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Countering the Use of New and Emerging Technologies for Terrorist Purposes


ISRAEL-TECHNOLOGY-DRONE-DEMO. (File)

Of increasing concern is the use of new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes.

Countering the Use of New and Emerging Technologies for Terrorist Purposes
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Despite expansive efforts by the international community, the terrorist “threat has survived and indeed evolved,” as discussed in a recent United Nations Counterterrorism Committee meeting in Delhi, India.

Of increasing concern is the use of new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes. Indeed, terrorists are exploiting online platforms to build and expand their networks, procure weapons and obtain logistical and financial support. This became abundantly evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, when terrorist groups reportedly took advantage of the increased use of social media, including by young people, “to spread their propaganda and distorted narratives to recruit and raise funds for terrorist purposes.”

In an effort to try to develop new ways to counter these evolving threats, and to better coordinate the responses of UN member countries, in late October, the UN Security Council held a Special Meeting of its Counterterrorism Committee. The meeting focused on three themes: countering the use of information and communication technologies for terrorist purposes; countering terrorism financing, including threats and opportunities related to new payment technologies and fundraising methods; and the use of unmanned aircraft systems, such as drones, for terrorist purposes, including to mount attacks.

“Globally, terrorists and other non-state actors have used [Unmanned Aerial Systems] to attack critical infrastructure, and military and diplomatic facilities. We should continue to share best practices, building on existing efforts,” said U.S. Representative at the UN Chris Lu.

He noted that although “Innovations in cyberspace have benefited a number of our collective efforts and shared interests, including in advancing counterterrorism, the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes remains a major challenge for international counterterrorism, cybersecurity, and digital governance.”

“The United States continues to be proactive in countering terrorist content online, while respecting freedom of expression consistent with our Constitution and our long-standing support for a secure, open, trusted, reliable, and interoperable Internet,” said Ambassador Lu.

“We must continue to build the political will and capacities for Member States to strengthen law enforcement and judicial systems, improve threat information sharing, enhance border security, counter terrorist financing, and strengthen terrorism prevention efforts. The United States stands ready to partner with other Member States in a way that promotes human rights and rule of law and fosters whole-of-UN and whole-of-society approaches.”

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