Science

New computer algorithm could track next ISIS terror attack, Read this to know more

ISIS strikes again, captures Ramadi killing hundreds

The growing technology is becoming boon and bane both to the people these days. As it is providing comfort to the people it is harming them as well! The well known ISIS terror group is reportedly also growing online and the anti-terrorist groups are trying to track them down.

To predict the terror activities, a team of researchers the University of Miami has invented a model, which will help in tracing the behavioural patterns among Islamic Sta mte (IS) supporters, providing law enforcement agencies a roadmap to track their activities and help stop terror attacks. The model applies some physics to study how terrorist groups grow online.

Each second, the team has also analyzed online records  of 196 pro-ISIS groups on Vkontakte and found that apparently most of the members (more than 1800K) of these self-organised groups had never met, however, they had a striking ability to adapt and extend their online longevity, increase their size and number and reincarnate when shutdown.

For those who don’t know about Vkontakte, it is the Russia-based biggest online social networking service more than 350 million users from multiple backgrounds in Europe.

This galvanised “lone wolves” with no history of political theory to hold out horrific attacks just like the deadliest mass shooting at a gay spot in the city, Florida.

“It was like watching crystals forming. We were able to see how people were materialising around certain social groups; they were discussing and sharing information – all in real-time,” said Neil Johnson, physicist in the college of arts and sciences.

“The question is: Can there be a signal of how people are coming collectively together to do something without a proper system in place?” he asked.

According to the study to be published in the journal Science, it yields an affirmative response.

Generalising a mathematical equation commonly used in physics and chemistry to the development and growth of ad hoc pro-ISIS groups, the team witnessed the daily interactions that drove online support for these groups, or “aggregates,” and how they coalesced and proliferated prior to the onset of real-world campaigns.

The scientists recommended that by simply concentrating on these comparative group of followers those who discuss operational details like routes for finance and avoiding drone strikes, the cyber police and different anti-terrorist watchdogs will monitor their buildup and transitions and thwart the potential onset of a burst of violence.

“This removes the guess work. With that roadmap, law enforcement can better navigate what is going on, who is doing what, while state security agencies can better monitor what might be developing,” Johnson explained.

“The message is: Find the aggregates – or at least a representative portion of them – and you have your hand on the pulse of the entire organisation, in a way that you never could if you were to sift through the millions of Internet users and track specific individuals, or specific hashtags,” Johnson noted.

The roadmap will eventually facilitate security officers track people like Omar Mateen, United Nations agency claimed allegiance to IS and alternative extremist teams whereas killing 49 folks and wounding 53 others at Orlando’s Pulse spot.

Authorities say the New York-born Sunshine State man was a lone actor United Nations agency was radicalised on-line.

“Our research suggests that any online ‘lone wolf’ actor will only truly be alone for short periods of time,” Johnson said. “As a result, any such ‘lone wolf’ was either recently in an aggregate or will soon be in another one. With time, we would be able to track the trajectories of individuals through this ecology of aggregates.”

For the study, Johnson and his analysis team monitored pro-ISIS teams on Vkontakte, the most important on-line social networking service in Europe, that is predicated in Russia and has over 350 million users from multiple backgrounds.

About the author

Rishabh Rajvanshi

Rishabh, with six years of experience in the newspaper industry, has co-founded The TeCake in 2013. Apart from writing and editing articles on Technology at The TeCake, he also contributes to other esteemed newspapers.

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