The widespread of terrorism in Europe has been very severe recently. As a way of effectively dealing with terrorism, UK police has embarked on counter-terrorism campaign following the recent terror attack in London.
The London authorities are not keeping their hands folded despite arresting several suspects who are believed to be behind the recent terrorism in the UK. According to information from reporters, police in London have been giving out leaflets with listings of suspicious activities that are to be noted as a sign of potential terrorism.
The listings which include “visiting the Darkweb” are meant to engage the citizens to identify such activities and to also be well informed so that information flow can work effectively. A report released last year exposed how weapons are smuggled into UK from the Darknet
The Darknet marketplace is not only used by terrorists to smuggle guns but to also communicate, raise funds and recruit.
“Be aware of what is going on around you—of anything that strikes you as different or unusual, or anyone that you feel is acting suspiciously—it could be someone you know or even someone or something you notice when you are out and about that doesn’t feel quite right,” a portion of the leaflet reads.
The Darknet marketplace has already been spotted by authorities as a platform that hides terrorists and other individuals who engage in smuggling of weapons. It was reported in 2015 that ISIS had created a propaganda Darkweb website. This was after the Telegram attempted to shut down all ISIS activities on its service.
The Weakness of Darknet Is the Strength of Criminals (Terrorists)
Darknet is weak from the perspective of law enforcement, as its anonymous nature protect criminals and hinder the efforts of law enforcers. However, it is the strength of terrorists and other criminals to communicate and engage in illicit transactions while they stay anonymous.
In 2016, Bernard Cazeneuve, the Internal Affairs minister in France, said at a National Assembly meeting that the Darknet is used by terrorists for their outrageous activities. It is not much clear whether the terrorism part of the Darknet is related to the Bitcoin, a currency which hides the identity of the owner, or the Darknet market, websites which provide almost any weapon on the internet.
Digesting the analysis provided by investigators, both Bitcoin and Darknet has an anonymous nature, and can, therefore, support terrorists.
Weapon smuggling from the Darknet is one category that has increased very much in several countries such as Netherlands. It is no surprise that some investigators believe that terrorists order weapons from the Darknet. Weapons purchased on the Darknet are mailed in component parts to avoid suspicions.
In the Beatrice Berton’s report on the use of the Darknet by ISIS, she wrote that: “ISIL’s activities on the Surface Web are now being monitored closely, and the decision by a number of governments to take down or filter extremist content has forced the jihadists to look for new online safe havens.” She added that “The Dark Web is a perfect alternative as it is inaccessible to most but navigable for the initiated few – and it is completely anonymous.”
According to a study report released in March this year by the Global Financial Integrity, the business of transnational crime is valued between $1.6 trillion and $2.2 trillion annually.
King’s College London also reported last year in a study conducted that there were 57% of criminal activities on the Darknet marketplace. Thomas Rid, the Professor of Security Studies at King’s College London, and a co-author of the study said: “More than 50 percent of what’s hosted there is illegal and illegitimate, and other studies put that figure even higher, but we applied a very conservative classification.”
As a way to fight terrorism that starts from the Darknet, some countries have taken proactive steps to ban the use of Bitcoin. This better explains why the UK authorities have issued leaflets that list the visiting of the Dark web and ordering unusual items online as a potential act of terrorism.
In the case of Darknet marketplaces supporting Terrorism, Professor Rid said “Militants and extremists don’t seem to find the Tor hidden services infrastructure very useful. So there are few jihadist and militants in the Darknet. It’s used for criminal services, fraud, extreme, illegal pornography, cyber-attacks and computer crime.”
Authorities across the globes are joining hands to fight against the use of Dark web by terrorists, and the smuggling of guns that aid terrorism on the various marketplaces.