Online Recruitment and Training of Terrorism

What is online recruitment and training of terrorism?

Online recruiting is the process of recruiting someone else on the internet to commit terrorist offenses or to assist in their implementation.

Online training refers to the training of other people or the participation in training courses on the Internet with the following content: Production or use of explosives, firearms or other weapons or toxic or dangerous substances or other specific methods and techniques with the aim of a terrorist committing a crime or participating in its implementation.


A similar definition in Directive (EU) 2017/541 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2017 on combating terrorism.

But what is typical for online recruitment and training of terrorism?                  How can you recognize it?

The reach of the Internet provides terrorist organizations and supporters with a global pool of potential recruits. Internet platforms provide detailed instructions, often in easily accessible multimedia formats and multiple languages, on topics such as how to construct explosives, firearms or other weapons or hazardous materials; and how to plan and execute terrorist attacks. The platforms act as a virtual training camp. They are also used to share, inter alia, specific methods, techniques or operational knowledge for the purpose of committing an act of terrorism.[1] Restricted access cyberforums offer a venue for recruits to learn about, and provide support to, terrorist organizations and to engage in direct actions in the furtherance of terrorist objectives.[1]


Terrorist propaganda is often tailored to appeal to vulnerable and marginalized groups in society. The process of recruitment and radicalization commonly capitalizes on an individual’s sentiments of injustice, exclusion or humiliation. Propaganda may be adapted to account for demographic factors, such as age or gender, as well as social or economic circumstances.


The Internet may be a particularly effective medium for the recruitment of minors, who comprise a high proportion of users. Tactics employed by websites maintained by terrorist organizations or their affiliates to target minors have included mixing cartoons and children’s stories with messages promoting and glorifying acts of terrorism, such as suicide attacks.[1] ➜ [Child protection on the internet]

Help with reporting and advice can be found here:

Anyone who is concerned about a relative, friend or other person they know becoming radicalised, can call the Anti-Terrorism Hotline on 0800 789 321.


They can also report it to their local police force, either via 101 or online, where the reporting person may be asked to complete the National Prevent Referral Form.


For concerns about a child becoming radicalised, the NSPCC can also be contacted on 0808 800 5000, or by email at


[1] United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2012). The use of the Internet for terrorist purposes. In collaboration with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force. Retrieved from: