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Tuesday, 9 July, 2002, 10:58 GMT 11:58 UK
Hate flourishes on the net
Internet user
Growth in number of hate sites
Hate has flourished on the internet since the 11 September attacks, according to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

The Jewish rights organisation said that websites promoting violence and racism had proliferated over the past year.

"Extremist groups are undoubtedly spending more of their efforts online," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, at a seminar in Berlin, Germany, where he was presenting the findings of the organisation's Digital Hate 2002 report.

In particular, the centre found that the number of internet sites supporting suicide bombers had grown in the last six to nine months to around 100.

Targeting minorities

The Simon Wiesenthal Center monitors global racist activity against a range of groups.

World Trade Center collapse
Images of burning towers used to criticise US
In its report, it identifies 3,300 websites as "problematic", up from 2,600 a year ago.

"The biggest difference now is that we're seeing more websites enlisting suicide bombers and those that validate or encourage terrorism and more games targeting minorities," said Dr Cooper, associate dean of the Center.

Of particular concern was a game called Kaboom!, which features a suicide bomber trying to cause maximum casualties.

The Center also noticed a change in the tactics used by racist and violent groups on the internet.

It said these groups were now focusing on spreading their messages and enticing people with games and music, rather than trying to recruit them directly.

Researchers found that the internet was creating alliances, such as between white supremacists and Islamic extremists against a perceived common Jewish enemy.

Many groups had used images of the burning World Trade Center towers to criticise US policy and condemn Jews.

See also:

09 May 02 | Science/Nature
23 Apr 02 | UK Politics
16 Apr 02 | Science/Nature
23 Nov 01 | Europe
31 Oct 01 | N Ireland
13 Jun 02 | UK
30 Aug 01 | Americas
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