Internet and Terrorism

By Lorand Bodo The UK think-tank Policy Exchange recently published a new report on the struggle against online jihadist extremism, or what its authors call “the New Netwar”. The report argues that we are currently struggling to find appropriate ways to combat online jihadist extremism and therefore losing the war online against the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (ISIS).…

Since late 2016, researchers came to acknowledge both ISIS’ territorial decline and much reduced visibility on mainstream social media networks. They note that its online community of supporters have migrated to encrypted communication channels and that its territory in the Levant has shrunk considerably, which—according to a recent ICSR estimate—impacted on the organisation’s financial resources.…

In one 24-hour period, 65% of Twitter accounts tweeting out-links to IS propaganda were suspended within 17 hours Focus of online disruption on IS allows other jihadi groups to outpace them on social media VOX-Pol researchers from Dublin City University, together with colleagues from the University of Sussex, have found that the social media platform,…

By Haris Fazliu While researching Bringing Down the Digital Caliphate – Breaking the ISIS Brand (under review), for the International Center for The Study of Violent Extremism, ICSVE, I discovered that convicted terrorists in Macedonia linked to ISIS continue to share propaganda online. Jihadists currently serving sentences in Macedonian prisons freely use smartphones to watch videos,…

This post is Part 2 of 2. Click here for Part 1 By Ahmet S. Yayla & Anne Speckhard Reaching out on to ISIS members via Telegram channels is a significant challenge for beginners. First of all, as the Telegram application is installed, the application copies all the contact numbers on one’s cell phone and connects the…

By Ahmet S. Yayla & Anne Speckhard ISIS has been the most successful terrorist organization in history using social media and the Internet for distributing its propaganda, dissemination of its news and more importantly to communicate. There is no doubt that the frequency and quality of ISIS posts on the Internet, including their videos, memes…

This post is Part 1 of 3. Background Previous research on terrorist use of the Internet generally discusses the opportunities offered by the Internet to terrorist groups. Such accounts implicitly view the interaction between the Internet and the user as uni-directional (i.e. exposure to Internet content may cause behaviour change). This lacks an acknowledgement that not…

By Ali Fisher Challenging ISIS has little to do with their number of followers, or the decline in their number of messages. This type of tactical-level data can indicate success, but genuine impact can only occur with robust interpretation of data at the strategic level. Recent studies have been used to claim success in reducing the number of followers…

The United Nations General Assembly resolution adopted in July 2016 highlights the need to counter extremist narratives online. In the recent past, extremist content, usually content aiding terrorist activity has become a global concern. This post examines the methods adopted by state authorities and private entities to counter such online extremism. State Response The response to growing…