Monday, December 14, 2009

Parents Beware:Social Networks becoming Terror Networks...

By Joseph Weber, Washington Times


Muslim leaders said Friday the five American youths arrested in Pakistan for allegedly attempting to join the al Qaeda network were lured through the Internet into embracing terrorist ideology and that they will wage a cyber counterattack.

"This is a wake-up call involving our youths — Muslims and Catholics," Imam Mahdi Bray said outside the Islamic Circle of North American Center, the Northern Virginia mosque in which the men worshipped and participated in youth-group activities. "They see great injustices, and their emotions and passions are stirred, as they should be. … But we are determined not to let religious extremists exploit the vulnerability of our youth through slick, seductive and destructive propaganda on the Internet. We will respond in kind on the Internet. Silence in cyberspace is not an option."

Pakistani officials say the men allegedly asked an al Qaeda-linked group for training but were rejected because they lacked credentials.

They reportedly attempted first to contact jihadist groups in August through e-mails, then Facebook and YouTube. The men, ages 19 to 25, then went to Pakistan to set up meetings.

The men disappeared last month from the Washington, D.C., area. One left behind a militaristic video that prompted family members to contact the FBI.

Pakistani residents became suspicious of the young men and told police, who arrested them Tuesday in a home belonging to an uncle of one of the suspects.

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While I know most parents use software to monitor their children online or monitor them personally, you never know what your kids could be vulnerable to. Facebook and YouTube are two of the most popular social networks online and they have not only become a great way to connect with others and share information but have also become breeding grounds for criminals, pedophiles and now terrorists who wish to recruit new members to do harm to our country. What may seem like an innocent support group or cause could lead to a deceptive motive. Don't let your children be fooled by the material they find online and if they do come across anything offensive, supports violence against anyone else or a group please have them report it to you immediately and report it to the proper authorities.


©2008 Patricia Garza

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