Countering Violent Extremism

This Blog post is a lightly edited version of a report prepared by the EU Internet Referral Unit in Europol and circulated to law enforcement agencies and member states in October 2018. It is appearing here publicly for the first time, at the request of Europol. [Ed.] Key Takeaways Non-violent material is integral to terrorists’ propaganda…

Building upon the Melbourne (2016) and Bangkok (2017) conferences, the third edition of the Addressing the New Landscape of Terrorism international conference series took place from 22 – 24 April 2019 in Rabat, Morocco. VOX-Pol Academic Advisory Board member Dr. Brigitte Nacos (Columbia University) delivered a keynote presentation at the event. Her address provided a historical overview of the…

On 20 March 2019, VOX-Pol and the Security Distillery hosted a symposium in Dublin City University titled ‘Extremism: Online Networks and Offline Violence’. The Security Distillery is an initiative from young researchers for (young) researchers, with the aim of turning complex issues into simple matters in order to provide quality, accessible information for students and…

By Anne Speckhard and Ardian Shajkovci With the collapse of the so-called “Islamic State” in Iraq, and much of Syria, an immediate corresponding and steady decline occurred in ISIS’ strategic communication and online propaganda activities. However, the group’s “virtual Caliphate” is rebounding and still remains very much alive today – it continues to create new content,…

VOX-Pol contributed to the inaugural Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) Civil Society Empowerment Programme (CSEP) campaigns event in Brussels this week. We therefore thought we’d share some insights from a previous RAN event focused on online CVE. [Ed.] Introduction It is an essential part of extremist propaganda and outreach to not only communicate their messages to…

By Mehwish Rani Daesh and Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) are two competitor militant organisations in Pakistan. Although, Daesh has no organisational presence in the country, small groups inspired by it have carried out attacks in the name of the organisation. Both organisations publish propaganda magazines to, amongst other things, gain new recruits. While Daesh published approximately…

By Anne Speckhard, Ardian Shajkovci & Lorand Bodo This blog post synopsises a study that attempted to intervene with over fifty English-speaking Facebook accounts endorsing, promoting, and following ISIS. Methodology and Research Design For this study, several anonymized Facebook accounts were used to identify English-speaking radicalized Facebook profiles as our target for an online counter-narrative intervention.…

By Lorand Bodo On 25–26 April 2018, a major multinational digital content takedown operation was conducted against the Islamic State (IS). The operation targeted the major online media outlets directly associated with IS. The operation was reportedly successful in collecting digital evidence about IS activities, including the seizure of servers located in Canada, the Netherlands…

By Alexander Ritzmann The Propaganda Process Is online propaganda really effective? How can it be countered? And what can practitioners of Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) and policymakers learn from the research findings of other relevant disciplines, such as anthropology, psychology and neuroscience? Propaganda, understood here as the strategic communication of ideas aiming at manipulating specific target…

By Haroro J. Ingram & Alastair Reed In Part I of this series, the authors presented the key findings of the CTSC Project’s latest publication titled “Islamic State’s English-language Magazines, 2014-17: Trends & Implications for CT-CVE Strategic Communications”. It began by highlighting the limitations inherent to studies of ISIS’s English language messaging before identifying the first…