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
How A Boy Becomes A Martyr: The Dangers of Web 2.0 Technology
2008Lyons, J. and Nutt, S.Report
This report, by the Urban Warfare Analysis Centre, is a fictitious account of how a young person in America could become a suicide bomber for an Islamic extremist group. It is the fifth in a series of reports on Web 2.0 technology and future urban warfare. All references to people, groups, and products are intended for illustrative purposes only. As such, the authors do not suggest that any of the products or organizations listed condone or support extremist activities.
Cyberterrorism: the story so far
2003Conway, M.Journal
This paper is concerned with the origins and development of the concept of cyberterrorism. It seeks to excavate the story of the concept through an analysis of both popular/media renditions of the term and scholarly attempts to define the borders of same. The contention here is not that cyberterrorism cannot happen or will not happen, but that, contrary to popular perception, it has not happened yet.
Systematic Analysis in Counterterrorism: Messages on an Islamist Internet- Forum
2008Renfer, M.A. and Haas, H.S.Journal
The article describes a systematic approach used by the Swiss Intelligence Service (SAP). The procedure described is illustrated by the authentic case of messages among extremists going on the Website www.islamic-minbar.com, a case that was prosecuted and brought to verdict by the Attorney General of the Swiss Confederation.
Identity in Transition: Connecting Online and Offline Internet Practices of Moroccan-Dutch Muslim Youth
2008de Koning, M.Article
The Internet has become the principal platform for the dissemination and mediation of the ideology of Islamic movements, ranging from purist (non-violent) to politically engaged movements to Jihadi networks. Certainly in intelligence and security circles the Internet is considered the single most important venue for the radicalization of Muslim youth. On the other hand the Internet is seen as a means for people to transcend ethnic and religious divisions that are pervasive in other spheres of life. In this paper the author argues that both premises seem to result from a lack of understanding of the relationship between online and offline realities and still more from the difficulty of ascertaining the extent to which websites influence wider audiences and users. In order to understand the reception of Internet messages the local context and the way global narratives are appropriated in the local context, should be taken into account. My argument will be based on my empirical study of the practices of Muslim youth with regard to the Internet; I will explore how they act simultaneously as performers and observers in these virtual spaces.
Thornton Statement Nottingham University Terrorism Arrests
2008Thornton, R.Article
Comments made by Dr Rod Thornton, Lecturer, School of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham on the events surrounding, and the repercussions of , the terrorism arrests at Nottingham University in May 2008
Terrorism and the Mass Media after Al Qaeda: A Change of Course?
2008Torres Soriano, M.R.Journal
This article analyzes the possible relationship between terrorist groups and the media. As an example, a case study on the Al Qaeda organization will be used. Our methodology will involve analyzing the content of its public statements and examining the developments that have taken place during its history as an organization. Both perspectives suggest that terrorism’s view of the media, far from being composed of rigorous ideological or political principles, is shaped by their calculations of
estimated opportunities. Its perception of the mass media, has depended on its perception of estimated media impact. This has determined three stages during its history: 1) Hostility toward media that it has held responsible for hiding or distorting its message; 2) Adaptation to a new environment where there are networks
that are willing to interpret reality from a perspective similar to the jihadist point of view 3) Exploitation of the Internet as an indirect means of obtaining the mass media’s attention.
Manipulating And Hiding Terrorist Content On The Internet: Legal And Tradecraft Issues
2008Williams, J.F., Urgo, M. and Burns, T.Article
The global war on terror (“GWOT”) is being fought on many levels. In addition to traditional terror and counterterror activity, both sides are engaged in a public relations and propaganda war, employing the media, willingly and unwillingly, to support their positions. Hovering over these war campaigns are information technologies, which include the Internet. This article provides an introduction to various online content concealing practices that have been employed by those seeking to conceal or limit access to information on the Internet, including terrorist organizations. Further, there is a discussion on tracking and monitoring of website visitors. After reviewing open source information and websites, this article examines techniques and technologies that are easily available to terrorist organizations -- foreign and domestic -- whose structure can be obtained through Internet websites. The article then turns to a discussion of the legal issues posed by active and passive website monitoring techniques.
Studies into Violent Radicalisation: The Beliefs, Ideologies, and Narratives
2008The Change InstituteReport
This study explores the beliefs, narratives and ideologies that lead to violent radicalism underpinned by an abusive interpretation of Islam, with a view to understanding of the causes and remedies for violent radicalisation. The research was conducted through analysis and empirical data collection through 145 stakeholder and primary fieldwork interviews in four Member States; Denmark, France, Germany and the UK. The interview sample was intended to capture the diversity of the Muslim ‘field’ in each country as far as possible
Online Terror and Hate: The First Decade
2008Simon Wiesenthal CentreReport
The Internet’s unprecedented global reach and scope combined with the difficulty in monitoring and tracing communications make the Internet a prime tool for extremists and terrorists. The Simon Wiesenthal Center has been monitoring these developments for nearly two decades through our Digital Terrorism and Hate Project. Our findings reveal that as the Internet has grown, the escalation of extremist sites has kept pace in number and in technological sophistication.
Role Of Intelligence In Countering Terrorism on the Internet: Revisiting 3/11
2008Díaz, G. and Merlos, A.Article
In this paper we argue that understanding terrorism within the new cyber environment of the twenty-first century is paramount for the intelligence services in the dawn of the 21st century. We believe that the intelligence services will have to confront this new trend in terrorism tactics in years to come whether they are fully prepared or not. This new type of threat will be one of the principal questions for intelligence services in the 21st Century.
Ethical Principles in Social-Behavioural Research on Terrorism
2007Bikson, T.K., Bluthenthal, R.N., Eden, R. and Gunn, P.P.Article
This RAND working paper documents the proceedings of a daylong workshop, "Ethical Principles in Social-Behavioral Research on Terrorism: Probing the Parameters." The workshop was convened to initiate a public discussion of the parameters that should guide the ethical conduct of social and behavioral research on terrorism that is frequently carried out in countries or among groups hostile to the United States. The workshop was organised into three sessions on the topics of "Deception and Concealment vs. Autonomy," "Maximizing Beneficence and Maintaining Justice," and "Ensuring Confidentiality." Each session included a main speaker followed by short presentations from an expert panel, a plenary discussion, and a wrap-up by the session chair. All proceedings were taped and transcribed. The transcriptions of the presentations by the speakers and panelists have been lightly edited to improve readability, as have the introductory and wrap-up comments by the workshop organisers. The transcriptions of the plenary discussions have been summarized to highlight the main points.
Dschihadismus Im Internet
2007Lohlker, Ü and Prucha, N.Journal
Dschihadismus als soziale Bewegung spiegelt sich auch im Internet wider. Diese Internetpräsenz ist im Wesentlichen arabischsprachig. Neben den eher theoretisch-ideologischen Webseiten gibt es auch ein breites Spektrum an Webpräsenzen, die sich mit technisch-praktischen Aspekten der dschihadis- tischen nicht-konventionellen Kriegsführung beschäftigen. Eine Analyse dieses Aspektes dschihadistischer Online-Aktivitäten ist erforderlich, um das Phänomen des Dschihadismus im Internet adäquat zu verstehen. Ein interessantes Mittel, ein solches Verständnis zu erreichen, ist die Erarbei- tung von flexiblen Begriffsrastern, die sich für die Forschung, die in diesem Artikel präsentiert wird, hauptsächlich auf Waffen, Explosivkörper und Konzepte des Guerillakrieges konzentrieren.
Gen E (Generation Extremist): The Significance of Youth Culture and New Media in Youth Extremism
2007Lombard, K.J.Article
There are many computer programs that model the consequences to built infrastructure when subject to explosive blast loads; however, the majority of these do not account for the uncertainties associated with system response or blast loading. This paper describes new software - called "Blast-RF" (Blast Risks for Facades) - that incorporates existing blast-response software within an environment that considers threat/vulnerability uncertainties and variability via probability and structural reliability theory. This allows the prediction of likelihood and extent of damage and/or casualties; information which will be useful for risk mitigation considerations, emergency service's contingency and response planning, collateral damage estimation and post-blast forensic analysis.
Countering Militant Islamist Radicalisation on the Internet: A User Driven Strategy to Recover the Web
2007Ryan, J.Book
A strategy to counter violent radicalisation on the Internet must be user driven, empowering Internet users with “cultural intelligence”. Cultural intelligence is essentially shorthand for an understanding of the key pillars of, and vulnerabilities inherent in, militant Islamist rhetoric. What this report calls “Enabling Stakeholders”, such as schools, and religious and community organisations, can disseminate this knowledge, thereby empowering Internet users to choose whether and how to challenge the call to violence.
Virtual Disputes: The Use of the Internet for Terrorist Debates
2007Weimann, G.Journal
Terrorists are using the Internet for various purposes. Most of the attempts to monitor and study terrorist presence on the Net focused on the practical and communicative uses of this channel by modern terrorists. Yet, not much attention has been paid to the use of the Net as a medium for terrorist debates and disputes. This descriptive article presents this less noticed facet of terrorism on the Net by providing examples of virtual debates among and within terrorist groups. The analysis of the online controversies, disputes, and debates may say a lot about the mindsets of terrorists, their motivations, their doubts and fears. In many ways, it allows the researcher to open a window to a world about which so little is known. It may also serve counterterrorism: by learning the inner cleavages and debates one can find practical ways to support the voices against terror, to broaden gaps within these dangerous communities, and to channel the discourse to nonviolent forms of action.
Terrorism and the Making of the ‘New Middle East’: New Media Strategies of Hizbollah and al Qaeda
2007Conway, M.Chapter
Chapter, "Terrorism and the making of the 'New Middle East'", in book: Seib, Philip, (ed.) New media and the new Middle East
Terrorism and New Media: the Cyber-Battlespace
2007Conway, M.Chapter
Chapter, "Terrorism and new media: the cyber-battlespace", in book: Forest, James F., (ed.) Countering terrorism and insurgency in the 21st Century.
Cyberterrorism: Hype and Reality
2007Conway, M.Chapter
Chapter "Cyberterrorism: hype and reality" in book: Armistead, Leigh, (ed.) Information warfare: separating hype from reality
Terrorism & Internet Governance: Core Issues
2007Conway, M.Article
Both global governance and the sub-set of issues that may be termed 'internet governance' are vast and complex issue areas. The difficulties of trying to 'legislate' at the global level – efforts that must encompass the economic, cultural, developmental, legal, and political concerns of diverse states and other stakeholders – are further complicated by the technological conundrums encountered in cyberspace. The unleashing of the so-called ‘Global War on Terrorism’ (GWOT) complicates things yet further. Today, both sub-state and non-state actors are said to be harnessing – or preparing to harness – the power of the internet to harass and attack their foes. Clearly, international terrorism had already been a significant security issue prior to 11 September 2001 (hereafter '9/11') and the emergence of the internet in the decade before. Together, however, the events of 9/11 and advancements in ICTs have added new dimensions to the problem. In newspapers and magazines, in film and on television, and in research and analysis, 'cyber-terrorism' has become a buzzword. Since the events of 9/11, the question on everybody's lips appears to be 'is cyber-terrorism next?' It is generally agreed that the potential for a 'digital 9/11' in the near future is not great. This does not mean that IR scholars may continue to ignore the transformative powers of the internet.
Terrorist Use of the Internet and the Challenges of Governing Cyberspace
2007Conway, M.Chapter
Chapter: "Terrorism, the Internet, and international relations: the governance conundrum", in: Dunn Cavelty, Myriam and Mauer, Victor and Krishna-Hensel, Sai Felicia, (eds.) Power and Security in the Information Age: Investigating the Role of the State in Cyberspace.