LONDON: British security experts have claimed that Muslim extremists might be using child pornography sites to exchange secret coded messages and groom potential terrorists.
The Times on Friday reported them as saying they had been able to establish a “link” between suspected terrorists and “hardcore child pornography” after discovering images of child abuse on computers seized from the homes of alleged jihadis.
“Officers have noted that child sex abuse images have been found during investigations in some of the most advanced suspected [terror] plots….It is not clear whether the terrorists were more interested in the material for personal gratification or were drawn to child porn networks as a secure means of sending messages.” It said in one case 40,000 such images were found.
Security experts were said to be puzzled by the “contradiction” between religious fundamentalists and their use of pornography as a medium for their campaign.
“It shows that these people are very confused. Here, they are hating Western decadence but actually making use of it and finding they enjoy this stuff,” one unnamed security source was reported as saying.
Baroness Neville-Jones, former chairperson of the Joint Intelligence Committee and now the Tory spokesperson on security, said the claims provided “useful insight” into the methods used by extremists and called for further research.
A spokesman of the joint parliamentary committee on human rights called it an “important development”. “It could become a very important weapon in the fight against terrorism,” said Andrew Dismore, Labour MP who chairs the committee.