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

Terrorisme i Cyberspace: Udfordringer ved Organisering og Udførelse af Politisk Vold Online
2015 Teglskov Jacobsen, J. Article
Internettet præsenteres ofte som et farligt redskab i hænderne på terrorister. Det er dog ikke nødvendigvis sandheden. Artiklen trækker på indsigter fra studier af sunniekstremistiske grupper, Anders B. Breivik og Anonymous og diskuterer terroristers anvendelse af internettet i organiseringen og udførelsen af terrorisme. Jeg vil argumentere for, at det anarkiske og anonyme internet fører mistillid og fragmentering med sig, hvilket gør det sværere for grupper at opretholde en fælles strategi og det fælles fjendebillede. Artiklen styrker derfor fortællingen om, at det hovedsageligt er ekskluderede og socialt marginaliserede enspændere, der ender med at planlægge voldshandlinger i isolation bag computerskærmen. I forlængelse heraf vil jeg pege på, at hovedparten af potentielle terrorister drages af fysisk interaktion,
våben og eksplosioner – og ikke udviklingen af komplekse cybervåben.
Risk Of Cyberterrorism To Naval Ships Inport Naval Station Everett a model based project utilizing SIAM
2007 Tester, R. R. A. MA Thesis
Based on numerous high level concerns that the cyber threat is expected to increase, as well as the already documented uses of cyber warfare, it is necessary to ensure our naval ships are hardened against such attacks. In doing so, an influence net model was designed to discover the likelihood of a successful cyber attack. However, first it was necessary to establish what the best mitigation tools are in defense of cyber attack methods. In order to do so, an expert opinion survey was designed and completed by individuals currently working in the field of network security. In combination with the expert opinion surveys and in looking at research and established security techniques it should become apparent whether or not ships are taking all the required steps to best secure themselves against an attack. Though the initial model was designed around a theoretical Naval Station Everett ship, with modification the model can be utilized for any naval asset throughout the United States and the risk for each particular U.S. asset can be evaluated. Additionally, this tool can also facilitate security funding as well as establishing a means of prioritizing the tools for protection if the network needs to be hastily re-established after an attack. Ultimately, the protection of a ship’s computer networks against cyber terrorist threats is fundamental in ensuring continued effective command and control and ultimately the security of this nation.
Digital Discourse, Online Repression, And Cyberterrorism: Information Communication Technologies In Russia’s North Caucasus Republics
2019 Tewell, Z.S. MA Thesis
Is the cyber-utopian versus cyber-repression argument the most effective way to frame the political uses of new technologies? Contemporary discourse on social media fails to highlight political dynamics in authoritarian regimes with weak state control, where independent groups can capitalize on the use of coercive force. In this thesis, I will explore the various methods through which information communication technologies are utilized by civil groups, uncivil groups, and the state using Russia's North Caucasus republics as a case study. New technologies are exploited through a variety of means by an array of actors in the North Caucasus whose goals may not necessarily be democratic. Through this evidence I demonstrate that information communication technologies do not inherently aid democratization, nor do they necessarily aid the incumbent regime; rather, they are merely a conduit through which existing groups put forth their agendas regarding their ideals of the modern state.
The Hunt For The Paper Tiger: The Social Construction Of Cyberterrorism
2006 Thatcher, S. E. H. PhD Thesis
For two decades, there has been a high-profile debate on the issue of cyberterrorism. Politicians, law enforcement agents, the information security industry, other experts and the press have all made claims about the threats to and vulnerabilities in our society, who is responsible and what should be done. This is a UK study in the field of Information Systems based on interpretative philosophical assumptions. The framework for the study is provided by the concept of moral panic, propounded by Cohen (2002) and elaborated by Goode and Ben-Yehuda (1994) and Critcher (2003). Moral panic is used widely in the reference discipline of Sociology as a tool for investigating the social construction of social problems in cases where there is heightened public concern and intense media interest, closely followed by changes in legislation and social control mechanisms. This study employs moral panic as an heuristic device to assist in the investigation of the social mechanisms at work in the social construction of cyberterrorism The corpus of data for analysis comprised articles from the UK national press relevant to cyberterrorism. A grounded theory approach was used to analyse these articles in order to identify images, orientations, stereotypes and symbolisation and to examine
representational trends over time. Reflexivity in such a task is of the utmost importance, and the analytic process leading to an explanation of the social processes at work was deliberately divorced from the moral panic framework in order to guarantee rigour in the findings. The findings set out an explanation of how the concept of cyberterrorism has been constructed over two decades and compares this explanation with a framework provided by a model of moral panic. These findings are then linked to wider issues about national security, civil liberties and state control of information and communication technologies.
Delivering Hate : How Amazon’s Platforms Are Used to Spread White Supremacy, Anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia and How Amazon Can Stop It
2018 The Action Center on Race and the Economy and The Partnership for Working Families Report
Amazon has been called the “everything store,” but today it is much more than just a store, with publishing, streaming, and web services businesses. Its reach and infuence are unparalleled: Most U.S. online shopping trips begin at Amazon, Amazon dominates the U.S. e-book business, and the company’s web services division has over 60 percent of the cloud computing services market. All this adds up for Amazon and its owners. The company posted record profts of $1.9 billion in the last three quarters of 2017,7 and CEO Jef Bezos’s wealth soared to $140 billion in 2018, largely because of the value of Amazon stock. A close examination of Amazon’s various platforms and services reveals that for growing racist, Islamophobic, and anti-Semitic movements, the breadth of Amazon’s business combined with its weak and inadequately enforced policies provides a number of channels through which hate groups can generate revenue, propagate their ideas, and grow their movements. We looked at several areas of Amazon’s business, including its online shops, digital music platform, Kindle and CreateSpace publishing platforms, and web services business.
Understanding Violent Extremism: Messaging and Recruitment Strategies on Social Media in the Philippines
2018 The Asia Foundation and Rappler Report
Violent extremist activity on social media in the Philippines is a relatively new phenomenon in the complex conflict environment that exists in the southern part of the country. The rise of online violent extremism emerged despite the Philippines’ significant strides in the Mindanao peace process. The 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the government and the MILF was a landmark achievement. Yet a number of armed groups rejected the deal, many of which are now engaged in online extremism. The apparent affiliation of these groups with issues beyond Mindanao and the Philippine state signaled a potential new era of conflict in the country. With these concerns as a backdrop, The Asia Foundation and Rappler worked together to explore how young Filipinos interact with social media networks, and look into the prevalence and characteristics of violent extremist messaging and recruitment in the Philippines in 2018.
The Use of Social Media by Terrorist Fundraisers and Financiers
2016 The Camstoll Group Report
Financiers and fundraisers for al-Qaida and Islamic State (ISIS) are active
users of popular social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter,
YouTube and Instagram, in some cases even after being placed on a
United Nations or US government sanctions list. Terrorist financiers
and fundraisers have utilized social media to attract and direct funding
to procure weapons, pay salaries, strengthen infrastructure and operate
civil and social services. While the amount of funding raised via social
media is far less in comparison to revenues from oil sales or taxation,
al-Qaida and ISIS fundraisers have taken credit for millions of dollars
raised using social media-based campaigns—significant amounts by
any standard.
Terrorist financiers and fundraisers for al-Qaida and ISIS have relied on
social media services to communicate with colleagues and supporters,
attract new followers globally, and promote aligned causes and
organizations. With their potential to spur viral content growth, social
media services enable fundraisers to more quickly and effectively solicit
support and reach larger audiences.
Social media companies have actively terminated the accounts of
terrorist facilitators—including a number of designated terrorist
fundraisers and financiers—citing violations of their respective terms
of service restrictions that prohibit support for violence or hate speech
[see pg.12]. For example, in early February 2016 Twitter announced the
closure of more than 125,000 accounts “for threatening or promoting
terrorist acts, primarily related to ISIS,” noting that social media platforms
are “forced to make challenging judgment calls based on very limited
information and guidance.”1 Facebook has also stepped up its efforts
to remove users who back terror groups, and YouTube has taken down
content and terminated users who post terrorist material.2
Overview of Daesh’s Online Recruitment Propaganda Magazine, Dabiq
2015 The Carter Center Report
The successful recruitment strategies of the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Daesh) has become a serious challenge for the international community. Daesh employs a multifaceted online media strategy to recruit targeted demographics. The Carter Center (TCC) is working to counter Daesh’s recruitment propaganda efforts by undertaking in-depth analysis of this group’s print and social media publications. This will be followed by a series of workshops in partnership with religious and local community leaders. TCC has developed a detailed coding methodology allowing for structured study of each individual issue of Daesh s online magazine, Dabiq. Currently, Issues 1 – 12 have been examined, categorizing 31 separate variables broken down by text, context, imagery, and magazine evolution. This qualitative and quantitative methodological analysis enables the study of shifting themes, trends, and recruitment strategies. This report will discuss the significance of Dabiq as a compliment to Daesh’s social media campaign, Daesh’s re-appropriation of international media, and its repurposing of this material to enhance its own recruitment strategies.
Religious Appeals in Daesh’s Recruitment Propaganda
2016 The Carter Center Report
The self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Daesh) employs a complex online media strategy to recruit targeted demographics. Its success has exacerbated conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and elsewhere, and has become a concern for the international community. The Carter Center (the Center) is working to counter Daesh’s recruitment propaganda efforts by undertaking in-depth analysis of its recruitment media, including video, print and social media. This report examines the use of Qur’anic verses in 256 of
Daesh’s propaganda videos. The use of these verses in Daesh propaganda are analyzed by frequency, partial or full ayahs, and whether they are Madani or Makki. By examining Daesh’s manipulation of the Qur’anic text to claim religious legitimacy, this analysis can serve as a resource for religious and community leaders’ understanding of Daesh’s recruitment strategies. This is imperative for effective counter-messaging and rejecting Daesh’s misinterpretation of the Qur’an to justify political violence.
Studies into Violent Radicalisation: The Beliefs, Ideologies, and Narratives
2008 The Change Institute Report
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 Extremism
2020 The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology Report
The internet can leave users vulnerable to social challenges, which creates opportunities for extremism to spread. Users can be exposed to extremism in multiple ways, including through recruitment and socialisation. Extremist content may be found on mainstream social media sites and ‘alt-tech’ platforms, which replicate the functions of mainstream social media but have been created or co-opted for the unconventional needs of specific users. Automatic detection can be used to moderate extremist content on a large scale. However, this is prone to false positives and may disproportionately impact a particular group, which can fuel mistrust in the state. Many stakeholders believe that current counter-extremism responses are too focused on law and technology, and do not address the underlying reasons that people are drawn to extremist content. Individual and societal interventions aim to identify underlying socio-economic and cultural contributors and implement protective factors to reduce how many people develop extremist views.
A Blueprint for Bypassing Extremism
The Redirect Method Policy
The Redirect Method​ uses Adwords targeting tools and curated YouTube videos uploaded by people all around the world to confront online radicalization. It focuses on the slice of ISIS’ audience that is most susceptible to its messaging, and redirects them towards curated YouTube videos debunking ISIS recruiting themes. This open methodology was developed from interviews with ISIS defectors, respects users’ privacy and can be deployed to tackle other types of violent recruiting discourses online.
Empowering Local Partners To Prevent Violent Extremism In The United States
2011 The White House Policy
United States Strategy for Countering Violent Extremism Strategy 2011
Internet-Based Radicalization as Enculturation to Violent Deviant Subcultures
2016 Thomas J. Holt et al Journal
This work examines the intersections of subcultural theories and radicalization theories from terrorism studies to identify how they may be improved through integration. To date there have been almost no efforts to merge these frameworks, though terrorism shares common characteristics of deviant subcultures. Both are driven by ideologies that are in opposition to that of their targets. We focus particularly on the process of online radicalization to assess how subcultural research in online environments may inform the process of enculturation into a terrorist belief system. We conclude by discussing the implications of this expansion for research on terrorism and subcultures.
The Threat Of Cyberterrorism: Contemporary Consequences And Prescriptions
2004 Thomas Stocking, G. A. MA Thesis
This study researches the varying threats that emanate from terrorists who carry their activity into the online arena. It examines several elements of this threat. First, it explores elements of virtual to virtual attacks. Second, it looks at threats against critical infrastructures that can be traced to online sources. Third, this thesis reports on ways that terrorists are using information technology such as the Internet for propaganda and communication purposes. Finally, it highlights the most crucial ways in which the United States government has responded to the problem. It concludes with a few recommendations for best practices for future engagement with varying aspects of cyberterrorism.
The Impact Of Opinion Leadership And External Events On Forum Participants Following ISIS Online
2016 Thomas, E.N.P. MA Thesis
The study monitors the evolution of perceptions and opinions of the terrorist group the Islamic State (ISIS) during its involvement in Syria and Iraq in 2013-2014. Data is drawn from a web-forum discussing current Islamic affairs that followed ISIS as early as September 2013. These data are used to answer the question of whether or not there are opinion leaders facilitating the discussion of violent extremist material. An interrupted time series and ordinary least squares regression are used to address the research question by determining the most impactful events on the thread, and determining the causal role of opinion leaders on the way users connect. Results indicate that the content and success of discussion are most impacted by the involvement of opinion leaders and media related to a specific ISIS event.
Media and Mass Atrocity: The Rwanda Genocide and Beyond
2019 Thompson, E., Dallaire, R. (foreword) Book
It will have been 25 years since the Rwanda genocide in spring 2019. As more information about the Rwanda genocide becomes available and as the narrative of those events continues to evolve, there is still much to learn from the case study of Rwanda about the role of media in stimulating and responding to mass atrocities. In an era of social media saturation, near-ubiquitous mobile device penetration and dramatic shifts in traditional news media, it is more important than ever to examine the nexus between media and mass atrocity. Advances in information and communications technology have reshaped the media landscape, rendering mass atrocities in distant countries more immediate and harder to ignore. And yet, a cohesive international response to mass atrocities has been elusive. Social media tools can be used to inform and engage, but — in an echo of hate radio in Rwanda — can also be used to demonize opponents and mobilize extremism. With enhanced and relatively inexpensive communications technologies, ordinary citizens around the globe can capture live footage of human rights abuses before journalists have the chance, making social media itself a global actor, affecting the responses of national governments and international organizations to threats against peace and security and human rights. And yet, despite the extended reach that technological advances have afforded traditional news media and social media, the media impact in mass atrocity events is still a complex subject. Specifically, we are left with many troubling questions, still unresolved despite the passage of time since Rwanda. What role do media play in alerting the international community to looming mass atrocity? Could more informed and comprehensive coverage of mass atrocities mitigate or even halt the killing by sparking an international outcry? How do we assess the impact of hate media reporting in a killing spree? What is the role of the media in trying to encourage amelioration of the conflict or post-conflict reconciliation? What do the lessons of Rwanda mean now, in an age of communications so dramatically influenced by social media? Media and Mass Atrocity: The Rwanda Genocide and Beyond grapples with these questions.
The Extremist Islamist Presence In Canadian Webspace: An Empirical Study
2016 Thomson, N. MA Thesis
This paper outlines the results of a two-month study in which a series of extremist Islmnist websites - registered, hosted or given datacentre services by Canadian internet companies- were empirically observed. The results of this project are inserted into a framework which explores the issue and wrongful application of the "terrorist signifier to substance or nonstate activities, discerns between the purported use of the internet by extremist Islamist organizations for destructive means and the real use of the internet by such groups, and suggests a number of conclusions based on prior administrative responses to the extremist Islmnist use of the internet.
Thornton Statement Nottingham University Terrorism Arrests
2008 Thornton, R. Letter
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
#TerroristFinancing: An Examination of Terrorism Financing via the Internet
2018 Tierney, M. Article
This article describes how the internet has come to play a central role in terrorist financing endeavours. Online channels allow terrorist financiers to network with like-minded individuals, in order to increase support, raise funds, and move wealth across the international system. For instance, the Islamic State, Hezbollah, and other groups have become adept at using these channels to finance their activities. Therefore, increased examination is required of the ways in which terrorists use the internet to raise and move funds. This study assesses some of the current trends and risks associated with online terrorist financing. Some policy options are also outlined, in order to reduce the threat of terrorist financing via the internet moving into the future.