PARIS, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- International police networks are needed to thwart the radicalization of the world's youth, the head of Interpol said Tuesday in Paris.
Interpol Secretary-General Ronald K. Noble told those attending the Association of Chiefs of Police summit the Internet has made it easier for terrorist organizations to radicalize youth. And the worldwide nature of the Internet, he said, requires a global law enforcement response.
"The advent of the Internet has made the process of radicalization easier to achieve and the process of combating it that much more difficult, because many of the behaviors associated with it are not in and of themselves criminal," Noble said in an Interpol release.
"The threat is global; it is virtual; and it is on our doorsteps."
Noble said the number of extremist Web sites has skyrocketed from 12 in 1998 to 4,500 just eight years later.
He said Interpol's ability to link police worldwide through its communications system, global databases and network of bureaus helps front-line officers get the information they need to establish the links between terrorism and other criminal activities.
"It is only through Interpol's network that this type of information can be disseminated quickly throughout the world in order for law enforcement to effectively counter the virtual base of operations which extremists exploit on the Internet," Noble said.