2011 Digital Terrorism & Hate Report Launched at Museum of Tolerance New York


Wiesenthal Center 2011 Digital Terror/Hate Report Confirms: Escalating Online Threats against Religious Minorities in Middle East, Recruitment of ‘Lone Wolf’ Terrorists

14,000 Problematic Websites, Forums, Social Network Comprise Growing on Subculture of Hate

NEW YORK, NY – Before a group of officers from the New York Police Department, the Simon Wiesenthal Center released the 2011 edition of its annual Digital Terror & Hate Report at a briefing held at the Center’s Museum of Tolerance New York in Manhattan. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Center (photo) and a pioneer in monitoring the troubling growth of hate and terrorist activity in the Digital Age, reported that social networking is increasingly the weapon of choice for bigots, and terrorists. There has been a 12% increase to 14,000 problematic social networks websites, forums, blogs, twitter, etc. (up from 11,500 last year), comprised on the subculture of hate.

The report also reported sites and the internet in general continue to serve as the incubator and validator of 9/11, other notorious ‘conspiracy theories’ as well as a disturbing spike in attacks against religious minorities in the US and abroad. “As the traffic on social networking sites increase, so do the potential dividends for hate and terror groups,” said Rabbi Cooper. “For this reason, it is imperative our law enforcement professionals are aware of the trends in digital hate and can take a stand against it,” he concluded.

Some of the other findings in the report include:

• The full range of Internet technologies have been harnessed by Islamist terrorists and their supporters, including the Yemen-based radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, to recruit and encourage “Lone Wolf” terrorists.
• The dramatic increase in “trolling”, the online activity wherein the identity of an innocent person is hijacked by bigots and bullies. The tactic is also used to discredit anti-hate activists online.
• That hate games remain a prominent component of the online subculture of hate targeting gays, immigrants, African Americans and Jews.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center reported that partly through its efforts, social media companies, led by Facebook, have begun to pay serious attention to the abuse of their services by racists, anti-Semites and terrorists.

Watch WPIX interview with Rabbi Cooper:


The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.