The new head of the United Nations' Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate says that the Internet is a "potent weapon" being used by international terrorists and that it has to be better monitored.

Reuters reports that Australian Mike Smith, who takes up his position as UN counter-terrorism chief next week, voiced concern about the Internet and said he would like the UN to lead a global awareness campaign against Internet-aided militancy.
"The Internet is a real worry and I don't think we've found the answer yet," Smith told Reuters. "In the old days, extremists used to have to cross borders to plan and attack sites. Nowadays, a lot of that stuff can happen on the Internet, they can give instructions, they can co-ordinate, they can recruit through these jihadi Web sites."
Australia's former counter-terrorism ambassador, Smith says an awareness campaign should be mounted using school education and agencies such as the UN's UNESCO.
"People need to be aware, communities need to be aware, people who are running Internet cafes, youth groups and so on, they need to take some measures, or be alert, and prepared to talk to the authorities when they see something happening that they are worried about," he says. "I think our answer to the Internet, as in so many things, is going to be a series of strategies that overlap and provide a sort of perimeter defence."
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