Facebook jihad: A case study of recruitment discourses and strategies targeting a Western female

Recent years has seen a trend towards the increasing specificity of recruitment targets for global jihad. This paper is a case study of the discourses used to recruit a Western female who originally subscribed to an antigovernment, anti-New World Order ideology. Categorising using grounded theory analysis found that female recruiters tapped into the interest of their target subject and then shifted her towards sympathy and commitment to radical Islam. This was achieved through media saturation of Western aggression against Muslims coupled with an ideology that promotes the need to fight and resist. Subject material to which the recruit was directed was carefully controlled and initially deemphasized the Qur’an in favour of mujahedeen narratives and the teachings of Anwar al-Awlaki. Overall, the research supported a sophisticated narrowcasting strategy that was carefully developed primarily by female recruiters.

Tags: Facebook, Recruitment