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
A Look At Jihadists Suicide Fatwas: The Case Of Algeria
2010 Prucha N. Article
Responding to critical questions on the al-Hebah Forum in 2007, the leading chief ideologue of AQIM, Abu 'l-Hassan Rashid, provides a chilly look on the jihadists practical understanding and definition of deploying suicide-bombers and the potential of killing innocent Muslim bystanders during such operations. The 2007 document is based on comprising Arabic sources that have been over the years disseminated and amended by the means of the internet. The article intends to provide an assessment of alleged Islamic principles used for such attacks and draws on a comprising database of jihadist writings and videos. Rashid cites and builds his arguments on writings that can be in the meantime termed as common understanding and knowledge by most sympathizers on- and offline. By including AQIM videos the article intends to further analyze the practical incorporation of the language and notion of the jihadists as portrayed and disseminated by AQ’s video outlets.
GCHQ Cyber Speech For International Institute For Strategic Studies
2010 Lobban, I. Article
Speech by GCHQ Director Ian Lobban at International Institute for Strategic Studies, October 2010
Warblog Without End: Online Anti-Islamic Discourses As Persuadables
2010 Munksgaard, D.C. MA Thesis
This dissertation is a critical discourse analysis of how anti-Islamic rhetoric in prominent online forums is articulated within the context of popular discourses of multiculturalism and tolerance. According to Melanie McAlister, perceptions of Muslims within the United States are unique in comparison to other minority groups in that they are almost entirely mediated, whether it is the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the terrorist attacks of September 11th, or the various Muhammad cartoon controversies. While much work has been done analyzing how Islam and Muslims are mediated in popular film and television, very little attention has been given to how these perspectives are mediated through the Internet. Using Erving Goffman's theory of performativity and Kristine Fitch's notion of persuadable, I examine how both prominent bloggers and pseudonymous commentators work in a "backstage" context to bring Islamophobic norms and premises within the sphere of acceptable opinions for the "front stage" of mainstream media discourses. In particular, I examine how these discourses have evolved over the past few years on three prominent weblogs: the anti-jihadist Little Green Footballs, the liberal-atheist advocacy blog One Good Move, and the popular news aggregate Fark. In light of increasing evidence that weblogs exert a high level of influence over popular media discourses disproportionate to their readership, these websites offer a glimpse "backstage" into how contemporary American discourses on Islam and Muslims are articulated across a broad array of political perspectives, particularly in relation to norms and premises regarding multiculturalism, tolerance, and freedom of expression. While Islamophobic rhetoric has become firmly embedded within discourses of the American Right, each of the three sites examined shows a steady integration of anti-Islamic perspectives within the American Left. Leftist anti-Islamic discourses are frequently articulated within the context of general anti-religious sentiment, misanthropy, and a belief that the values of "the Islamic world" are inherently incompatible with the liberal, democratic, and multicultural values of "the West." While by no means universal, these perspectives have become sufficiently common, recognizable, and sensible to be granted the status of persuadable within these particular web forums, which in turn helps to move them into the realm of popular American cultural persuadable.
Cheering for Osama: How Jihadists Use Internet Discussion Forums
2010 Ali Musawi, M. Report
The key aims of this report are: To show how Jihadist movements use web forums to consolidate their existing followers and to recruit new ones; to illustrate how Jihadists, and their online supporters, use theology and ideology to justify their violent actions; and to suggest how western governments can better challenge the worldview and ideology propagated on these forums
Report on the Operation
 in 2009 of the Terrorism Act 2000 & of Part 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006
2010 Lord Carlile of Berriew Q.C. Report
Independent review of how Terrorism Act 2000 & of Part 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006 were operated in the UK in 2009
The California Independent System Operator Security Vulnerabilities
2010 Brow, S. L. MA Thesis
Our country is still in the early stages of the 21st century where technology is advancing on a daily basis allowing the threat of terrorism, both domestic and foreign, to pose a serious risk to both its citizens and its assets if not addressed soon. There are numerous potentially vulnerable sites throughout the country that are still left under guarded and under-protected, specifically my emphasis for this project, the California Independent System Operator (ISO). This multilayered project utilizes public information from the Department of Homeland Security manual. The project also includes information from various national publications of defense principles and security countermeasures, as well as law enforcement protocols in place to deal with these types of security threats and potential breaches, scholarly articles, and industry trade journals.
The California ISO lacks physical and some virtual controls that make it more vulnerable to attacks. Specific recommendations have been made to ensure that the ISO is better protected and can still run an effective business.
Rhetoric and Reality: Countering Terrorism in the Age of Obama
2010 Lynch, M. Policy
Analysis of President Obama's Counter-terrorism strategy
Internetnutzung islamistischer Terror- und Insurgentengruppen unter besonderer Berücksichtigung von medialen Geiselnahmen im Irak, Afghanistan, Pakistan und Saudi-Arabien
2010 Tinnes, J. PhD Thesis
Irish Republicanism and the Internet: Support for New Wave Dissidents
2010 Bowman-Grieve, L. Journal
This article considers the use of the Internet by Irish Republicans and does so by applying thematic content analysis to a sample of websites that support the Irish Republican movement. Particular attention is paid to the Irish Republican virtual community which, through regular user interaction, creates and sustains an online discourse of support for their cause and the currently active dissident movements. Further analysis focuses on the function of a virtual community and the interactions facilitated by this online social space in relation to the potential for increased commitment to, and involvement in, support-related activities both on and off line.
Al-Qaeda Central and the Internet
2010 Kimmage, D. Article
Al-Qaeda’s media strategy in 2009 reflected the group’s attempts to meet the triple challenge of a shifting media landscape, its enmeshment in the Afghanistan-Pakistan nexus, and the global jihadist movement’s failures over the last several years. The results are ambiguous. Al-Qaeda appears to be holding the attention of the faithful, but it faces a rising din of competing voices, an Internet that is more and more of a mixed blessing, and less resonance in mainstream Arab media than in years past.
The E-Marketing Strategy of Hamas
2010 Mozes, T and Weimann, G. Journal
Given the growth of Internet research in recent years, it is rather surprising that research of online terrorism and countermeasures has been lacking theoretical and conceptual frameworks. The present study suggests applying the concepts and models taken from e-marketing to the study of terrorist websites. This work proves that when Hamas builds an array of sites in the Internet, it complies with the same rules that the Western business world follows. Chaffey et al. (2000) constructed a model comprised of eight decision points in the process of building a business-oriented Internet site. Although the model was developed for commercial purposes, the present study demonstrates how it could be used as an analytic framework to study terrorist websites. As shown, most of the decision points in the model were relevant to the Palestinian Information Center group of websites. Understanding the e-marketing strategy of Hamas will allow the construction of a competing marketing strategy in order to market rival ideological consumer products.
Taking al-Qaeda’s Jihad to Facebook
2010 Batal al-Shishani, M. Journal
Outlines how Facebook is used by jihadists, analyses Facebook by conducting search using keywords such as “jihad”, “al-Qaeda” and “Bin Laden”
Protecting the Homeland from International and Domestic Terrorism Threats
2010 Kuznar, L., Fenstermacher, L., Reiger, T. and Speckhard, A. Report
This paper collection entitled "Protecting the Homeland from International and Domestic Terrorism Threats: Current Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives on Root Causes, the Role of Ideology, and Programs for Counter-radicalization and Disengagement", seeks to add insights without needlessly repeating what has been heard and read elsewhere. What separates this paper collection from the many others on this topic is the multiplicity of perspectives represented, both domestic and international, that span the spectrum of social sciences. To do this, over forty authors were asked to provide perspectives on various aspects of terrorism: root causes, dynamics of Violent Non-State Actors (VNSAs), the role of ideology in terrorism, and potential solutions for counter-radicalization, deradicalization, and disengagement from terrorism.
‘Don’t Talk to Me’: Effects of Ideologically Homogeneous Online Groups and Politically Dissimilar Offline Ties on Extremism
2010 Wojcieszak, M. Article
This study analyzes cross-sectional data obtained from respondents in neo-Nazi online discussion forums and textual data from postings to these forums. It assesses the impact of participation in radical and homogeneous online groups on opinion extremism and probes whether this impact depends on political dissimilarity of strong and weak offline ties. Specifically, does dissimilarity attenuate (as deliberative theorists hope) or rather exacerbate (as research on biased processing predicts) extreme opinions? As expected, extremism increases with increased online participation, likely due to the informational and normative influences operating within online groups. Supporting the deliberative and biased processing models, both like-minded and dissimilar social ties offline exacerbate extremism. Consistent with the biased processing model, dissimilar offline ties exacerbate the effects of online groups. The theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Worldwide Online Jihad versus the Gaming Industry Reloaded – Ventures of the Web
2010 Prucha, N. Chapter
[Chapter in, "New Approaches to the Analysis of Jihadism: On and Offline", Rüdiger Lohlker (ed.)] Jihadism has been an important issue of public discussions since 9/11. Internet media have been used by Jihadis as means of communication, propaganda, recruitment, and even training purposes. In this volume, the processes of interaction on Jihadi internet sites are analysed. Particular attention lays on the mechanisms of spread of propaganda via the internet by diverse technical means. The process of transformation of Islamic knowledge into Jihadi knowledge, the rhetorics of videos, the development of South Asian Jihadi organisations and some conceptual issues are discussed.
Notes On The Jihadists’ Motivation For Suicide-Operations
2010 Prucha, N. Journal
Der Artikel bietet anhand der Rhetorik ausgewählter arabischer Quellen des Dschihad einen Einblick in die Motivation und die Definition sogenannter Glaubensbekenner-Operationen. Wesentlicher Bestandteil ist das Grundverständnis, dass solche Arten von Operationen rechtlich erlaubt sind und keinen Selbstmord darstellen. Diese Operationen werden von Gott im Jenseits belohnt und sind integraler historischer Teil der militärisch- operativen Vorgehensweise früher Muslime im Denken dschihadistischer Gelehrter, die diese Taktiken in die Gegenwart übertragen und entsprechend sanktionieren. Anhand der im Internet auf einschlägigen Foren und Webseiten veröffentlichten Interviews, Videos und Statements nach der Glaubensbekenner-Operation des palästinensisch-stämmigen Abu Dujana gegen eine von der CIA betriebene „Forward Operations Base“ in Khost, Afghanistan, wird der Artikel nach einem theoretischen Teil mit pragmatischen Argumenten durch die Dschihadisten abgeschlossen.
Blogs and Bullets: New Media in Contentious Politics
2010 United States Institute of Peace Report
In this report a team of scholars critically assesses both the “cyberutopian” and “cyberskeptic” perspectives on the impact of new media on political movements. The authors propose a more complex approach that looks at the role of new media in contentious politics from five interlocking levels of analysis: individual transformation, intergroup relations, collective action, regime policies, and external attention.
UNODC Digest Of Terrorist Cases
2010 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Policy
The judicial cases featured in this Digest cover relevant aspects of the international legal regime against terrorism. It provides a comparative analysis of national statutory frame- works for terrorism prosecutions, and it identifies legal issues and pitfalls encountered in investigating and adjudicating relevant offences. In addition, it identifies practices related to specialized investigative and prosecutorial techniques. It also addresses the links between terrorism and other forms of crime (like organized crime, the trafficking of drugs, people and arms), as well as how to disrupt terrorist financing.
Hate Speech or ‘Reasonable Racism’? The Other in Stormfront
2009 Meddaugh, P.M. and Kay, J. Journal
We use the construct of the “other” to explore how hate operates rhetorically within the virtual conclave of Stormfront, credited as the first hate Web site. Through the Internet, white supremacists create a rhetorical vision that resonates with those who feel marginalized by contemporary political, social, and economic forces. However, as compared to previous studies of on-line white supremacist rhetoric, we show that Stormfront discourse appears less virulent and more palatable to the naive reader. We suggest that Stormfront provides a “cyber transition” between traditional hate speech and “reasonable racism,” a tempered discourse that emphasizes pseudo- rational discussions of race, and subsequently may cast a wider net in attracting audiences.
Comparison of Visual Motifs in Jihadi and Cholo Videos on YouTube
2009 Weisburd, A.A. Journal
Homegrown Sunni extremists (jihadis) and Latin American street gang members (cholos) represent potential threats to national security. Both groups are known to inhabit the video- sharing website YouTube. Videos representative of each group were selected at random, and the visual motifs in the videos were categorized. Findings suggest similarities and differences between the two groups that may have significance for how practitioners address each threat, and for determining the likelihood that the two groups may begin to work in concert. The portraits that emerge of jihadis and cholos may assist in developing strategies to counter the violence perpetrated by each.