Israel monitors social media posts to prevent terrorism

Violences between Israel and the Palestinian territories have triggered Israeli security forces to closely monitor social media networks

During the last six months, 230 violent attacks in the area accounted for 34 killed Israelis and tourists and 121 dead Palestinian attackers. As future conflict is expected, Israel’s security services have unlocked social media intelligence operations to enable advance unveiling of the attacks planed by the Palestinians.

The average attacker was found to be 15 to 25 years old, very active on Facebook and Twitter platforms and quite clear about their intentions, constantly posting about the al-Aqsa mosque on Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the Palestinian leadership or the “killer” state of Israel. Some of them are referred to by Israeli security officers as “suicide by IDF” people.

“It’s a new paradigm where not only are we dealing with individuals with no organisational affiliation, but a week or even a day before, they had no idea they were going to carry out an attack. What we can do is build in-depth profiles of past perpetrators, what motivated and inspired them, and based on what they have in common locate those with similar characteristics,” an Israeli intelligence officer stated.

The special algorithms used to monitor the social platforms enabled the IDF and the Shin Bet security forces to stop attacks before happening. The names of the suspects are also constantly transmitted to the Palestinian Authority’s security officials for monitorisation. The same prevention methods are used to combat or anticipate the radicalisation tools that the jihad uses to enroll new recruits.