YouTube bans terrorism training videos

You won't find terrorist training videos on YouTube anymore.

Google's popular video-sharing site now bans this footage that advertises terrorism or extremist causes. Backers of the change hope it will blunt al-Qaida's strong media online campaign.

After pressure from Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman, the Internet search engine revised its community guidelines for posting videos on YouTube.

In addition to the ban on terror training videos, the new YouTube guidelines include bans on: videos that incite others to commit violent acts; videos on things like how to make bombs; and footage of sniper attacks.

The Internet has become a powerful tool for terrorism recruitment. What was once conducted at secret training camps in Afghanistan is now available to anyone, anywhere because of the Web. Chat rooms are potent recruitment tools, but counter terrorism officials have found terrorist-sponsored videos are also key parts of al-Qaida's propaganda machine.

"It's good news if there are less of these on the web," FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said. "But many of these jihadist videos appear on different web sites around the world, and any time there is investigative or intelligence value we actively pursue it."

There have been online terror-training videos ranging from how to slit a victim's throat and how to make suicide vests to how to make explosives from homemade ingredients, said Bruce Hoffman, a counter terrorism expert and professor at Georgetown University.

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