London, Sept 22 (ANI): Interpol Chief Ronald Noble has warned that the rising number of extremist websites have made the recruitment process much easier for the al-Qaeda, which according to him, is difficult to manage as another site pops up as soon as one is knocked out.
"The threat is global, it is virtual and it is on our doorsteps. As soon as you knock out one, another pops up. It's like playing 'whack-a-mole'," the BBC quoted Noble, as saying.
While addressing a conference of police chiefs in Paris, he said that there were 12 sites in 1998, which increased to 4,500 by 2006 and added that tackling radicalisation has become more difficult because of the internet as many of the activities involved are not criminal.
He further stated that middle-class youths are easily targeted through the internet.
Meanwhile, a researcher at the London-based International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, said that the number of radical websites was now far higher than the figure given by Interpol.
"It's well into the thousands in English alone," said Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens.
Last week, the head of British security service MI5, Jonathan Evans, expressed concern about the influence of Yemen-based radical Muslim cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, whose sermons feature in more than 5,000 videos on YouTube.
Awlaki has been linked to the deaths of 13 people at Fort Hood military base in the United States in November 2009 and the attempted bombing of a passenger jet as it flew to Detroit the following month. (ANI)