Ideological Rationality and Violence: An Exploratory Study of ISIL’s Cyber Profile

This exploratory study examines the narrative space of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Specifically, we developed a methodology to gather, archive, and analyze ISIL’s online presence in social media. Our sample was drawn from transient websites (N = 8308) collected between August 2015 and October 2015. From this pool, we coded a random sample of 100 English-only articles for violent, pragmatic, and ideological themes. Exploratory factor analyses revealed two constructs: violence and ideological rationality. Our findings offer insight into the messaging and organizational dynamics of ISIL. We conclude with implications and future directions.

Tags: Content Analysis, ISIS, Social Media, Social Networks, Violent Jihadism