News / USA

Islamist Radicals React Online to Boston Attacks

Radical Islamists React Online To Boston Attacksi
X
May 09, 2013 11:42 PM
Radical Islamists have been reacting online to the bombings at the Boston Marathon last month. While some extremists have praised the attacks, analysts say other users of online Jihadist forums see them as a setback to their wider cause. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Henry Ridgwell
Radical Islamists have been reacting online to the bomb attacks that struck the Boston Marathon last month. While some have praised the attacks, analysts say other users of online Jihadist forums see them as a setback to their wider cause.

The bombings at the Boston Marathon not only caught U.S. intelligence services by surprise; on Jihadist websites, debate has raged over the motivations and implications, according to Shiraz Maher of the International Center for the Study of Radicalization located in London.

"In the most generic and broadest sense, there was a sense of celebration on the Jihadi forums. These guys are committed Jihadists. They hate the United States and the West,"  Maher said.

But, says Maher, some online users thought the Boston attacks had diminished their cause.

 "They felt that this might compromise more spectacular and larger scale attacks. And there was also a sense that the amateurishness of the attacks would also kind of detract from al-Qaida's modus operandi, which has traditionally focused on large scale, spectacular attacks," Maher said.

However Maher says there is a realization among Jihadists that their ability to stage such attacks causing mass casualties has been reduced by Western intelligence and security.

"Al-Qaida's developed a new tactic which is to essentially say, even if it can't take lives directly, it wants to inflict economic and financial losses on the United States and the West more generally," Maher said.

The chief suspects in the Boston attacks, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, appear to have planned the attacks without outside help.

Terror analyst Raffaello Pantucci of the Royal United Services Institute says al-Qaida cells based in the Middle East and Africa are encouraging radicalized individuals in the West through the internet.

"Open-source jihad as they call it, in which individuals are very much empowered or the emphasis is on them to launch attacks where they can on targets that they specifically identify using materials to hand," Pantucci said.
 
Pantucci says the challenge for intelligence services is that so-called 'lone wolves' may not be detected by traditional means like monitoring communications.

"They don't necessarily set these trip wires off. And so therefore intelligence agencies aren't able to rely on that," he said. "As a result this is a much harder prospect to try to identify and prevent earlier. How can you tell that an individual like Tamerlan Tsarnaev is headed down the path that he was?"

Analysis by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization suggests up to 600 foreign Jihadists from Europe alone have travelled to fight in Syria. Maher says the focus appears to have moved away from the West.

"Syria is almost certainly the number one priroty today for the online Jihadist community and for Jihadists on the ground. So in a sense there's a slight recalibration of priorities, where the Islamists and Jihadists think they have a real opportunity to shape events on the ground," Maher said.

The danger for the West, say analysts, comes when the Syrian conflict ends and the foreign Jihadists return home.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Hatem Zaki from: Egypt
May 11, 2013 9:29 AM
I think the West made a big mistake when the West hosted Islamist terrorists .I don't know why the west doesn't correct its mistake and put them in jail because they are dangerous on the society .otherwise the West uses them to distort Islam .there is a big question mark about the relation between the West & the Radical Islam

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid