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

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
Cyberterrorism: A Postmodern View Of Networks Of Terror And How Computer Security Experts And Law Enforcement Officials Fight Them
2006 Matusitz, J.A. PhD Thesis
The purpose of this study is to investigate how cyberterrorists create networks in order to engage in malicious activities against the Internet and computers. The purpose of the study is also to understand how computer security labs (i.e., in universities) and various agencies (that is, law enforcement agencies such as police departments and the FBI) create joint networks in their fight against cyberterrorists. This idea of analyzing the social networks of two opposing sides rests on the premise that it takes networks to fight networks. The ultimate goal is to show that, because of the postmodern nature of the Internet, the fight between networks of cyberterrorists and networks of computer security experts (and law enforcement officials) is a postmodern fight. Two theories are used in this study: social network theory and game theory. This study employed qualitative methodology and data were collected via in-depth conversational (face-to-face) interviewing. Twenty-seven computer security experts and law enforcement officials were interviewed. Overall, this study found that cyberterrorists tend not to work alone. Rather, they team up with others through social networks. It was also found that it takes networks to fight networks. As such, it is necessary for experts and officials to combine efforts, through networking, in order to combat, let alone understand, cyberterrorist networks. Of equal relevance is the fact that law enforcement agents and computer security experts do not always engage in battle with cyberterrorists. They sometimes try to interact with them in order to obtain more information about their networks (and vice versa). Finally, four themes were identified from the participants' accounts: (1) postmodern state of chaos, (2) social engineering, (3) know thy enemy, and (4) the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
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
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.”
Global Response to Cyberterrorism and Cybercrime: A Matrix for International Coperation and Vulnerability Assessment
2005 Ozeren, S. PhD Thesis
Cyberterrorism and cybercrime present new challenges for law enforcement and policy makers. Due to its transnational nature, a real and sound response to such a threat requires international cooperation involving participation of all concerned parties in the international community. However, vulnerability emerges from increased reliance on technology, lack of legal measures, and lack of cooperation at the national and international level represents real obstacle toward effective response to these threats. In sum, lack of global consensus in terms of responding to cyberterrorism and cybercrime is the general problem. Terrorists and cyber criminals will exploit vulnerabilities, including technical, legal, political, and cultural. Such a broad range of vulnerabilities can be dealt with by comprehensive cooperation which requires efforts both at the national and international level. "Vulnerability-Comprehensive Cooperation-Freedom Scale" or "Ozeren Scale" identified variables that constructed the scale based on the expert opinions. Also, the study presented typology of cyberterrorism, which involves three general classifications of cyberterrorism; Disruptive and destructive information attacks, Facilitation of technology to support the ideology, and Communication, Fund raising, Recruitment, Propaganda (C-F-R-P). Such a typology is expected to help those who are in a position of decision-making and investigating activities as well as academicians in the area of terrorism. The matrix for international cooperation and vulnerability assessment is expected to be used as a model for global response to cyberterrorism and cybercrime.
Diaspora Involvement in Insurgencies: Insights from the Khalistan and Tamil Eelam Movements
2005 Fair, C.C. Journal
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.
The Deceit of internet hate speech: A Study of the narrative and visual methods used by hate groups on the Internet
2004 Albano, G.M. MA Thesis
Intentional misinformation is a problem that has been documented in a variety of shapes and forms for thousands of years and continues to plague the American landscape. The advent and increasing usage of the Internet have created an additional venue through which intentional misinformation is disseminated, and many groups are taking full advantage of this new communication medium. Because the Internet allows anyone with web publishing skills to disseminate misinformation, it is often difficult for users to judge the credibility of the information. Hate groups understand this phenomenon and are taking full advantage of the Internet by publishing hate sites that promote their extremist ideologies by using language and symbolism that makes the true message difficult to decipher. This study will investigate the methods employed by hate groups to disseminate misinformation to the public.
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?
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 (Mass) Communication: From Nitro to the Net
2004 Conway, M. Article
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.
Online Islamic Organizations And Measuring Web Effectiveness
2004 Minji, D. MA Thesis
Experts estimate that websites maintained by various Islamic extremists have increased to hundreds in recent years. Innovative operational capabilities enabled by Internet technology certainly pose serious challenges to U.S. counter-terrorism efforts. However, greater attention must be given to Islamic organizations that wage information campaigns, perpetuating resentment and discredit against the United States and her allies. While these sites may not openly call for violence, the sharing of common causes and goals with extremist organizations is worrisome. The repudiation of Western systems and global Islamization under the Shariah systems is often a transparent theme. The purpose of this thesis is to evaluate the effectiveness of these websites at attracting and engaging audiences to promote their cause by applying a web performance methodology commonly accepted in the commercial industry.
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.
Hackers as Terrorists? Why it Doesn't Compute
2003 Conway, M. Article
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.
Confronting Cyberterrorism With Cyber Deception
2003 Gregory Tan, K. L. MA Thesis
This thesis concerns the possibility of deceiving cyberterrorists using defensive deception methods. As cyberspace today is a battleground for myriad cyber attacks and intrusions, it may only be a matter of time before terrorists choose to advance their deadly cause in cyberspace. We explore some of the questions raised regarding the threat of cyberterrorism by examining different perspectives, motivations, actors, targets, and how they may be confronted. One way is to draw from the lessons of deception and apply them against cyberterrorist attacks. Cyber deception applies in cyberspace just as well as deception in military battles. From the different categories of attackers that could perpetrate cyberterrorism, we examine the ways in which they may be deceived. Many of the methods and tools that cyberterrorists would use are similar to those used by other less malicious hackers, so we can plan specific deceptions to use against them in advance.
Code wars: Steganography, Signals Intelligence, and Terrorism
2003 Conway, M. Article
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.
Historical Events And Supply Chain Disruption: chemical, biological, radiological and cyber events
2003 Lensing, R. P. MA Thesis
In the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, terrorism emerged as a legitimate threat not just to society, but to corporations as well. This new threat has challenged old business rules and prompted companies to rethink their supply chain operations. However, the events of September 11th were not the first or the only disruptions that the business world had experienced. This thesis reviews past historical events that simulate the effects of a terrorist attack and extracts lessons that can be applied by today's corporations to prepare for future attacks or disruptions. The types of events studied include Biological, Chemical, Radiological and Cyber disruptions. Through the analysis and synthesis of each event's impact, the following generalized recommendations emerged: Prior warnings and events should be acknowledged, studied and utilized. Government intervention may strain operations under disruptive stress. Alternate sourcing should be considered to ease supply issues. Disruptions should be approached in a comprehensive and forthright manner. A security and safety culture should be fostered to prevent disruptions and control their spread. Systems should be prepared to quickly operate in isolation during a disruption. Finally, impact is frequently less severe then initially predicted. Through the events described and these recommendations, this thesis aims to provide lessons for firms to manage their supply chains through future disruptions.
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
White Supremacist Networks on the Internet
2000 Burris, V., Smith, E. and Strahm, A. Article
In this paper we use methods of social network analysis to examine the inter-organizational structure of the white supremacist movement. Treating links between Internet websites as ties of affinity, communication, or potential coordination, we investigate the structural properties of connections among white supremacist groups. White supremacism appears to be a relatively decentralized movement with multiple centers of influence, but without sharp cleavages between factions. Interorganizational links are stronger among groups with a special interest in mutual affirmation of their intellectual legitimacy (Holocaust revisionists) or cultural identity (racist skinheads) and weaker among groups that compete for members (political parties) or customers (commercial enterprises). The network is relatively isolated from both mainstream conservatives and other extremist groups. Christian Identity theology appears ineffective as a unifying creed of the movement, while Nazi sympathies are pervasive. Recruitment is facilitated by links between youth and adult organizations and by the propaganda efforts of more covertly racist groups. Links connect groups in many countries, suggesting the potential of the Internet to facilitate a whitesupremacist “cyber-community” that transcends regional and national boundaries.
Neo‐Nazis and Taliban On‐line: Anti‐Modern Political Movements and Modern Media
2000 Chroust, P. Article
Usually the Internet is seen as a new medium with great potential for enhancing citizenship and democracy. This essay will try to present and to reflect on some of the less well known sides of the world wide web. In this case the 'dark sides' of the Internet will not refer to web sites of sex and violence, which have attracted more attention, but rather to two political movements with a high presence in the Internet: on the one hand the neoNazis in Germany and elsewhere, and on the other hand the Taliban in Afghanistan. At first glance a topic like the 'neo-Nazis and Taliban on-line' seems to combine very disparate societal movements that are neither new (the Nazis) nor very active in a modern environment (the Taliban). This contribution will show that both the neo-Nazis and the Taliban have important similarities in their structural approaches to society as well as in their presence in the Internet, but there are also of course serious differences. Because of this unusual comparison it will be helpful to sketch some of the context for the activities of the neo-Nazis and Taliban before we turn to the main issue.