Library

Welcome to VOX-Pol’s Online Library, a research and teaching resource, which collects in one place a large volume of publications related to various aspects of violent online political extremism.

Our searchable database contains material in a variety of different formats including downloadable PDFs, videos, and audio files comprising e-books, book chapters, journal articles, research reports, policy documents and reports, and theses.

All open access material collected in the Library is easy to download. Where the publications are only accessible through subscription, the Library will take you to the publisher’s page from where you can access the material.

We will continue to add more material as it becomes available with the aim of making it the most comprehensive online Library in this field.

If you have any material you think belongs in the Library—whether your own or another authors—please contact us at onlinelibrary@voxpol.eu and we will consider adding it to the Library. It is also our aim to make the Library a truly inclusive multilingual facility and we thus welcome contributions in all languages.

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TitleYearAuthorTypeLinks
Understanding Violent Extremism: Messaging and Recruitment Strategies on Social Media in the Philippines
2018 The Asia Foundation and Rappler Report
Violent extremist activity on social media in the Philippines is a relatively new phenomenon in the complex conflict environment that exists in the southern part of the country. The rise of online violent extremism emerged despite the Philippines’ significant strides in the Mindanao peace process. The 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the government and the MILF was a landmark achievement. Yet a number of armed groups rejected the deal, many of which are now engaged in online extremism. The apparent affiliation of these groups with issues beyond Mindanao and the Philippine state signaled a potential new era of conflict in the country. With these concerns as a backdrop, The Asia Foundation and Rappler worked together to explore how young Filipinos interact with social media networks, and look into the prevalence and characteristics of violent extremist messaging and recruitment in the Philippines in 2018.
UNDP Global Meeting on PVE: Session 3 – The Role of Youth
2016 Awan, A.N. Video
Session 3 - Understanding and Supporting the Role of Youth in the Prevention of Violent Extremism:
This session place young people at the centre of the discussion, focusing on understanding the positive contribution of young women and men in preventing violent extremism in different contexts. We explore the linkages between youth radicalization and political violence, discuss evidence and data, and hear about the impressive work young champions are already leading in Somalia, Cameroon and Pakistan. We also discuss how the international community could effectively recognize, support and promote youth-led efforts and support the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2250.
UNODC Digest Of Terrorist Cases
2010 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Policy
The judicial cases featured in this Digest cover relevant aspects of the international legal regime against terrorism. It provides a comparative analysis of national statutory frame- works for terrorism prosecutions, and it identifies legal issues and pitfalls encountered in investigating and adjudicating relevant offences. In addition, it identifies practices related to specialized investigative and prosecutorial techniques. It also addresses the links between terrorism and other forms of crime (like organized crime, the trafficking of drugs, people and arms), as well as how to disrupt terrorist financing.
Unraveling The Impact Of Social Media On Extremism: Implications for Technology Regulation and Terrorism Prevention
2019 Susarla, A. Report
Social media has been remarkably effective in bringing together groups of individuals at a scale and speed unthinkable just a few years ago. While there is a positive aspect of digital activism in raising awareness and mobilizing for equitable societal outcomes, it is equally true that social media has a dark side in enabling political polarization and radicalization. This paper highlights that algorithmic bias and algorithmic manipulation accentuate these developments. We review some of the key technological aspects of social media and its impact on society, while also outlining remedies and implications for regulation. For the purpose of this paper we will define a digital platform as a technology intermediary that enables interaction between groups of users (such as Amazon or Google) and a social media platform as a digital platform for social media.
Us and them: identifying cyber hate on Twitter across multiple protected characteristics
2016 Burnap, P. and Williams, M.L. Journal
Hateful and antagonistic content published and propagated via the World Wide Web has the potential to cause harm and suffering on an individual basis, and lead to social tension and disorder beyond cyber space. Despite new legislation aimed at prosecuting those who misuse new forms of communication to post threatening, harassing, or grossly offensive language - or cyber hate - and the fact large social media companies have committed to protecting their users from harm, it goes largely unpunished due to difficulties in policing online public spaces. To support the automatic detection of cyber hate online, specifically on Twitter, we build multiple individual models to classify cyber hate for a range of protected characteristics including race, disability and sexual orientation. We use text parsing to extract typed dependencies, which represent syntactic and grammatical relationships between words, and are shown to capture ‘othering’ language - consistently improving machine classification for different types of cyber hate beyond the use of a Bag of Words and known hateful terms. Furthermore, we build a data-driven blended model of cyber hate to improve classification where more than one protected characteristic may be attacked (e.g. race and sexual orientation), contributing to the nascent study of intersectionality in hate crime.
US Department of Defense Anti-Terrorism Handbook 2004
2004 US Department of Defense Policy
US Department of Defense Anti-Terrorism Handbook 2004
Users' Adoption Of Emergent Technologies: Towards an Acceptable Model for Safer Cyber-Assisted Olfactory Information Exchanges in Standard, Micro, and Nano Systems
2007 Hyacinthe, B. P. MA Thesis
The potential of terrorists and other enemies to use the Internet and/or other digital information technologies as transport vehicles of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) is becoming more evident. This threat may involve cyber-assisted biochemical transactions, which can be performed through olfactory information exchanges, to attack civilian and military targets anytime. In response, this research is the product of a four-year investigation wherein the researcher went through a rich archive of declassified U.S. military reports (covering biochemical warfare and techno-terrorism)and a selective list of patent applications revealing several concepts related to users’ adoption of emergent cyber-assisted olfaction and aroma-embedded information systems. And after a rigorous analysis of the findings, the researcher hypothesized that careless adoption of unsafe technologies could accelerate a cyber-WMD-nexus.

Thus, the study conducted in support of this research sought to examine and explain the adoption of emergent cyber-assisted olfactory information technologies. Cyber-assisted olfaction is an emergent technology that involves the replication of the human sense of smell by computer systems. It can be manifested in the stimulation of human olfactory receptors by computer-emitted biochemical or aromatic particles. Certain olfaction-based biosensors, known as electronic noses, mimic the sense of smell to detect chemical plumes (aroma or warfare agents) in a variety of settings. Notably, the literature revealed an innovative dimension of multimodal, affective human-computer interactions involving scented emails, aroma therapy, and olfaction-based marketing. Unfortunately, the lack of security and safety persists at a potentially catastrophic cost, which is at the root of the researcher’s stated research problem below.

Largely supported by Everett Rogers’ innovation diffusion theory (IDT) and Fred Davis’ technology acceptation model (TAM), the researcher went beyond the “smell-o-vision” aphorism to offer a fertile ground for a new, comprehensive, and flexible framework to understand various aspects of cyber-assisted olfactory information systems, which may be usefully applied to a wide range of auxiliary information systems (i.e., standard, micro, and nano devices). In relation to national security and defense, the proposed Model for Safer Cyber-Assisted Olfaction (MSCAO) can be applied in subway systems, aircrafts, cruise ships, and various mixing/distribution systems (i.e., water systems and chemical plants) to automatically detect and neutralize a biological or chemical threat. Many military applications are also anticipated for emerging urban warfare and emergency rescue operations using devices such as miniature robots and nano air vehicles (NAVs).

Consistent with the aim of this investigation, the researcher used a mixedmethods approach that combined (1) the content analysis of a series of declassified military reports on airborne warfare agents with that of (2) a patent search on aroma embedded information systems to examine, with the help of a carefully designed survey instrument, the perceptions of potential adopters of the proposed MSCAO. Further, in order to collect data and obtain statistical evidence linked to the selected variables (perceived credibility, ease-of-use, and usefulness), the researcher surveyed a diverse group of students from a major Engineering School in southeastern United States, which offers degree programs in Mechanical, Electrical, Chemical and Biomedical Engineering. Based on the analysis performed, credibility, ease-of-use, and usefulness were found to be significant enough to be considered as positively influencing the acceptability of the MSCAO. In essence, the respondents expressed a significantly high level of need for harm-reduction and cyber security measures against potential threats and considered the MSCAO as meeting their need.

Perceived usefulness (67%) was identified as the principal determinant of the respondents’ intention to adopt the proposed model. Though less substantial than perceived usefulness, perceived ease-of-use (56%) appeared to have a greater influence on the MSCAO than perceived credibility (54%). In sum, extrapolating from the findings reported herein, the researcher concluded that potential users are more likely to accept an emergent technology that is useful, easy-to-use, and that offers credible harm-reduction measures.
Using Internet search data to examine the relationship between anti-Muslim and pro-ISIS sentiment in U.S. counties
2018 Bail A. C., Merhout F., Ding P. Article
Recent terrorist attacks by first- and second-generation immigrants in the United States and Europe indicate that radicalization may result from the failure of ethnic integration—or the rise of intergroup prejudice in communities where “home-grown” extremists are raised. Yet, these community-level drivers are notoriously difficult to study because public opinion surveys provide biased measures of both prejudice and radicalization. We examine the relationship between anti-Muslim and pro-ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) Internet searches in 3099 U.S. counties between 2014 and 2016 using instrumental variable models that control for various community-level factors associated with radicalization. We find that anti-Muslim searches are strongly associated with pro-ISIS searches—particularly in communities with high levels of poverty and ethnic homogeneity. Although more research is needed to verify the causal nature of this relationship, this finding suggests that minority groups may be more susceptible to radicalization if they experience discrimination in settings where they are isolated and therefore highly visible—or in communities where they compete with majority groups for limited financial resources. We evaluate the validity of our findings using several other data sources and discuss the implications of our findings for the study of terrorism and intergroup relations, as well as immigration and counterterrorism policies.
Using KNN and SVM Based One-Class Classifier for Detecting Online Radicalization on Twitter
2015 Agarwal, S. and Sureka, A. Chapter
Twitter is the largest and most popular micro-blogging website on Internet. Due to low publication barrier, anonymity and wide penetration, Twitter has become an easy target or platform for extremists to disseminate their ideologies and opinions by posting hate and extremism promoting tweets. Millions of tweets are posted on Twitter everyday and it is practically impossible for Twitter moderators or an intelligence and security analyst to manually identify such tweets, users and communities. However, automatic classification of tweets into pre-defined categories is a non-trivial problem problem due to short text of the tweet (the maximum length of a tweet can be 140 characters) and noisy content (incorrect grammar, spelling mistakes, presence of standard and non-standard abbreviations and slang). We frame the problem of hate and extremism promoting tweet detection as a one-class or unary-class categorization problem by learning a statistical model from a training set containing only the objects of one class . We propose several linguistic features such as presence of war, religious, negative emotions and offensive terms to discriminate hate and extremism promoting tweets from other tweets. We employ a single-class SVM and KNN algorithm for one-class classification task. We conduct a case-study on Jihad, perform a characterization study of the tweets and measure the precision and recall of the machine-learning based classifier. Experimental results on large and real-world dataset demonstrate that the proposed approach is effective with F-score of 0.60 and 0.83 for the KNN and SVM classifier respectively.
Utilization of Cyberspace by Terrorist Groups and the Applicability of the Malaysian Law on Terrorism
2016 Labanieh, M.F. and Zulhuda, S. Journal
It is an obvious and undeniable fact, that the cyberspace is become a powerful method which is increasingly and quickly utilized by terrorist organizations to achieve their gruesome and nefarious goals by hitting innocent individuals. This paper has conducted a critical and comprehensive study on the literature review aiming to answer several inquiries about utilization of cyberspace by terrorist groups and the applicability of the Malaysian law on terrorism. The meaning, characteristics and goals of cyber terrorism will be highlighted.
Furthermore, this paper will clarify how terrorist groups invade the cyberspace with highlighting on “ISIS” as an example. In addition, this paper will indicate how the Malaysian Law addresses the terrorism. This paper has proved that the terrorist groups become more sophisticated and complex by adopting the cyberspace. Moreover, this paper discloses how terrorist groups exploit the cyberspace. Even if Malaysian law adopts many measures and precautions to counter terrorism, but, it still needs more efforts to deal with terrorism, by regulating the “Bitcoins”, introducing a clear definition about the meaning of "lethal device” to encompass harm programs and viruses, and distinguishing between clicking “like” or sharing the terrorist items with use explicit words to glorify the terrorism and without use any explicit glorification words. The lawgiver must take into consideration the possession of terrorist items orpublications for academic and innocent purposes. Finally, under SOSMA, the power to intercept the communications must be subjected on the judicial oversight and the power of arrest must be based on objective test.
Validating extremism Strategic use of authority appeals in al-Naba’ infographics
2018 Winkler C., el-Damanhoury, K., Lemieux, A. Article
Daesh’s centralized media operations provide a steady stream of media products to citizens living in and around its controlled territories, with the result that several nations occupied or adjacent to the group have emerged as many of the most fruitful recruiting grounds for new members. To better understand the argumentation strategies targeting such audiences, this study examines the 119 infographics in the first 50 issues of Daesh’s official weekly Arabic newsletter, al-Naba’. The findings suggest that through a patterned application of statistical, historical, religious, and scientific arguments from authority to predictable topical areas, the infographics in al-Naba’ reinforce Daesh as a key source of information for the citizenry of the proclaimed caliphate.
Victims’ Use of Social Media during and after the Utøya Terror Attack: Fear, Resilience, Sorrow and Solidarity
2018 Frey E. Chapter
This chapter examines how those directly affected by the terror attack on Utøya in Norway on 22 July 2011 used social media to cope with the trauma. Through interviews with eight survivors and a study of their Facebook walls during the first month after the shooting, the chapter sets out to answer how they tell and re-tell the trauma on Facebook. In what way does their re-telling of the terror event give it meaning? With Narrative Therapy as its inspiration, this chapter studies different themes and stories on the Facebook walls, what is told about the event, its effects and responses to it. The meaning derived from the trauma is a story of national unity, democratic values and the redefining of Norway as a multicultural society. As for the perpetrator, he is written out of the story.
Book edited by Harald Hornmoen and Klas Backholm
Video Games, Terrorism, and ISIS’s Jihad 3.0
2016 Al-Raqi, A. Journal
This study discusses different media strategies followed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). In particular, the study attempts to understand the way ISIS’s video game that is called “Salil al-Sawarem” (The Clanging of the Swords) has been received by the online Arab public. The article argues that the goal behind making and releasing the video game was to gain publicity and attract attention to the group, and the general target was young people. The main technique used by ISIS is what I call “troll, flame, and engage.” The results indicate that the majority of comments are against ISIS and its game, though most of the top ten videos are favorable towards the group. The sectarian dimension between Sunnis and Shiites is highly emphasized in the online exchanges, and YouTube remains an active social networking site that is used by ISIS followers and sympathizers to promote the group and recruit others.
Video Vortex Reader II Moving Images Beyond YouTube 2011
2011 Lovink, G. and Somers Miles, R. Report
This second Video Vortex Reader marks the transition of online video into the mainstream. Staggering statistics of hypergrowth no longer impress us. Massive usage is not an indication of relevance. Heavy use does not automatically translate into well-funded research or critical art practices. Is the study of online video, like most new media topics, doomed to remain a niche activity – or will we see a conceptual quantum leap, in line with the billions of clips watched daily?
Violence and Political Myth: Radicalizing Believers in the Pages of Inspire Magazine
2015 Kirke, X. Journal
Violent Jihadist movements have increasingly produced online English language magazines in order to encourage young Muslims into terrorism. This article argues that sociological approaches to the study of these magazines should engage with theories of political myth, understood as the collective “work” on dramatic and figurative narratives which provide significance to the political conditions of social groups. The utility of this approach is demonstrated through an analysis of al-Qaeda's online magazine, Inspire. Targeted toward an alienated young Western Muslim readership, Inspire stylistically mimics Western magazines by using satirical representations of politicians and making references to popular culture. The authors seek to convince their readership that they are part of a violent conflict with Western “crusaders” and treacherous false Muslims. Through a rhetorical strategy of “legitimization via proximization,” perceived injustices committed by the purported enemies of Islam throughout the world are seen as direct attacks on the reader and all Muslims. The reader must sacrifice his/her livelihood in order to become a “hero” and defend the Umma against its enemies. The article concludes that the mobilizing potential of the work on myth in these magazines necessitates further research.
Violent Extremism and Terrorism Online In 2016: The Year In Review
2016 Conway, M. VOX-Pol Publication
The use of the Internet, including social media, by violent extremists and terrorists and their supporters has been a source of anxiety for policymakers and publics for a number of years. This is based on the idea that there is a connection between consumption of and networking around violent extremist and terrorist online content and adoption of extremist ideology (i.e. so-called ‘online radicalisation’) and/or recruitment into violent extremist or terrorist groups or movements and/or attack planning and preparation and/or, ultimately, engagement in violent extremism and terrorism. Concerns have been raised, in particular, regarding easy access to large volumes of potentially influencing violent extremist and terrorist content on prominent and heavily trafficked social media platforms.
Violent Extremism and Terrorism Online in 2017: The Year in Review
2018 Conway, M., with Courtney, M. VOX-Pol Publication
The use of the Internet, particularly social media, by violent extremists and terrorists and their supporters received an increasing amount of attention from policymakers, media, Internet companies, and civil society organisations in 2017. In addition to politicians stepping-up their rhetoric regarding the threat posed by consumption of and networking around violent extremist and terrorist online content, prominent and heavily trafficked social media platforms also took a stronger stand on the issue this year, which caused civil liberties organisations considerable disquiet. This report treats developments in the violent extremist and terrorist online scene(s) and responses to them in the 12-month period from 1 December 2016 to 30 November 2017.
Violent Extremism and Terrorism Online in 2018: The Year in Review
2019 Conway, M. VOX-Pol Publication
This report treats developments in the violent extremist and terrorist online scene(s) in the 12-month period from 1 December 2017 to 30 November 2018.1 It is divided into three parts: Part I focuses on the online activities of violent jihadis, particularly the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (hereafter IS); Part II supplies information on contemporary extreme right online activity; and Part III identifies issues in the violent extremism and terrorism online realm that bear watching in 2019.

In terms of overarching trends, the focus of policymakers, internet companies, media, and thus also publics has, since 2014, been almost exclusively on IS’s online activity. A growing concern with extreme right activity, both its online and offline variants, began to be apparent in 2017 however, especially in the wake of events in Charlottesville. This solidified in 2018 due to a number of factors, including a decrease in IS terrorist attacks in the West and an uptick in extreme right and hate attacks and terrorist events, a number of the latter of which appeared to have significant online components. Having said this, IS is still active on the ground in numerous locales globally and continues to produce and widely disseminate online content, as do a large number of other groups that share core tenets of its ideology. IS may be down therefore, but it is certainly not out.
Violent Extremism Online: New Perspectives on Terrorism and the Internet
2016 Aly, A., Macdonald, S., Jarvis, L. and Chen, T. Book
This book explores the interface between terrorism and the internet and presents contemporary approaches to understanding violent extremism online.
The volume focuses on four issues in particular: terrorist propaganda on the internet; radicalisation and the internet; counter campaigns and approaches to disrupting internet radicalisation; and approaches to researching and understanding the role of the internet in radicalisation. The book brings together expertise from a wide range of disciplines and geographical regions including Europe, the US, Canada and Australia. These contributions explore the various roles played by the Internet in radicalisation; the reasons why terroristic propaganda may or may not influence others to engage in violence; the role of political conflict in online radicalisation; and the future of research into terrorism and the internet. By covering this broad range of topics, the volume will make an important and timely addition to the current collections on a growing and international subject.

This book will be of much interest to students and researchers of cyber-security, internet politics, terrorism studies, media and communications studies, and International Relations.
Violent Radicalisation and Far-Right Extremism in Europe
2018 Kallis, A., Zeiger, S., and Öztürk, B. Report
This volume has been made possible by the valuable collaboration between two esteemed organisations, namely SETA and Hedayah. Their collaboration was embodied in the form of a research project that aimed at shedding light on the burning issue of the violent radicalisation and extremism of individuals and groups that belong to - or at least are sympathetic to – the non-mainstream right currents in European countries. In this way, the current volume draws attention to the non-religious dimension of the phenomena of radicalisation and violent extremism and contributes to a relatively small body of works, as opposed to the dominant approach in the
relevant literature which, for the most part, affiliates the phenomena with religious forces and elements. This approach is important since overemphasising one aspect of the phenomena runs the risk of blinding societies and policymakers to the other aspects and, therefore, making them less effective in terms of fending off the negative impacts of the phenomena. This work aims to be conducive to the due recognition of the overlooked aspects of these phenomena and hopefully serve as the first step towards tackling them.