IS Radicalises Western Youth Via The Internet? It’s Not That Simple
June 24, 2015
by Samina Yasmeen The discussions around why young Australian Muslims are leaving home to join the fighting in Syria and Iraq on the side of or against Islamic State (IS) suffer from two kinds of reductionism. First, they assume that the phenomenon of young (or not so young) people leaving their homes to join these terrorist groups is largely ...
Pictures Matter : The Visual Culture of Jihadism
June 17, 2015
by Nico Prucha How the Arabic Ideology of Jihadist Movements Targets non-Arab(ic) Online Networks, Part 2 Jihadist narratives are fostered by the increasingly visual nature of online culture. Videos are the most important mouthpiece to show the manifestation and realisation of jihadist creed (‘aqida) and methodology (manhaj) for which they claim to live and die. ...
Are We Our Own Worst Enemy? The Problems in Countering Jihadi Narratives and How to Fix Them
June 10, 2015
by Clint Watts A month ago, the Washington Post published the most insightful article to date on the challenges the U.S. government has encountered battling al Qaeda, the Islamic State and jihadis writ large in social media.  The U.S. State Department’s Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC) has been charged with a mission impossible: countering jihadi ...
Words Matter – How the Arabic Ideology of Jihadist Movements Translates into Non-Arab(ic) Online Networks
June 3, 2015
This blog is being published in two parts. Part two on 10 June by Nico Prucha With Arabic as the most important language for Islam, as the Qur’an is the speech of God (kalimat allah), revealed in Arabic, the lingua jihadica is likewise Arabic. Arabic key words of the jihadist segment, as a consequence, have ...
The UK’s Missing Girls: Preventing Online Radicalisation
May 27, 2015
by Sajda Mughal It is becoming increasingly evident that, in the words of the former Conservative party chair, Lady Warsi, Britain is“fighting an ever-losing battle” to prevent extremists from radicalising people online. While police are trying urgently to locate missing Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and Amira Abase, 15, who have believed to have ...
Does the Internet Play a Significant Role in Contemporary Violent Extremism and Terrorism? Some Arguments For and Against
May 20, 2015
by Maura Conway Some scholars and others remain skeptical of a significant role for the Internet in processes of violent radicalisation. There is increasing concern on the part of other scholars, and increasingly also policymakers and publics, that high and increasing levels of always-on Internet access and the production and wide dissemination—and thence easy availability—of ...
Leaving ‘Paradise’ for Jihad: Maldivian Fighters in Syria, and the Internet
May 13, 2015
by Azra Naseem The Maldives adopted Islam as its official religion in 1153 CE and is a ‘100 per cent Muslim country’ with a Constitution that stipulates a non-Muslim cannot be a citizen. Despite the long history of being an Islamic society, and laws that forbid even foreign residents from openly practising any other religion, ...
Review – The Hizbullah Phenomenon: Politics and Communication
May 6, 2015
by Morgane Colleau In The Hizbullah Phenomenon: Politics and Communication, Lina Khatib, Dinar Matar and Atef Alshaer offer a comprehensive analysis of the group’s sophisticated political communication strategy since its inception in 1982. Although they offer no startling insights into the group’s socio-political aims and approaches within Lebanon or its relations with foreign powers, their contribution lies ...
The State of al-Qaeda
April 29, 2015
by Aaron Y. Zelin Ten years ago, an individual said: “We are in a battle, and that more than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media. And that we are in a media battle in a race for the hearts and minds of our Umma.” The individual was Aymen ...
Six Technical Steps for Fighting ISIS on Twitter
April 22, 2015
Last week Twitter General Counsel, Vijaya Gadde, contributed an editorial in The Washington Post entitled ‘Here’s How We’re Trying to Stop Abuse while Preserving Free Speech.’ Yesterday, Twitter’s Director of Product Management, Shreyas Doshi, released new information on ‘Policy and Product Updates Aimed at Combating Abuse’ in a Twitter Blog post, including an update on their Violence and ...