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Recruitment for terrorist cell tops Google searches

People using Google for some search queries were being presented with “Isis” as one of the top autocomplete suggestions, it has been revealed.

Internet users in the US, as well as the UK, were presented with the hint when typing “how can I join…”.

The suggestion has now  been stopped, but up until the 5th February, entering the phrase into the Google UK search engine saw “the police” at number one, followed by “the illuminati” and then “a union”.

In fourth was Isis, one of the self-appointed names of the terrorist organisation that presently controls areas of Iraq and Syria.

The result appeared higher on searches completed on Google in the US, according to Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land (SEL).

Sullivan, the founding editor of SEL, said that it was the second choice offered. Ahead of it was “the illuminati”, while Disney’s Club 33 came in third.

At fourth on the list was the KKK, a recognised abbreviation of the Ku Klux Klan organisation.

With estimates putting recruitment for the Jihadist group at over 1,000 people, there was immediate concern with the findings.

When it was initially noticed by the BBC, the broadcaster notified Google about the autocomplete search result. After this, the search engine giant acted swiftly to remove it.

Google often removes search query results that relate to terrorism, violence and other specified subjects. However, this is being seen as yet another demonstration of how the terrorist group is using the Internet.

It is active on Twitter and Facebook, as well as Instagram. However, the group also uses a number of smaller social media platforms, which could be a concern to the tight-knit communities.

As well as written posts, the group uses many of the social tools at its disposal to spread its Jihadist message, including pictures and videos.

Steven Morris

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