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

Terrorism and the Proportionality of Internet Surveillance
2009Brown, I., Douwe, K.Journal
As the Internet has become a mainstream communications mechanism, law enforcement and intelligence agencies have developed new surveillance capabilities and been given new legal powers to monitor its users. These capabilities have been particularly targeted toward terrorism suspects and organizations that have been observed using the Internet for communication, propaganda, research, planning, publicity, fundraising and creating a distributed sense of community. Policing has become increasingly pre-emptive, with a range of activities criminalized as `supporting' or `apologizing for' terrorism. The privacy and non-discrimination rights that are core to the European legal framework are being challenged by the increased surveillance and profiling of terrorism suspects. We argue that their disproportionate nature is problematic for democracy and the rule of law, and will lead to practical difficulties for cross-border cooperation between law enforcement agencies.
The United Kingdom’s Strategy for Countering International Terrorism, 2009
2009Home Office, United KingdomPolicy
The United Kingdom’s Strategy for Countering International Terrorism, 2009
Online Networks of the Italian and German Extreme Right
2009Caiani, M. and Wagemann, C.Journal
This article applies instruments of social network analysis to a study of communication networks within the Italian and German extremist right. Web links between organizational websites are used as a proxy. Indeed, extremist groups increasingly use and abuse the Internet for their propaganda and their recruitment, and also for their internal communication. The analysis includes both political parties and non-party organizations, even violent groups. In a macro-, micro-, and meso-analysis, the various specificities of the two national political sectors are demonstrated and linked to the offline reality. The Italian network appears to be very fragmented, highly diversified, and difficult to be coordinated (‘policephalous network’), whereas the German network is denser and much more concentrated on a few central actors (‘star structure’). These differences are mainly due to political opportunity structures in the two countries. Additionally, whereas the Italian network structure allows for the construction of a typology of sub-groups of organizations, the German communicative structure seems to be more erratic and less coordinated. The article also highlights the function of websites which are not related to any specific group. Indeed, these are of special importance for the far right as a political arena which is usually banned from the dominant societal discourses (if not even legally forbidden). Considering this, new modes of communication can be of greater use for extremist groups than for more traditional political actors.
How Social Media Outlets Impact Digital Terrorism and Hate
2009Cooper, A.Lecture
An analysis of how social media outlets impact digital terrorism and hate
Countering Online Radicalisation: A Strategy for Action
2009Neumann, P. and Stevens, T.Report
Efforts to counter online radicalisation must view new technologies and modes of interaction not as a threat but as an opportunity. Relying on government alone is not sufficient. It is vital to capitalise upon the potential contributions of all stakeholders, including internet companies and internet users.
Finding the Far Right Online: An Explanatory study of White Supremacist Websites
2009Sutton, M. and Wright, C.Journal
White supremacists and the Far Right political movement in the UK have, had considerable success in spreading their messages through Web sites. Some of these Web sites clearly contribute to an enabling environment for racially motivated violence in our towns and cities and possibly help to underpin also the rise of, and support for, the Far Right in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. From a position that acknowledges the enduring issue of white hegemony in Western societies, this paper provides a number of research-based recommendations for further research and future policy and practice in tackling white supremacist racial hatred on the Net.
Social Networking Sites and the Surveillance Society: A Critical Case Study of the Usage of studiVZ, Facebook, and MySpace by Students in Salzburg in the Context of Electronic Surveillance
2009Fuchs, C.Report
Advertising, business, community, privacy concerns, politics, sex, love – these are issues that are associated with the term social networking platforms in popular media clippings, such as the ones just cited. The examples, which certainly have differing depth, character, and quality, show that social networking sites (SNS) and what many term “Web 2.0” have become important topics all over the world and seem to shape economic, political, and cultural communication of contemporary society. Some see SNS as creating new opportunities for democracy, business, or entertainment. Others consider them as risk that will destroy culture and society. Many of these mass- mediated debates are oversimplified and one-sided. But nonetheless they show that there is an interest in the question how online communication tools transform society and our social relations.
Social Science For Counterterrorism: Putting the Pieces Together
This monograph by RAND surveys social-science literature relating to counterterrorism. It also takes steps toward integrating the knowledge reflected in that literature and suggesting theories and methods to inform analysis and modeling.
Jihadi Video and Auto-Radicalisation: Evidence From an Exploratory YouTube Study
2008Conway, M. and McInerney, L.Article
Large amounts of jihadi video content on YouTube along with the vast array of relational data that can be gathered opens up innovative avenues for exploration of the support base for political violence. This exploratory study analyses the online supporters of jihad-promoting video content on YouTube, focusing on those posting and commenting upon martyr-promoting material from Iraq. Findings suggest that a majority are under 35 years of age and resident outside the region of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with the largest percentage of supporters located in the United States. Evidence to support the potential for online radicalisation is presented. Findings relating to newly formed virtual relationships involving a YouTube user with no apparent prior links to jihadists are discussed.
Media, Fear and the Hyperreal: the Construction of Cyberterrorism as the Ultimate Threat to Critical Infrastructures
2008Conway, M.Article
Analysis of the construction of the cyberterrorist threat, with the core argument that US media outlets have been significant contributors not just to the dissemination, but to the actual discursive construction of the contemporary cyberterrorist threat and, further, that it is their emphasis on the (imagined) fatal connectivity between virtual networks and physical infrastructures that makes the concept of cyberterror so powerful.
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, 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.