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 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.


Full Listing

Tweeting to Win: Al-Shabaab’s Strategic Use of Microblogging
2012Perlman, L.Article
Today, we live in a world of networked global communities, drawn together by the recent technological boom. This unprecedented degree of interconnectivity has affected every size and kind of social organization, from the American government to a camera-armed protester on the streets. Technology has particularly changed the fabric of the Islamic world, a community torn between rejecting innovation and embracing modernity. The mass social movements that rocked the Middle East during the Arab Spring only highlight how important connective devices have become for the strategic calculi of Islamic social movements. Islamic groups now use Internet platforms like Facebook and YouTube to reach a greater audience, challenge opponents, and spread their ideologies.
Terrorism and the Electric Power Delivery System
2012National Academy of SciencesReport
The National Academy of Engineering called the grid the world’s largest integrated machine and a central part of the greatest engineering achievement of the 20th century—electrification of modern society. Reliable electricity service is essential to health, welfare, national security, communication, and commerce. Because of its scale, geographic reach, and complexity, however, the grid also poses many security challenges in maintaining reliable operation. Furthermore, more than 90 percent of the U.S. power grid is privately owned and regulated by the states, making it challenging for the federal government to address potential vulnerabilities to its operation, and perhaps especially its vulnerability to terrorist attack. This report examines those vulnerabilities.
Die Vermittlung arabischer Jihadisten- Ideologie: Zur Rolle deutscher Aktivisten
2012Prucha, N.Article
Jihadistische Inhalte haben sich im Internet seit den Terroranschlägen vom 11. September 2001 massiv verbreitet. Trotz vielfacher Bemühungen, die jihadistische Webpräsenz zu bekämpfen, finden sich entsprechende Medien seit nunmehr knapp zwei Jahrzehnten in den virtuellen Welten. Ironischerweise nutzen die Jihadisten das modernste Mittel der Kommuni- kation, um im Namen einer primitiven Theologie gegen die Moderne zu kämpfen.1 Das jihadistische Online-Corpus besteht aus Schriften, Videos und Audiodateien, die von Unterstützern und Sympathisanten verbreitet werden. Dieses Material bietet der jihadistischen Szene weltweit ein kohä- rentes Wertesystem und ein Lebensmodell, dem es nachzueifern gilt. Seit 2005/2006 werden die jihadistischen Online-Inhalte auch ins Deutsche übersetzt, was das schnelle Anwachsen einer Szene in der Bundesrepublik begünstigt hat. Der Prozess wird von Predigern und Aktivisten voran- getrieben, die gezielt versuchen, jihadistische Konzepte auf die Lebens- wirklichkeit in Deutschland anzuwenden und damit junge Menschen zu rekrutieren.
Oversight of security-sensitive research material in UK universities: Guidance
2012Universities UKReport
Universities play a vital role in carrying out research on issues where security-sensitive material is relevant. This guidance document concerns the storage and circulation of security- sensitive research material. If circulated carelessly, such material is sometimes open to misinterpretation by the authorities, and can put authors in danger of arrest and prosecution under, for example, counter-terrorism legislation. Certain procedures for independently registering and storing this material – through research ethics processes – are recommended in this guidance.
Right Wing Extremism In The Czech Republic
2012Mareš, M.Report
An overview of right-wing extremism in the Czech Republic
Understanding and Influencing Public Support for Insurgency and Terrorism
2012Davis, P.K., Larson, E.V., Haldeman, Z., Oguz, M. and Rana, Y.Book
The monograph focuses on public support for insurgency and terrorism and how it can be influenced. It is organised around the testing and refinement of conceptual models that seek to integrate much of what is known from relevant social science about public support.
An Analysis of Interactions Within and Between Extreme Right Communities in Social Media
2012O’Callaghan, D., Greene, D., Conway, M., Carthy, J. and Cunningham, P.Report
Many extreme right groups have had an online presence for some time through the use of dedicated websites. This has been accompanied by increased activity in social media websites in recent years, which may enable the dissemination of extreme right content to a wider audience. In this paper, we present exploratory analysis of the activity of a selection of such groups on Twitter, using network representations based on reciprocal follower and mentions interactions. We find that stable communities of related users are present within individual country networks, where these communities are usually associated with variants of extreme right ideology. Furthermore, we also identify the presence of international relationships between certain groups across geopolitical boundaries.
Mobilisation and Violence in the New Media Ecology: the Dua Khalil Aswad and Camilia Shehata Cases
2012Al-Lamia, M., Hoskins, A. and O'Loughlin, B.Journal
This article examines two cases in which political groups sought to harness the new media ecology to mobilise and justify acts of violence to public audiences and to supporters. In each case, a woman's suffering is presented and instrumentalised. However, the new media ecology offers an increasingly irregular economy of media modulation: digital footage may emerge today, in a year or never, and it may emerge anywhere to anyone. The cases analysed here allow for reflection on the tension between contingency and intentionality as that irregular economy brings uncertainty for the political actors involved. Dua Khalil Aswad, an Iraqi teenager of the Yazidi faith, was stoned to death by a Yazidi mob consisting of tens of men, mostly her relatives. One Yazidi uploaded a film of the killing. This led to violent reprisals against the Yazidis. Camilia Shehata is a young Coptic Egyptian who, after allegedly converting to Islam, was returned to her church with the help of Egyptian security forces and kept in hiding despite public protests. Extremists in Iraq and Egypt seized on the Shehata case to justify violence against Christians. In both instances, the irregular emergence of digital content and its remediation through these media ecologies enabled distributed agency in ways that empowered and confounded states, terrorists and citizens.
Political Extremism in Denmark: A Pre-Investigation for Mapping of Right-Wing and Left-Wing Extremism
2012Holmsted Larsen, C.Report
The purpose of this status report is to create an overview of the challenges related to right-wing and left-wing extremism in Denmark. The report will form part of a more comprehensive mapping launched partly with a view to concretising and targeting the preventive effort. The present report is based on existing and ongoing research in the area. It is a concrete and fact-based report which aims to identify where in present-day Denmark extreme political problems exist – and what kind of issues the Danish society is facing as a result of this. The report is not a mapping or an exhaustive account of the right-wing and left-wing extremist environments, but rather an attempt to establish a knowledge base which may serve as a foundation for such an investigation. Thus, the report reflects existing research on political extremism in Denmark, which is still relatively limited in scope. Consequently, the report also reflects the researcher‟s own observations and analyses of current developments in political extremism. Furthermore, the future mapping will be based on a quantitative investigation.
Politics and Media 13 February 2012
2014Islam ChannelVideo
Part 1 of a panel discussion of February 2012 report by British House of Commons describing the internet as 'a fertile breeding ground for terrorism'. Originally uploaded by 1IslamChannel on 28 March 2012.
2012El Difraoui, A.Article
Spätestens seit der Kosovo-Albaner Arid Uka Anfang März 2011 am Frankfurter Flughafen zwei US-Soldaten tötete, hat das Bewusstsein für die Gefahren jihadistischer Internetpropaganda stark zugenommen. Der 21-Jährige erklärte, zu der Tat habe ihn ein Internetvideo bewogen. Wie soll man in Deutschland mit der Propaganda im Internet umgehen und ihrem radikalisierenden Einfluss entgegensteuern? Sie völlig aus dem Netz zu entfernen ist unmöglich. Ohnehin sollte eine gewisse Anzahl für durchschnittliche Internetnutzerinnen und -nutzer schwer zugänglicher Webseiten toleriert werden, um hier relevante Informationen zu gewinnen.
Bei dem in dieser Studie vorgeschlagenen Konzept sollte die Bundesregierung federführend in Kooperation mit den Landesregierungen vielversprechende Initiativen identifizieren oder anregen, sie finanziell und logistisch fördern und lose, aber effizient koordinieren. Um diesen schwierigen Balanceakt zu bewältigen, sollte eine unabhängige Struktur geschaffen werden, etwa in Form einer Stiftung oder eines Instituts.
Von al-Zarqawi bis al-Awlaki: Das Internet als neue Form des radikalen Milieus.
2012Conway, M.Chapter
Chapter in Stefan Malthaner and Peter Waldmann (eds.) Radikale Milieus: Das soziale Umfeld terroristischer Gruppen.
What’s Love Got To Do With It? Framing ‘JihadJane’ in the US Press
2012Conway, M. and McInerney, L.Journal
The purpose of this article is to compare and contrast the US press coverage accorded to female terrorist plotter, Colleen LaRose, with that of two male terrorist plotters in order to test whether assertions in the academic literature regarding media treatment of women terrorists stand up to empirical scrutiny. The authors employed TextSTAT software to generate frequency counts of all words contained in 150 newspaper reports on their three subjects and then slotted relevant terms into categories fitting the commonest female terrorist frames, as identified by Nacos’s article in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism (2005). The authors’ findings confirm that women involved in terrorism receive significantly more press coverage and are framed vastly differently in the US press than their male counterparts.
Exploring the Form and Function of Dissident Irish Republican Online Discourses
2012Bowman-Grieve, L. and Conway, M.Journal
This article seeks to contribute to broadening the focus of research in the area of violent online political extremism by examining the use of the internet by dissident Irish Republicans and their supporters. The argument here is not that the internet substitutes face-to-face contacts amongst Irish Republicans, including violent dissidents, nor that it currently plays a central role in processes of radicalisation into violent dissident groups, but that it has an important support function in terms of providing an ‘always-on’ space for discussion, consumption, and production of Irish Republicanism and thus a potentially useful educative role in terms of introducing ‘newbies’ to violent dissident Republicanism while also acting as a ‘maintenance’ space for the already committed. This exploratory study considers the importance of these functions in the context of repeated suggestions that the dissidents have no significant support-base or constituency as internet activity certainly gives the appearance of some such support.
Digital Terrorism and Hate 2012: The Power of Social Networking in the Digital Age
2012Abraham, R. and Rick Eaton, C.Report
Analysis of 'digital terrorism' and hate on the Internet
New Approaches to the Analysis of Jihadism: Online and Offline
2012Lohlker, R.Report
This volume is a result of a research project at the University of Vienna (Austria). The project “Jihadism online” aims at a multi-dimensional analysis of online presence of the transnational tendency often called Jihadism.
The Use of the Internet for Terrorist Purposes
2012United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)Policy
Terrorism, in all its manifestations, affects us all. The use of the Internet to further terrorist purposes disregards national borders, amplifying the potential impact on victims. By highlighting cases and best practices that respond to this unique challenge, the present publication has two aims: first, to promote a better understanding of the ways in which communications technologies may be misused in furtherance of acts of terrorism and, second, to increase collaboration among Member States, so that effective criminal justice responses to this transnational challenge can be developed.
Inside the EDL: Populist Politics in a Digital Age
2011Bartlett, J. and Littler, M.Report
The English Defence League (EDL) is the biggest populist street movement in a generation. Yet the make-up of the group and what its members believe remain a mystery because it has no formal joining procedures or membership list and much of its activity takes place online. The collection of large amounts of data from social media presents new opportunities for social research to understand the relationship between off- and online activity. As more movements combine – and blur – virtual and real protest, these questions will become increasingly urgent and important. These surveys, collected through Facebook using a new methodology, offer new ways forward in exploring this challenge.
As American as Apple Pie: How Anwar al-Awlaki Became the Face of Western Jihad
2011Meleagrou-Hitchens, A.Report
CSR is pleased to announce the release of its newest report, As American As Apple Pie: How Anwar al-Awlaki Became the Face of Western Jihad, by Research Fellow Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens. This study provides the first forensic analysis of Anwar al-Awlaki’s work, which tracks his ideological path from a supposedly moderate preacher to an al-Qaeda recruiter.
Countering Violent Extremism: Scientific Methods and Strategies
2011Fenstermacher, L.Report
This report represents a distillation of current Social, Behavioural and Economic research findings on violent extremism: What is the cultural basis for violent extremism and radicalization? What motivates individuals and groups to violence, and how is that risk measured? How does our understanding of these findings educate the mitigation of extremism? Can it be prevented or reversed? These and other topics are outlined here to open a forward-looking dialog in the research and policy community that will be crucial to formulating future research direction and for addressing this pressing national concern.