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
"Linksextremismus im Internet", Extremismus in Deutschland
2004 Reinhardt, A. and Reinhardt, B. Report
Die Autoren nehmen sich des Problems der Nutzung des Internets durch Linksextremisten an und analysieren die unterschiedlichen "Gesichter“ des linksextremismus im Internet.
Terrorism and (Mass) Communication: From Nitro to the Net
2004 Conway, M. Article
In their seminal contribution to the study of terrorism and the media, Violence as Communication (1982), Alex Schmid and Jenny De Graaf point out that before technology made possible the amplification and multiplication of speech, the maximum number of people that could be reached simultaneously was determined by the range of the human voice and was around 20,000 people. In the nineteenth century, the size of an audience was expanded twenty-five to fifty times. In 1839 the New York Sun published a record 39,000 copies; in 1896, on the occasion of President McKinley’s election, two US papers, belonging to Pulitzer and Hearst, for the first time printed a million copies. William McKinley paid a high price for this publicity. In 1901 he was killed by an anarchist, Leon Czolgosz, who explained his deed with the words: ‘For a man should not claim so much attention, while others receive none.’ Historically, access to the communication structure was intimately related to power. With the growth of the press, and later television, a situation arose that gave unequal chances of expression to different people. This connection between power and free expression was summed-up by A.J. Liebling who observed that ‘Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one.
Cyberterrorism: Media Myth or Clear and Present Danger?
2004 Conway, M. Chapter
Chapter, "Cyberterrorism: media myth or clear and present danger?" in book: Irwin, Jones, (ed.) War and virtual war: the challenges to communities.
The Deceit of internet hate speech: A Study of the narrative and visual methods used by hate groups on the Internet
2004 Albano, G.M. MA Thesis
Intentional misinformation is a problem that has been documented in a variety of shapes and forms for thousands of years and continues to plague the American landscape. The advent and increasing usage of the Internet have created an additional venue through which intentional misinformation is disseminated, and many groups are taking full advantage of this new communication medium. Because the Internet allows anyone with web publishing skills to disseminate misinformation, it is often difficult for users to judge the credibility of the information. Hate groups understand this phenomenon and are taking full advantage of the Internet by publishing hate sites that promote their extremist ideologies by using language and symbolism that makes the true message difficult to decipher. This study will investigate the methods employed by hate groups to disseminate misinformation to the public.
Online Islamic Organizations And Measuring Web Effectiveness
2004 Minji, D. MA Thesis
Experts estimate that websites maintained by various Islamic extremists have increased to hundreds in recent years. Innovative operational capabilities enabled by Internet technology certainly pose serious challenges to U.S. counter-terrorism efforts. However, greater attention must be given to Islamic organizations that wage information campaigns, perpetuating resentment and discredit against the United States and her allies. While these sites may not openly call for violence, the sharing of common causes and goals with extremist organizations is worrisome. The repudiation of Western systems and global Islamization under the Shariah systems is often a transparent theme. The purpose of this thesis is to evaluate the effectiveness of these websites at attracting and engaging audiences to promote their cause by applying a web performance methodology commonly accepted in the commercial industry.
The Threat Of Cyberterrorism: Contemporary Consequences And Prescriptions
2004 Thomas Stocking, G. A. MA Thesis
This study researches the varying threats that emanate from terrorists who carry their activity into the online arena. It examines several elements of this threat. First, it explores elements of virtual to virtual attacks. Second, it looks at threats against critical infrastructures that can be traced to online sources. Third, this thesis reports on ways that terrorists are using information technology such as the Internet for propaganda and communication purposes. Finally, it highlights the most crucial ways in which the United States government has responded to the problem. It concludes with a few recommendations for best practices for future engagement with varying aspects of cyberterrorism.
Cybercortical Warfare: Hizbollah’s Internet Strategy
2005 Conway, M. Chapter
The acceleration of the historical tempo and the move from hierarchical to networked conceptions of power is disintegrating the mechanisms of control and political representation at the disposal of the state. The upshot of this is that ‘resistance confronts domination, empowerment reacts against powerlessness, and alternative projects challenge the logic embedded in the new global order’ (Castells 1997, 69). These reactions and mobilisations, often take ‘unusual formats and proceed through unexpected ways’ (Castells 1997, 69). This chapter deals with one such alternative project. It is a preliminary empirical analysis of the adoption by the Lebanese-based terrorist group Hizbollah (Party of God) of a strategy of cybercortical warfare. In his introduction to the Vintage edition of Covering Islam (1997), Edward Said refers to the ‘information wars that have gone on since 1948 around the whole question of the Middle East’ (p. xxi). He is particularly concerned with the way in which Hizbollah ‘who identify themselves and are perceived locally as resistance fighters’ are ‘commonly referred to in the American media as terrorists’ (p. xiii). Hizbollah are one of a number of groups that have utilized the Internet ‘to produce and articulate a conscious and forceful self-image’ (Said: 66) of themselves not as terrorists, but as resistance fighters and statesmen. The major focus of this chapter is the way in which Hizbollah have wielded the Internet as a weapon in their information war. As will be demonstrated, the group’s collection of Web sites is targeted not at Lebanese or Palestinian audiences, but at the Israeli population and global publics. For this reason, the chapter represents a case study of the possibilities of the new technology, discussed and defined by this chapter as ‘cybercortical warfare’.
A Content Analysis of Persuasion Techniques Used on White Supremacist Websites
2005 Weatherby, G.A. and Scoggins, B. Journal
The Internet has made it possible for people to access just about any information they could possibly want. Conversely, it has given organizations a vehicle through which they can get their message out to a large audience. Hate groups have found the Internet particularly appealing, because they are able to get their uncensored message out to an unlimited number of people (ADL 2005). This is an issue that is not likely to go away.
White Supremacists, Oppositional Culture and the World Wide Web
2005 Adams, J. and Roscigno, V.J. Journal
Over the previous decade, white supremacist organizations have tapped into the ever emerging possibilities offered by the World Wide Web. Drawing from prior sociological work that has examined this medium and its uses by white supremacist organizations, this article advances the understanding of recruitment, identity and action by providing a synthesis of interpretive and more systematic analyses of thematic content, structure and associations within white supremacist discourse. Analyses, which rely on TextAnalyst, highlight semantic networks of thematic content from principal white supremacist websites, and delineate patterns and thematic associations relative to the three requisites of social movement culture denoted in recent research - namely identity, interpretational framing of cause and effect, and political efficacy. Our results suggest that nationalism, religion and definitions of responsible citizenship are interwoven with race to create a sense of collective identity for these groups, their members and potential recruits. Moreover, interpretative frameworks that simultaneously identify threatening social issues and provide corresponding recommendations for social action are employed. Importantly, and relative to prior work, results how how the interpretation of problems, their alleged causes and the call to action are systematically linked. We conclude by discussing the framing of white supremacy issues, the organizations' potential for recruitment, and how a relatively new communication medium, the Internet, has been cheaply and efficiently integrated into the white supremacist repertoire. Broader implications for social movement theory are also explored.
Diaspora Involvement in Insurgencies: Insights from the Khalistan and Tamil Eelam Movements
2005 Fair, C.C. Journal
This article exposits and contrasts the roles of two diasporas in ethnic conflict waged in their homelands, namely the Sikh diaspora's involvement in the Punjab insurgency in north India and the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora's role in Sri Lanka's Tamil insurgency. It draws out the various similarities and distinctions between the two in their use of technology, means of mobilization and identity production, and the geographical and political reach of their institutional arrangements. The article argues that the varying means by which these diasporas came into being affected the ways in which they mobilized and the positions they espoused towards homeland politics. It finds that the abilities of the two diasporas to contribute to events “back home” differed in part because of the scope of their respective institutional arrangements.
Terrorist Web Sites: Their Contents, Functioning, and Effectiveness
2005 Conway, M. Chapter
This extract is taken from the author's original manuscript and has not been edited. The definitive version of this piece may be found in New Media and the New Middle East by Philip Seib which can be purchased from www.palgrave.com
Greetings from the cybercaliphate: some notes on homeland insecurity
2005 Martin Jones, David. and Smith, M.L.R. Journal
One of the paradoxical effects of the 7 July bombings in London was to expose the ambivalence in the British government's attempt to wage war on terror by forcefully prosecuting war against those who resort to jihad abroad, actively participating in coalitions of the willing whether in Afghanistan or Iraq, while affording some of Islamism's key ideologists and strategists a high degree of latitude in the United Kingdom itself. This indicates a number of contradictions in official policy that simultaneously recognizes the globalized threat from violent Islamic militancy while, under the rubric of multiculturalism, tolerating those very strains of Islamist radicalism, some of which draw upon the interdependent and transnational character of conflict, to render the UK vulnerable to those very same violent forces. Consequently, the British authorities displayed a studied indifference towards this developing transnational phenomenon both during the 1990s and in some respects even after the London bombings. To explore the curious character of the government's response to the Islamist threat requires the examination of the emergence of this radical ideological understanding and what it entails as a reaction to modernization and secularism in both thought and practice. The analysis explores how government policies often facilitated the non-negotiable identity politics of those promoting a pure, authentic and regenerated Islamic order both in the UK and abroad. This reflected a profound misunderstanding of the growing source and appeal of radical Islam that can be interpreted as a consequence of the slow-motion collision between modernity in its recent globalized form and an Islamic social character, which renders standard western modernization theory, and indeed, the notion of a ‘social science’ itself, deeply questionable.
Global Response to Cyberterrorism and Cybercrime: A Matrix for International Coperation and Vulnerability Assessment
2005 Ozeren, S. PhD Thesis
Cyberterrorism and cybercrime present new challenges for law enforcement and policy makers. Due to its transnational nature, a real and sound response to such a threat requires international cooperation involving participation of all concerned parties in the international community. However, vulnerability emerges from increased reliance on technology, lack of legal measures, and lack of cooperation at the national and international level represents real obstacle toward effective response to these threats. In sum, lack of global consensus in terms of responding to cyberterrorism and cybercrime is the general problem. Terrorists and cyber criminals will exploit vulnerabilities, including technical, legal, political, and cultural. Such a broad range of vulnerabilities can be dealt with by comprehensive cooperation which requires efforts both at the national and international level. "Vulnerability-Comprehensive Cooperation-Freedom Scale" or "Ozeren Scale" identified variables that constructed the scale based on the expert opinions. Also, the study presented typology of cyberterrorism, which involves three general classifications of cyberterrorism; Disruptive and destructive information attacks, Facilitation of technology to support the ideology, and Communication, Fund raising, Recruitment, Propaganda (C-F-R-P). Such a typology is expected to help those who are in a position of decision-making and investigating activities as well as academicians in the area of terrorism. The matrix for international cooperation and vulnerability assessment is expected to be used as a model for global response to cyberterrorism and cybercrime.
Jihadism Online Norwegian FFI
2006 Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) Report
Brief analysis of how terrorists use the Internet, implications of Jihadism online, recruitment and radicalisation on the Internet, and counterterrorism and Jihadism online.
Report of the Official Account of the Bombings in London on 7th July 2005
2006 Home Office, United Kingdom Report
The 7 July bombings were an act of indiscriminate terror. This narrative summarises what the police, intelligence and security agencies discovered about the bombers and how and why they came to do what they did. This is one of a number of reports into aspects of the attacks.
Report into the London Terrorist Attacks on 7 July 2005
2006 Intelligence and Security Committee Report
On 7 July 2006 fifty-two people were killed in the terrorist attacks in London. This is the report of the findings of the Intelligence and Security Committee's investigations into the attack.
Al-Qaeda's Media Strategies
2006 Lynch, M. Article
The centrality of Arab mass media to Al-Qaeda's political strategy has long been evident. From spectacular terror attacks designed for maximal media exposure, to carefully timed videos from Osama bin Laden and his lieutenant, Ayman al- Zawahiri, to the burgeoning realm of jihadi Internet forums, Al-Qaeda the organisation has increasingly become indistinguishable from Al-Qaeda the media phenomenon. This article explores the nature of Al-Qaeda's relationship with the Arab media, which has been poorly understood leading to wrong policy conclusions.
Shifting Fire: Information Effects in Counterinsurgency and Stability Operations
2006 Collings, D. and Rohozinski, R. Report
Report from the “Information Operations and Winning the Peace” workshop, held at the U.S. Army War College (USAWC), Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania
Terrorism and the Internet: New Media - New Threat?
2006 Conway, M. Journal
The Internet is a powerful political instrument, which is increasingly employed by terrorists to forward their goals. The five most prominent contemporary terrorist uses of the Net are information provision, financing, networking, recruitment, and information gathering. This article describes and explains each of these uses and follows up with examples. The final section of the paper describes the responses of government, law enforcement, intelligence agencies, and others to the terrorism-Internet nexus. There is a particular emphasis within the text on the UK experience, although examples from other jurisdictions are also employed.
The Italian Extreme Right On-line Network: An Exploratory Study Using an Integrated Social Network Analysis and Content Analysis Approach
2006 Tateo, L. Journal
All over the world, extreme right activists and neo-nazis are using the Internet as a tool for communication and recruitment in order to avoid national laws and police investigations. The last 10 years have seen both the diffusion of CMC environments and the rise of extreme right movements in several European countries. This study investigates the structure of the Italian extreme right network, taking into account the latest trends in the social psychology of CMC to describe the nature of ties among Italian extreme right websites.