Seth Jones, the associate director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the Rand Corporation think tank in Washington, said a significant part of the struggle with extremist groups like al-Shabab is ideological and is a battle for the hearts and minds of local populations.
‘‘Based on this reality, the U.S. and other governments should be involved in countering extremist messages on websites and other forms of social media. After all, every Arab government provides substantial money to television, radio, print media, and Internet sites,’’ Jones said.
‘‘They key question for the United States is gauging whether locals view these kinds of news sites as legitimate sources of information and read them. If not, it’s worth asking: Is the United States getting a bang for its buck?’’
On the Internet:
Somalia news site: http://sabahionline.com/en_GB
Maghreb news site: http://magharebia.com/cocoon/awi/xhtml1/en_GB/homepage