OK, so sensationalistic headlines targeted at Second Life are so last week; from FBI related gambling bans to animal sex, we’ve seen a lot. Now there are allegations being printed by News Corp in Australia that suggest that the next major terrorist attack on a Western country could be being planned in Second Life, and yes, as can be seen in the picture to the right, 9/11 is being used as a reference point as well.
The report describes in detail various griefer operations as being terrorist attacks and goes on to say that:
On the darker side, there are also weapons armouries in SL where people can get access to guns, including automatic weapons and AK47s. Searches of the SL website show there are three jihadi terrorists registered and two elite jihadist terrorist groups.
The fear factor is so thick, it can’t be easily paraphrased
With the game taking such a sinister turn, terrorism experts are warning that SL attacks have ramifications for the real world. Just as September 11 terrorists practised flying planes on simulators in preparation for their deadly assault on US buildings, law enforcement agencies believe some of those behind the Second Life attacks are home-grown Australian jihadists who are rehearsing for strikes against real targets. Terrorist organisations al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiah traditionally sent potential jihadists to train in military camps in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Southeast Asia. But due to increased surveillance and intelligence-gathering, they are swapping some military training to online camps to evade detection and avoid prosecution.
The terrorists must get broadband in their caves now.
Rohan Gunaratna, author of Inside al-Qaeda, says it is a new phenomena that, until now, has not been openly discussed outside the intelligence community….”They are rehearsing their operations in Second Life because they don’t have the opportunity to rehearse in the real world”
Be alert, but not alarmed
“Community representatives are relied on to report suspicious or inappropriate behaviour to the owners or the SL authorities, just as in the real world.”