as those living as refugees in neighbouring countries























W hat do I need to know about online risks?



1.  Has i nterventi on ever stopped a y oung person bei ng radi cal ised?





0: What do I need to know about ooline ri sks?


A: In recent years there has been a remarkable shift in the way extremists use the internet to spread their ideology and radicalise.

2.   How i s ext rertism rel evant to me as a parent ?

3.   Is my child vulnerable to radicalisation? 4 . Adv ices to Parents:




Oaesh use the internet and social media extensively to communicate and spread

their messages. Oaesh propaganda includes images and videos that present their

'             vision as an exciting alternative to life in the west. This media presents Oaesh as

the powerfulcreators of a new state to which all Muslims have a duty to travel. This ignores the fact that Oaesh is a terrorist organisation engaged in killing innocent men,women and children - most of them Muslims.When their official media group releases material online they encourage supporters on social media to share the material- this is what gives Oaesh its large reach,particularly to young people .


Neo-Nazi and extreme rightwing groups have also proved adept at using the internet and social media to spread their ideology and seek recruits. Stormfront was the first major white supremacist and neo-Nazi internet forum and is still very active today

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Has intervention ever stoppe

Q: Has i ntervention ever stopped a young person t


Strategic L itigation

Institutions of deprivation of liber ty in Albania


A:. There are real life stories of young people inftue Violent Extr emism


How is extremism relevant to me as a parent?

O: How i s extremi sm relev ant to me as a parent?

Advice s to Parents:                                              

Advices to Parents:


A:.You are the first line of protection for your children: be aware of the signs and know what action to take.


It is valuable to discuss the risks and issues with your children from a young age, to giv e them a safe space to discuss COf'll>lex issues and give them confidence to challenge extremist narratives .

Q : How do Italk to my child about extremi sm?




It can be difficult to talk to your child about extremism, especially if you are very

worried, but there are ways to make it easier.                                                                  






k,they become more independent , they will explore new ideas and push boundaries - teenagers are often searching for answers to questions about identity, faith and belonging, as well as looking for adventure and excitement. This can make them vulnerable to extrernst groups, who may claim to offer answers, an identity and a strong social network. Because they know young people are vulnerable, extrenist groups often target them - frequently via the internet and social media .

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It's important to think about where and how to talk about extrernsm. You rnght want to have the conversation in a relaxed and neutral place, and at a time when brothers and sisters aren't around to interrupt.


It's rarely easy to start a serious conversation with a child. Do it too forcefully and they may clam up;take a more subtle approach and the chat can get deraile d. It can be a good idea to try to make the conversation relevant in some way. For example, if you both see something related to extremism on TV, you could ask

your child what they would do in the same situation. Or you could say that a friend of yours needs some advice about a particular issue and ask if they have any ideas - this shows that you value their opinions while also finding out how rn.ich they know about a subject.            ·




VVh en you want to have a serious conversation with a child it can be easy to forget





to listen as well as talk. k,k questions that don't have yes or no answers, so your child gets the chance to tell you what they really think, and give them as long as they need to answer without interrupting. They may be nervous or still working out what they really think. Don't be afraid to let your child ask you questions ,too. Be honest with them about how you feel about extrernsm and talk about your own thoughts and experiences. It's also really if'll>ortant to let them know that they can


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      trust you to keep their confidence and that they can talk to you or to other people

they trust,


'                                      Is my child vulnerable to radicalisation?

Q: I s my chil d vul nerabl e to radi calisati on?


A:. The risk of young people becoming involv ed with extrernst groups is low.




However, children from very different backgrounds, including those who do well at school and those from stable homes, have been exposed to extremist views and become radicalised. The following is a guide only : you need to use your own judgment to assess your child's vulnerability.


Young people often struggle with their sense of identity, and this can make them vulnerable to extrernst influence . Some may feel distant fr om their cultural or religious heritage, or isolated from the prevailing British culture, which may lead them to question their place in British society.


Personal circumstances, such as tensions in the family or having experienced a traumatic event, can also increase vulnerability. Extremists prey on low

self.esteem, perceptions of injustice and feelings of failure combined with a sense of grievance, often triggered by firsthand experience of racism or discrirnnation. If your pupils have special educational needs , or find it difficult to interact socially,

ef'll>athise or understand the consequences of their actions, they may be more vulnerable to radicalisation.


External factors , such as tensions in the local comrrunity, events affecting their country or region of origin, having friends or family who have joined extremist groups, and exposure to narrow points of view, are also a factor.


Young people involv ed with crirnnal groups, and those who have found it difficult to reintegrate after being in prison or a young offender institution, may also be at risk.

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Terrorist organisations, such as / SIL, are trying to radicalise and recruit young people through an extensive use of social media and the internet. Young people, some as young as 14, have tried to leave the UK to travel tojoin / SIL and other terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq.


As with other online harms, every teacher needs to be aware of the risks posed by the online acti vity of extremist and terrorist groups.


What action do schools and teachers need to take?


Schools have a vital role to pl ay in protecti ng pupils from the risks of extremism and radicalisation. Keeping children safe from risks posed by terrorist exploitation of social media should be approached in the same way as safeguarding children from any other online abuse.


  In the same way that teachers are vigilant about signs of possi ble physical or emotional abuse in any of their pupils, if you have a concern for the

safety of a specific young person at risk of radicalis ation, you should follow

your school 's safeguarding procedures, including discussing with your school's designated safeguarding lead, and where deemed necessary, with children 's social care. If you are in a 'Prev enr priority area, your local authority will have a 'Prevent' lead who can also provide support.

   You can a/so contact your local police immediately PROPAGANDA THEMES

/S/L, also sometimes referred to as /SIS,is a violent terrorist group which has caused huge suffering to people in both Syria and Iraq in the name of an lslamist extremist ideology. They are a brutal group that wants to impose rule on people and has used violence and extortion.  S/L's claim to have established an 'Islamic State' or 'caliphate' in the region has no theological credibility.


/SIL propaganda includes images and videos that present the group as an exciting alternative to life in the West. This media presents / SIL as the powerful creators of a new state, to which all Muslims (male and female) have a duty to travel. The propag anda continuously ignores the fact that / SIL is a terrori st

organisation engaged in killing innocent men, women and children. When /S/L's official media groups release material online the group encourages supporters on social media to share the material - this is what gi ves /SIL its large reach, particularly to young.12.eop/e.


/SIL propaganda uses four main themes to encourage young people to travel to Syria and Iraq. These themes are used to recruit both men and women, and are a/so widely used in discussions on social media around /SIL .


















/SIL celebrates and promotes an image of success online in order to attract

young people - it tells them that / SIL are the winning side and can offer them an       

exciting life. The /SIL slogan 'Baqiyah wa- Tatamaddad' (remaining and expanding) presents the group as one that consistently achieves success. / SIL propaganda ignores the reality that /SIL are not winning and are opposed by the majo rity of people in Syria and Iraq.


/SIL portray their 'Caliphate' as an ideal, utopian state where Muslims will find










welcome in its ranks, so long as they are Sunni Muslims. In reality the claimed Caliphate has been rejected by the overwhelming majo rity of Islamic scholars

;.,round the world. /SIL abuse of women and children and killing of innocent ci vilians has been well documented.




1. Sa feguardi ng i nformation for all educati on staff

2. Types of abuse and neglect

3.  Indicators of Ri sk to Radicalisation

4.  . Major Extremist and Terrorist Incidents