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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Terrorism & Internet Governance: Core Issues
|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
|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.|
Network Technologies for Networked Terrorists: Assessing the Value of Information and Communication Technologies to Modern Terrorist Organizations
|2007||Don, B.W., Frelinger, D.R., Gerwehr, S., Landree, E. and Jackson, B.A.||Report|
|This report analyzes terrorist groups’ use of advanced information and communication technologies in efforts to plan, coordinate, and command their operations. It is one component of a larger study that examines terrorists’ use of technology, a critical arena in the war against terrorism. The goal of the investigation reported here is to identify which network technologies might be used to support the activities that terrorists must perform to conduct successful operations, understand terrorists’ decisions about when and under what conditions particular technologies will be used and determine the implications of these insights for efforts to combat terrorism.|
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.|
The Italian Extreme Right On-line Network: An Exploratory Study Using an Integrated Social Network Analysis and Content Analysis Approach
|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.|
Al-Qaeda's Media Strategies
|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.|
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.|
Terrorism and the Internet: New Media - New Threat?
|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.|
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|
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.|
The Virtual Sanctuary of Al-Qaeda and Terrorism in an Age of Globalisation
|Chapter in Johan Eriksson, Giampiero Giacomello, 'International Relations and Security in the|
Digital Age' - The fusion of globalisation and terrorism in the 21 century created a new, adaptable and complex form of ‘networked’ asymmetric adversary. For al-Qaeda and its successor affiliates Internet has become not just a virtual sanctuary, where every dimension of the global jihad is taking place online. In many ways cyberspace has created a virtual university of jihad with advice available anytime to any militant. It was also more than a functional tool to enhance its communication, to promote its ideology, recruit, fundraise and even train. For al-Qaeda and its progeny, cyberspace constitutes a type of central nervous system as it remains critical to its viability in terms of structure and even more as a movement. Some have even argued that al- Qaeda has become the “first guerrilla movement in history to migrate from physical space to cyberspace.”
Diaspora Involvement in Insurgencies: Insights from the Khalistan and Tamil Eelam Movements
|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.|
"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.|
US Department of Defense Anti-Terrorism Handbook 2004
|2004||US Department of Defense||Policy|
|US Department of Defense Anti-Terrorism Handbook 2004|
Cyberterrorism: Media Myth or Clear and Present Danger?
|Chapter, "Cyberterrorism: media myth or clear and present danger?" in book: Irwin, Jones, (ed.) War and virtual war: the challenges to communities.|
Terrorism and (Mass) Communication: From Nitro to the Net
|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.|
Hackers as Terrorists? Why it Doesn't Compute
|The bulk of this article is concerned with showing why computer hackers|
and terrorists are unlikely to form an unholy alliance to engage in so-called
cyberterrorism. The remainder of the paper examines why neither hacktivists nor
crackers fall easily into the cyberterrorist category either.
Code wars: Steganography, Signals Intelligence, and Terrorism
|This paper describes and discusses the process of secret communication known as steganography. The argument advanced here is that terrorists are unlikely to be employing digital steganography to facilitate secret intra-group communication as has been claimed. This is because terrorist use of digital steganography is both technically and operationally implausible. The position adopted in this paper is that terrorists are likely to employ low-tech steganography such as semagrams and null ciphers instead.|
Terrorism and IT: Cyberterrorism and Terrorist Organisations Online
|Chapter, "Terrorism and IT: cyberterrorism and terrorist organisations online" in book: Howard, Russell D. and Sawyer, Reid L., (eds.) Terrorism and counterterrorism: understanding the new security environment, readings and interpretations|