German authorities have sought to radicalise online hunters against Muslim youth.
German authorities are using online hunter screening sites and video to find Muslim extremists and oversee their recruitment.
Scott Simon, host:
German security forces have blocked several attacks on islamic state militants this year, including attacks on the Berlin airport. Gordian meyer-plath is the director of domestic intelligence in Saxony, the home of the airport’s perpetrators.
GORDIAN meyer-plath: with the help of international friends, the German security agency has done quite well so far, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen tomorrow.
Simon: that’s why the German authorities are searching the Internet for bait. NPR’s Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Berlin.
SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON, wired: finding radicalization online makes strange bedspreads. An example is the cooperation between the German federal police and a grass-roots organization that has been linked to the elimination of the myth of the islamification of Germany. The berlin-based association, known as Ufug or Arabic, has teamed up with the eu’s newly funded new project, CONTRA, which opposes radical propaganda. Sindyan Qasem, who works at Ufug and searches the Internet every day, says Internet ticket prices make it hard for young people to go radicalized. What he is looking for is not necessarily ISIS, which is what Daesh says.
SINDYAN QASEM: the problem is not the standard Daesh video, because young people don’t really get the attention immediately. They prefer to draw them in a very subtle way about discrimination, about the racist video they face in daily life in Germany.
NALAN YAGCI: the other one is German. This is also ISIS.
QASEM: ah, this is German.
NELSON: they’ve documented hundreds of such video, including the video released by the alias Heisenberg in the hit TV series “Breaking Bad.”
Unidentified man :(singing) oh, my brothers, jihad is the way to restore our glory days.
NELSON: this song is called “praise the holy war” and reflects the visual effects of the video game from the assassin’s creed. The scene shows that during the revolutionary war, the headscarf’s protagonist fought with the americans against the red shirts, while the bald eagle was flying over the top of his head.
Nelson: it seems strange that an obvious ISIS sympathiser would portray americans as good people, but he says that’s actually reasonable. The assassin’s creed is a familiar game that resonates with many young germans. Although this song tells them that jihad is a good thing…
YAGCI: fighting is very difficult. You have to put a lot of yourself into it, but it’s worth it.
NELSON: Qasem says that people who post these video or comments are rarely associated with ISIS, and not the group may object. He adds that the subtle and attractive message, usually in German, can help young germans adapt to recruitment.
QASEM: and then they get used to the whole word, and then maybe they’re attracted to it, like hard core propaganda.
NELSON: the two-year CONTRA program tries to help young people resist online manipulation, teach them to recognize narratives and think critically about them. But the German authorities do trace the islamists, whose networks are considered dangerous. Last month, officials took unusual measures to ban an islamic group known as the true religion, which is known for distributing German Qurans in the city. The interior minister, Thomas DE Maiziere, accused the radical converts, of whom 140 eventually came to Syria and Iraq.
THOMAS DE MAIZIERE :(spoken English).
Nelson: the minister told reporters that there is no radical, violent extremist in our society. But despite the efforts of the German police, the terrorist attacks continue. On Friday, the federal prosecutor’s office revealed that a 12-year-old German boy had left his legacy in Iraq but failed to detonate two homemade bombs in the southern city of ludvichy. Berlin