ISIS

This is part one of a two-part series; the second part is HERE. By Anne Speckhard, Ardian Shajkovci, Lorand Bodo & Haris Fazliu It is estimated that of the 38,000 foreign fighters who have joined Sunni militant groups, such as ISIS and al-Nusra, in Iraq and Syria, upwards of 875 have originated from the Balkans,…

By Maura Conway and Michael Courtney Jihadi magazines have a long pedigree, are the subject of extensive media coverage and scholarly analysis,[1] and are still easily accessible online. In a recent book chapter, ‘Online Jihadi Instructional Content: The Role of Magazines,’ Conway, Parker, and Looney,  focused on the instructional content, both text and images, published in…

By Matteo Vergani and Ana-Maria Bliuc. Are the psychological factors driving ISIS’s mobilisation in Western countries different from those characteristic of other jihadist groups like al-Qaeda? Does the target audience of ISIS’s English-language online propaganda differ from that of al-Qaeda? If so, then how? In our new journal article, we examine these questions by analysing the…

By André Gagné and Marc-André Argentino The Islamic State has lost most of its territory and key cities like Mosul and Raqqa, and more recently Deir al-Zour and al-Qaim, have fallen to the global coalition fighting the terrorist group. In the face of such challenges, it’s tried to maintain legitimacy through what some have called a virtual caliphate. Within…

By Thomas Holt, Joshua D. Freilich and Steven Chermak In the wake of an explosion in London on September 15, President Trump called for cutting off extremists’ access to the Internet. Loser terrorists must be dealt with in a much tougher manner.The internet is their main recruitment tool which we must cut off & use better! — Donald J.…

By Elizabeth Pearson and David Sutcliffe One of the key current UK security issues is how to deal with British citizens returning from participation in ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Most of the hundreds fighting with ISIS were men and youths. But, dozens of British women and girls also travelled to join Islamic State in Syria…

By Sophia Cope, Jillian C. York, and Jeremy Gillula In recent months, social media platforms—under pressure from a number of governments—have adopted new policies and practices to remove content that promotes terrorism. As the Guardian reported, these policies are typically carried out by low-paid contractors (or, in the case of YouTube, volunteers) and with little to…

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).…

By Maura Conway and Suraj Lakhani This post is based on findings contained in the VOX-Pol report Disrupting Daesh: Measuring Takedown of Online Terrorist Material and its Impacts published on 15 August 2017. Alongside the fierce battles that have been raging of late in key strongholds of so-called Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq, intense battles against…

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.…