Terrorism summit tackles virtual fight against extremism

EMBED </>More News Videos

Local leaders held a terrorism summit Wednesday at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles to discuss how terrorists are using social media to get their message out. (KABC)

Leaders held a terrorism summit Wednesday at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles to discuss how terrorists are using social media to get their message out.

Images of hate and extremism continue to pop up all over the Internet as terrorists try to spread their message and find recruits.

"It's a disease, and it's a tumor that needs to be eliminated in our society," said LAPD Deputy Chief Michael Downing.

Officials at the summit showed messages attacking different religions and terrorists using social media. The Department of Homeland security reports that ISIS alone sends 200,000 tweets a day.

"They know that people will be interested, people are inspired by the so-called 'caliphate,' what ISIS has set up," said Rick Eaton, a researcher with the Simon Wiesenthal Center. "They know enough people are inspired that people will see that, they will start asking questions, and then they can facilitate the process from there."

Eaton said law enforcement is also dealing with encryption by terrorists to hide their messages.

"It's used for command and control. That means if you have a cell, and the good guys are following them and then all of a sudden it goes black because there is an encrypted message that you can't get into, that could cost lives, and it may have in the recent events in Europe," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper with the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Law enforcement agencies said they want to reach out to the community to let them know how to deal with these messages of hate and to make sure they don't inspire others

"People are expressing their fear - their fear of those imposing prejudice, discrimination and bias on who they are or because of what God they worship," Downing said.

Belgium Consul General Rudi Veestraeten had this message at the summit:

"Let not divide us between religions. This is something which should unify us rather than divide us," he said.
Related Topics:
newsterrorismisissocial mediatwittersafetytechnologysecurityu.s. & worldLos Angeles
(Copyright ©2017 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments