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

European and American Extreme Right Groups and the Internet
2013 Caiani, M. and Parenti, L. Book
How do right-wing extremist organisations throughout the world use the Internet as a tool for communication and recruitment? What is its role in identity-building within radical right-wing groups and how do they use the Internet to set their agenda, build contacts, spread their ideology and encourage mobilization? This important contribution to the field of Internet politics adopts a social movement perspective to address and examine these important questions. Conducting a comparative content analysis of more than 500 extreme right organizational web sites from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, it offers an overview of the Internet communication activities of these groups and systematically maps and analyses the links and structure of the virtual communities of the extreme right. Based on reports from the daily press the book presents a protest event analysis of right wing groups’ mobilisation and action strategies, relating them to their online practices. In doing so it exposes the new challenges and opportunities the Internet presents to the groups themselves and the societies in which they exist.
Becoming Mulan: Female Western Migrants to ISIS
2015 Boyle, C., Bradford, A., Frenett, R. Report
The current flow of foreigners to Syria and Iraq is remarkable not only for its scale, but also for its inclusion of many women. Much has been written about the male fighters who migrate to engage in the conflict there; these fighters are prolific on social media and share details of their day-to-day experiences with supporters and opponents alike. Less, however, is known about the women who travel to join ISIS and support its state-building efforts. The flow of both men and women is a concern for Western governments, who fear that these individuals could pose a threat on return home. The number of Western migrants overall is estimated at 3,000, with as many as 550 of these
being women. This report aims to provide insight into the female migrants, examining the reasons they migrate, the reality of their lives in ISIS-controlled territory, and the potential risk they pose. While there is a large online ecosystem of female ISIS supporters, this study will focus specifically on Western women who are believed to be currently residing in ISIS-controlled territory.
The Dark Net
2015 Bartlett, J. Book
Beyond the familiar online world that most of us inhabit lies a vast network of sites, communities and cultures where freedom is pushed to its limits. A world that is as creative and complex as it is dangerous and disturbing. A world that is much closer than you think. The Dark Net is a revelatory examination of the internet today, and of its most innovative and dangerous.
Radicalisation and Media: Connectivity and Terrorism in the New Media Ecology
2011 Awan, A., Hoskins, A. and O’Loughlin, B. Book
This book examines the circulation and effects of radical discourse by analysing the role of mass media coverage in promoting or hindering radicalisation and acts of political violence.
Understanding Terrorism in the Age of Global Media: A Communication ApproachUnderstanding Terrorism in the Age of Global Media: A Communication Approach
2012 Archetti, C. Book
We cannot truly understand terrorism in the 21st century—let alone counter it effectively—unless we also understand the processes of communication that underpin it. The book challenges existing terrorism research showing that current approaches are inadequate and outdated. It exposes the fact that, although we live in an age of interconnectedness shaped by media technologies, both policy makers and security experts know very little about how to make sense of this reality. Among the widespread myths the book dispels are: the idea that new recruits into the ranks of al Qaeda are 'radicalized' by a 'narrative of grievance'; that the removal of extremist websites should be a priority; that 'we' can 'rewrite' terrorists' propaganda; that being a 'global brand' is a source of strength for al Qaeda. This book will be of interest to researchers and students in terrorism studies, communication and media, politics and security.
Trolling Media- Violent Extremist Groups Recruiting Through Socal Media
2015 Chang, M.D. MA Thesis

With the advent and subsequent growth of several new media technologies, violent extremist groups have incorporated social media into recruiting strategies. How are violent extremist groups using social media for recruiting? This thesis explores several new media technologies—websites, blogs, social media, mobile phones, and online gaming—to determine if violent extremist groups rely on social media for recruiting. By comparing the communication of al Qaeda and ISIS, this thesis concludes that violent extremist groups rely on social media, and they employ a wide range of new media technologies to attract and recruit new members. In some instances, virtual interaction still requires face-to-face communication to adequately recruit someone into a violent extremist group.

The ISIS Twitter Census: Defining and Describing the Population of ISIS Supporters on Twitter
2015 Berger, J.M. and Morgan, J. Report
The Islamic State, known as ISIS or ISIL, has exploited social media, most notoriously Twitter, to send its propaganda and messaging out to the world and to draw in people vulnerable to radicalisation.
Iraqi Insurgent Media: The War of Images and Ideas
2007 Kimmage, D. and Ridolfo, K. Report
Sunni insurgents in Iraq and their supporters and sympathizer worldwide are pursuing a massive and far-reaching media campaign that includes daily press releases, weekly and monthly magazines, video clips, full-length films, and even television channels. Iraqi Insurgent Media: The War of Images and Ideas casts light on this crucial yet understudied factor in the battle to shape perceptions in Iraq and the Arab world. The report surveys the products, producers, and delivery channels of the Sunni insurgency’s media network; examines their message; and gauges their impact.
Online Social Networks and Terrorism 2.0 in Developing Countries
2013 Ishengoma, F.R. Journal
The advancement in technology has brought a new era in terrorism where Online Social Networks (OSNs) have become a major platform of communication with wide range of usage from message channeling to propaganda and recruitment of new followers in terrorist groups. Meanwhile, during the terrorist attacks people use OSNs for information exchange, mobilizing and uniting and raising money for the victims. This paper critically analyses the specific usage of OSNs in the times of terrorisms attacks in developing countries. We crawled and used Twitter’s data during Westgate shopping mall terrorist attack in Nairobi, Kenya. We then analysed the number of tweets, geo-location of tweets, demographics of the users and whether users in developing countries tend to tweet, retweet or reply during the event of a terrorist attack. We define new metrics (reach and impression of the tweet) and present the models for calculating them. The study findings show that, users from developing countries tend to tweet more at the first and critical times of the terrorist occurrence. Moreover, large number of tweets originated from the attacked country (Kenya) with 73% from men and 23% from women where original posts had a most number of tweets followed by replies and retweets.
Jihad Trending: A Comprehensive Analysis of Online Extremism and How to Counter It
2014 Hussain, G. and Saltman, E.M. Report
This report hopes to contribute to developing research in the ever-evolving arena of radicalisation with a particular focus on the role of the Internet. Our aim is to provide a resource for both policy makers and practitioners that offers an in-depth insight into the means by which extremists use online tools to propagandise and recruit. While previous research has focussed on specific aspects of this phenomenon, this report aims to provide a comprehensive analysis encompassing both qualitative and quantitative methods. It is also unique in that it offers a detailed and practical guide on how to turn the tide against extremists online and reclaim the Internet. Our research would not have been possible without the cooperation and assistance of colleagues, experts, mentors and focus group participants. In particular, we would like to thank our research assistants Ariana Skipp and Aimee Gentry who diligently collected data transcribed interviews and proofread drafts. We would also like to thank Jonathan Russell, Usama Hasan, Faisal Ghazi, Verity Harding, Florian Maganza and Benoit Tabaka for their support, assistance and guidance.
Gender and Power in Online Communication
2001 Herring, S.C. Chapter
New communication technologies are often invested with users' hopes for change in the social order. Thus the Internet is said to be inherently democratic, levelling traditional distinctions of social status, and creating opportunities for less powerful individuals and groups to participate on a par with members of more powerful groups. Specifically, the Internet has been claimed to lead to greater gender equality, with women, as the socially, politically, and economically less powerful gender, especially likely to reap its benefits.
Interpersonal Trust on Jihadi Internet Forums
2014 Hegghammer, T. Chapter
This chapter explores the effects of the trust problem on jihadi internet discussion forums. The scarcity of non-verbal cues in digital communication facilitates deceptive mimicry, which undermines the inter- personal trust required for sensitive transactions. Open-source data from Arabic-language jihadi forums between 2006 and 2011 indicate that distrust there was high and direct recruitment rare. General trust also declined over time as policing of the forums increased. As of 2014, forums are still in use, but primarily for low-stake activities such as propaganda-sharing and ideological debate, not recruiting or operational coordination. Confidence in the authenticity of propaganda remained relatively high, due to vetting institutions and hard-to-fake video formats. A modicum of interpersonal trust also remained, thanks to reputation systems and a few relatively reliable signs of trustworthiness involving time expenditure. The trust problem is an Achilles heel for high-risk activists online, including pro-democracy activists in authoritarian settings.
Why Terrorists Weep: The Socio-Cultural Practices of Jihadi Militants
2015 Hegghammer, T. Lecture
Paul Wilkinson Memorial Lecture, University of St. Andrews, 16 April 2015
The Web is a Terrorist’s Command-and-Control Network of Choice
2014 Hannigan, R. Article
People do not want social media platforms to facilitate murder, writes Robert Hannigan
Hizb’allah’s Communication Strategy: Making Friends and Intimidating Enemies
2009 Friberg Lyme, R. Report
Managing external communication has proven an increasingly significant concern to Lebanese Hizb’allah. The nature of how Hizb’allah conducts its external communication is the subject of the present report. It is argued that the organisation relies on a sophisticated strategy that enables it to address a variety of target groups efficiently with differentiated aspects of its particular ideologically informed message, using the particular media platform best suited for this purpose. In doing so, the communication serves two main objectives: First, to disseminate aspects of the organisation’s religiously informed world-view, ideology, values, motives and moral codes; and secondly, to conduct psychological warfare against its enemies. The report falls into three parts. First, the versatility and comprehensiveness of the external and internal media used by Hizb’allah are outlined. The versatility others Hizb’allah an opportunity to convey its message flexibly to audiences on a local, national, regional and international basis, while simultaneously being able to diferentiate its message. In the second part, attention is turned to the content of Hizb’allah’s communication, all of which is permeated by a clear ideological agenda. Two ideological tenets serve as a minimal ideological structure on which additional ideological layers are added, depending on who is being addressed. e two primary tenets are an antagonistic world-view and the primacy of resistance, epitomizing armed resistance. Thirdly, it is shown how Hizb’allah employs differences in foci, rhetoric and media organisation to convey different layers of its ideological package depending on which group is at the receiving end of the special media being utilised.
EU Ministers of the Interior and/or Justice, Joint Statement
2015 EU Ministers of the Interior and/or Justice Policy
A joint statement issued following a meeting of the ministers of the interior in Paris regarding the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
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
Response on Paris Attacks - with Charlie Winter
2015 Winter, C. Video
17 November: In the wake of November's deadly attacks in Paris, Charlie Winter (Georgia State University) gives a preview of a forthcoming Legatum Institute report, of which he is co-author, that looks at the role of the internet in transforming disinformation and propaganda from groups such as ISIS. More information:
The Power of Online Radicalization with Peter Neumann, part 2
2014 Neumann, P. Video
An interview with Peter Neumann of VOX-Pol partner ICSR by David H. Schanzer, Associate Professor of the Practice for Public Policy and Director, Triangle Center of Terrorism and Homeland Security, focusing on the power of online radicalisation. Originally uploaded by D Schanzer on 31 January 2014
What are the Roles of the Internet In Terrorism? Measuring Online Behaviors of Convicted UK Terrorists
2015 Gill, P., Corner, E., Thornton, A. and Conway, M. VOX-Pol Publication
Using a unique dataset of 227 convicted UK-based terrorists, this report fills a large gap in the existing literature. Using descriptive statistics, we first outline the degree to which various online activities related to radicalisation were present within the sample. The results illustrate the variance in behaviours often attributed to ‘online radicalisation’. Second, we conducted a smallest-space analysis to illustrate two clusters of commonly co-occurring behaviours that delineate behaviours from those directly associated with attack planning. Third, we conduct a series of bivariate and multivariate analyses to question whether those who interact virtually with like-minded individuals or learn online, exhibit markedly different experiences (e.g. radicalisation, event preparation, attack outcomes) than those who do not.