Monday, October 22, 2007

Internet and Other Technologies Make Surveillance of Radical French Mosques Difficult

The Jamestown Foundation recently released a report on French intelligence agencies efforts to monitor the activity of radical mosques in France. While most of the article concerns the relative success of physical surveillance, an interesting note is made that technology, specifically Internet and satellite communications, are being used by radicals to bypass the physical surveillance and controls placed on French mosques:

"Mosques do not constitute the only channel of religious radicalization in France. Radical discourses are now conveyed through satellite televisions, which are increasingly available to French Muslims. The internet, with numerous jihadi-friendly websites available in both Arabic and French, allows the dissemination of a radical Salafi discourse that preaches hatred of the West, rabid anti-Semitism and anti-French racism. Finally, libraries and publishing companies specializing in Islamic studies also participate in the dissemination of radical Salafi material. On these three fronts, French law enforcement authorities are ill-equipped to monitor and curb the expansion of radical Salafi ideology disseminated via these channels. Actions against satellite channels or websites located outside of France are difficult or impossible."

An Inside Look at France's Mosque Surveillance Program

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