The hackers will help stop jihadist recruiters before they've convinced young French nationals to join their cause. Photo: AFP
It's the digital age, and so jihadists are using the internet to rope in their newest recruits – including thousands from France.
Authorities in Paris are well aware of this and have already introduced online counter-terrorism measures after the January terror attacks in Paris that saw 17 people killed.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls took it a step further this week when he announced that France would be hiring hackers and also online “community managers” to more closely monitor the extremists.
Speaking on Wednesday at the Dauphine University in Paris, Valls said the move was intended to “more effectively cross swords with jihadist recruiters,” reported the Direct Matin newspaper.
The hackers would be in charge of monitoring the jihadistis online and trying to identify them before they had the chance to covert France's youth.
Valls said the hackers would hopefully to prevent the “internet space” from becoming the property of jihadists.
It's no surprise that France is taking the the jihadist recruitment seriously. The government even released a shock video campaign earlier this year in the hope of dissuading more young French nationals from heading to the Middle East to fight with the Islamic jihadists.
Indeed, after the terror attacks in January, France injected €60 million to the prevention of radicalization, including what Valls referred to as “cyber patrols” of social media sites.
“Terrorists often use the same social networks as everyone else,” Valls said at the time, calling on Internet service providers to comply with their legal obligations and moral responsibility.
Figures from earlier this month revealed that a total of 1,683 French nationals have been in some way implicated in the fighting in Syria and Iraq.