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
The Virtual Sanctuary of Al-Qaeda and Terrorism in an Age of Globalisation
2007 Ranstrop, M. Chapter
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.”
Cybercortical Warfare: Hizbollah’s Internet Strategy
2005 Conway, M. Chapter
The acceleration of the historical tempo and the move from hierarchical to networked conceptions of power is disintegrating the mechanisms of control and political representation at the disposal of the state. The upshot of this is that ‘resistance confronts domination, empowerment reacts against powerlessness, and alternative projects challenge the logic embedded in the new global order’ (Castells 1997, 69). These reactions and mobilisations, often take ‘unusual formats and proceed through unexpected ways’ (Castells 1997, 69). This chapter deals with one such alternative project. It is a preliminary empirical analysis of the adoption by the Lebanese-based terrorist group Hizbollah (Party of God) of a strategy of cybercortical warfare. In his introduction to the Vintage edition of Covering Islam (1997), Edward Said refers to the ‘information wars that have gone on since 1948 around the whole question of the Middle East’ (p. xxi). He is particularly concerned with the way in which Hizbollah ‘who identify themselves and are perceived locally as resistance fighters’ are ‘commonly referred to in the American media as terrorists’ (p. xiii). Hizbollah are one of a number of groups that have utilized the Internet ‘to produce and articulate a conscious and forceful self-image’ (Said: 66) of themselves not as terrorists, but as resistance fighters and statesmen. The major focus of this chapter is the way in which Hizbollah have wielded the Internet as a weapon in their information war. As will be demonstrated, the group’s collection of Web sites is targeted not at Lebanese or Palestinian audiences, but at the Israeli population and global publics. For this reason, the chapter represents a case study of the possibilities of the new technology, discussed and defined by this chapter as ‘cybercortical warfare’.
Jihadism: Online Discourses and Representations
2013 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.
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.
Terrorist Use of the Internet and the Challenges of Governing Cyberspace
2007 Conway, 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.
Radicals Online: The Hungarian Street Protests of 2006 and the Internet
2008 Mátay, M. and Kaposi, I. Chapter
Chapter in book, 'Finding the Right Place on the Map', Jakubowicz & Miklos Sükösd (eds.). The chapter looks at the role of the Internet in the street protests in Hungary in 2006 and examines how the protests played out online. Content analysis of extreme right-wing online media (major websites, news portals, mailing lists, discussion forums and online media in the period between 17 September and 4 November 2006)
Von al-Zarqawi bis al-Awlaki: Das Internet als neue Form des radikalen Milieus.
2012 Conway, M. Chapter
Chapter in Stefan Malthaner and Peter Waldmann (eds.) Radikale Milieus: Das soziale Umfeld terroristischer Gruppen.
Cyberterrorism: Hype and Reality
2007 Conway, M. Chapter
Chapter "Cyberterrorism: hype and reality" in book: Armistead, Leigh, (ed.) Information warfare: separating hype from reality
Terrorism and New Media: the Cyber-Battlespace
2007 Conway, M. Chapter
Chapter, "Terrorism and new media: the cyber-battlespace", in book: Forest, James F., (ed.) Countering terrorism and insurgency in the 21st Century.
Terrorism and the Making of the ‘New Middle East’: New Media Strategies of Hizbollah and al Qaeda
2007 Conway, M. Chapter
Chapter, "Terrorism and the making of the 'New Middle East'", in book: Seib, Philip, (ed.) New media and the new Middle East
Cyberterrorism: Media Myth or Clear and Present Danger?
2004 Conway, M. Chapter
Chapter, "Cyberterrorism: media myth or clear and present danger?" in book: Irwin, Jones, (ed.) War and virtual war: the challenges to communities.
Terrorism and IT: Cyberterrorism and Terrorist Organisations Online
2003 Conway, M. Chapter
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
Using KNN and SVM Based One-Class Classifier for Detecting Online Radicalization on Twitter
2015 Agarwal, S. and Sureka, A. Chapter
Twitter is the largest and most popular micro-blogging website on Internet. Due to low publication barrier, anonymity and wide penetration, Twitter has become an easy target or platform for extremists to disseminate their ideologies and opinions by posting hate and extremism promoting tweets. Millions of tweets are posted on Twitter everyday and it is practically impossible for Twitter moderators or an intelligence and security analyst to manually identify such tweets, users and communities. However, automatic classification of tweets into pre-defined categories is a non-trivial problem problem due to short text of the tweet (the maximum length of a tweet can be 140 characters) and noisy content (incorrect grammar, spelling mistakes, presence of standard and non-standard abbreviations and slang). We frame the problem of hate and extremism promoting tweet detection as a one-class or unary-class categorization problem by learning a statistical model from a training set containing only the objects of one class . We propose several linguistic features such as presence of war, religious, negative emotions and offensive terms to discriminate hate and extremism promoting tweets from other tweets. We employ a single-class SVM and KNN algorithm for one-class classification task. We conduct a case-study on Jihad, perform a characterization study of the tweets and measure the precision and recall of the machine-learning based classifier. Experimental results on large and real-world dataset demonstrate that the proposed approach is effective with F-score of 0.60 and 0.83 for the KNN and SVM classifier respectively.
Modified Frequency-Based Term Weighting Scheme for Accurate Dark Web Content Classification
2014 Sabbah, T. and Selamat, A. Chapter
Security informatics and intelligence computation plays a vital role in detecting and classifying terrorism contents in the web. Accurate web content classification using the computational intelligence and security informatics will increase the opportunities of the early detection of the potential terrorist activities. In this paper, we propose a modified frequency-based term weighting scheme for accurate Dark Web content classification. The proposed term weighting scheme is compared to the common techniques used in text classification such as Term Frequency (TF), Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency (TF-IFD), and Term Frequency- Relative Frequency (tf.rf), on a dataset selected from Dark Web Portal Forum. The experimental results show that the classification accuracy and other evaluation measures based on the proposed scheme outperforms other term weighting techniques based classification.
Terrorist Web Sites: Their Contents, Functioning, and Effectiveness
2005 Conway, M. Chapter
This extract is taken from the author's original manuscript and has not been edited. The definitive version of this piece may be found in New Media and the New Middle East by Philip Seib which can be purchased from www.palgrave.com
Interpersonal Trust on Jihadi Internet Forums
2014 Hegghammer, T. Chapter
This chapter explores the effects of the trust problem on jihadi internet discussion forums. The scarcity of non-verbal cues in digital communication facilitates deceptive mimicry, which undermines the inter- personal trust required for sensitive transactions. Open-source data from Arabic-language jihadi forums between 2006 and 2011 indicate that distrust there was high and direct recruitment rare. General trust also declined over time as policing of the forums increased. As of 2014, forums are still in use, but primarily for low-stake activities such as propaganda-sharing and ideological debate, not recruiting or operational coordination. Confidence in the authenticity of propaganda remained relatively high, due to vetting institutions and hard-to-fake video formats. A modicum of interpersonal trust also remained, thanks to reputation systems and a few relatively reliable signs of trustworthiness involving time expenditure. The trust problem is an Achilles heel for high-risk activists online, including pro-democracy activists in authoritarian settings.
Gender and Power in Online Communication
2001 Herring, S.C. Chapter
New communication technologies are often invested with users' hopes for change in the social order. Thus the Internet is said to be inherently democratic, levelling traditional distinctions of social status, and creating opportunities for less powerful individuals and groups to participate on a par with members of more powerful groups. Specifically, the Internet has been claimed to lead to greater gender equality, with women, as the socially, politically, and economically less powerful gender, especially likely to reap its benefits.
Spreading the Message Digitally: A Look into Extremist Organizations’ Use of the Internet
2015 Davies, G., Frank,R., Bouchard,M. and Mei, J. Chapter
Why would a terrorist choose to utilize the Internet rather than the usual methods of assassination, hostage taking, and guerrilla warfare? Conway (2006) identified five major reasons why extremist groups used the Internet: virtual community building, information provision, recruitment, financing, and risk mitigation. Terrorist and extremist organizations can use the Internet to increase their visibility and provide information about the group along with its goals without posing an increased risk to the members. It also allows them to easily ask for, and accept, donations through anonymous financial services such as Dark Coins. These benefits allow these groups to promote awareness of their cause, to convey their message to, and perhaps foster sympathy from a much larger pool of potential supporters and converts (Weimann 2010). Finally, the Internet also provides asynchronous services with global access, with the sender and recipient located at any place, at any time, without the need to link up at a specific time (Wagner 2005). In short, unlike the real world, cyberspace is borderless without limitation, and this makes identification, verification, and attribution a challenge.
Production of Solidarities in YouTube : a Visual Study of Uyghur Nationalism
2013 Vergani, M. and Zuev, D. Chapter
The Emerging Role of Social Media in the Recruitment of Foreign Fighters
2016 Weimann, G. Chapter
Without recruitment terrorism can not prevail, survive and develop. Recruitment provides the killers, the suicide bombers, the kidnappers, the executioners, the engineers, the soldiers and the armies of future terrorism. The internet has become a useful instrument for modern terrorists’ recruitment and especially of foreign fighters. Online platforms and particularly the new social media (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, YouTube) combine several advantages for the recruiters. The global reach of the Net allows groups to publicise events to more people; and by increasing the possibilities for interactive communication, new opportunities for assisting groups and individuals are offered, along with more chances for contacting them directly. Terrorist recruiters may use interactive online platforms to roam online communities, looking for more ‘promising’ and receptive individuals, using sophisticated profiling procedures. Online recruitment of foreign fighters by terrorist organisations such as the Islamic State (IS) is analysed here as an example of an online multichannel recruitment venue.