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By Russ Read
Islamic extremist ideology cannot be allowed to have a “safe space” on the internet in which to grow, British Prime Minister Theresa May said Sunday.
“We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed,” said May in a statement. “Yet that is precisely what the internet — and the big companies that provide internet-based services — provide.”
May called for international accords on the regulation of the cyberspace in order to crack down on the spread of radical ideology. (RELATED: Theresa May: There’s ‘Far Too Much Tolerance’ For Islamist Extremism)
“We need to work with allied, democratic governments to reach international agreements that regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremism and terrorist planning,” she said. “And we need to do everything we can at home to reduce the risks of extremism online.”
May’s comments come one day after three jihadi terrorists attacked civilians in London with a van and knives, killing seven and injuring 48.
The internet is a prime recruiting tool for terrorist groups like al-Qaida and the Islamic State. Jihadi forums, videos and websites frequently act as a tool for radicalizing followers in Western countries.
ISIS in particular has been remarkably effective in its use of the internet for radicalization purposes. The group became infamous for its high-production value videos featuring gruesome beheadings and murders of victims. ISIS also releases online magazines in various languages that give explicit instructions on how to engage in terrorist attacks similar to the one seen on Saturday.
The London attack is the third to strike the U.K. in the last three months. An ISIS terrorist engaged in a suicide bombing in Manchester two weeks ago, while an attack similar to that seen in London took place near Westminster Bridge in March. (RELATED: 149 Dead So Far In Ramadan Attacks)
There has been a significant rise in terrorist attacks across the globe since the Islamic holy month of Ramadan began on May 26.