TRA warns of extremist recruiters in online games

Young people vulnerable to radical ideology being spread through in-game chat, says TRA

Tags: Telecommunications Regulatory Authority - UAEUnited Arab Emirates
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TRA warns of extremist recruiters in online games The UAE TRA has warned that extremist groups are spreading propaganda and recruiting members through video games. (Getty Images)
By  Mark Sutton Published  August 6, 2016

The UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has warned of the apparent danger of extremists using video games to recruit young people and to spread radical ideology.

The TRA said in a statement that criminal groups may exploit in-game chat features for "spreading violent ideas and encouraging rebellious actions among youth and adolescent".

Socially-isolated teenagers are at risk from extremists who are contacting gamers, particularly through war games, the TRA, and enticing "good players to keep them addicted to the games, so it would be easy for them to recruit these youth to commit crimes and carry out their hidden agenda".

Eng. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Director for Policy and Programs Department at the TRA, said: "The groups that adopt such vicious thinking are trying to recruit young people and adolescents through some electronic games, starting with unusual conversations with them in such a way that it reveals their weaknesses so they can be easily exploited and instructed to commit unlawful acts.

Al Zarooni underscored the importance of warning teenagers and young people that some figures in electronic games are fraudulent. He called on young people to be aware of negative ideas and opinions and to talk with their relatives when they are exposed to such groups and consult the concerned authorities.

The Authority said that is imperative for governments to address this danger. It also advised parents to only allow their children to access video games where they can monitor them, and to periodically check their children's gaming accounts for any unusual contact with strangers.

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