Internet and Terrorism

By Lorand Bodo Understanding terrorists’ use of the Internet is of paramount importance, especially in the context of today’s digital efforts to counter violent extremism. In particular, IS and its unprecedented, successful, multilingual and multimedia online campaigns have led to a surge of academic interest across the globe since 2014. Tech and social media companies…

Earlier this month (9 Nov.), Hassan Khalif Shire Ali (30) carried out a terrorist attack on Bourke Street mall in Melbourne, Australia in which he stabbed one person to death and injured two others. Attention immediately turned to whether Shire Ali was in direct–potemtially online–contact with so-called ‘Islamic State’ (IS). The Australian Federal Police later said…

By Daniel Baldino & Kosta Lucas The Internet’s precise role in the process of radicalisation remains vexing. You can lead a person to a bomb-making manual, but you can’t make them use it. Radicalisation is a social process. It refers to a means by which an individual or group embraces an extreme ideology and rejects…

By Peter King When the so-called Islamic State ramped up its media operation in the summer of 2014 to promote its territorial advances across Iraq and Syria, terrorism researchers who had been in the business for a decade or more were forced to take a step back and reconsider the effect the propaganda was having…

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 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 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…

By Haroro J. Ingram & Alastair Reed The challenges associated with confronting militant Islamist propaganda have not waned with the territorial demise of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS). Sure, ISIS’s propaganda output is down overall from the peaks of 2015 and this downward trend has provided the backdrop for periods of particularly sharp declines in mid-2016 and late-2017.…

By Kiriloi M. Ingram Since the self-proclaimed Caliphate’s inception, debate amongst scholars has ensued over whether the Islamic State’s (IS’s) muhajirat (female émigrés) would become female combatants. For example, Nelly Lahoud argues that IS is unlikely to devise a policy explicitly allowing women to engage in combat, as legitimating such a role would allow women to…

This is the second in a two-part series; part one is HERE. By Anne Speckhard & Ardian Shajkovci Last week’s Blog post described ICVSE’s efforts directing counter narratives into the ISIS-dominated Internet space. This post discusses the ethics of attempting such interventions. As in all our work, our research ethics for Internet interventions with ISIS…