Digital Media and Violent Extremism in Bangladesh: Profiles and Narratives
September 18, 2023
Despite the visible presence of violent extremist groups, and evidence of their connection with transnational groups such as Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, the number of empirical studies on this topic is limited in Bangladesh. There have been over 50 violent extremist attacks in Bangladesh in recent years (2013-2017) and digital media was used in different ...
Hidden order across online extremist movements can be disrupted by nudging collective chemistry
September 18, 2023
Disrupting the emergence and evolution of potentially violent online extremist movements is a crucial challenge. Extremism research has analyzed such movements in detail, focusing on individual- and movement-level characteristics. But are there system-level commonalities in the ways these movements emerge and grow? Here we compare the growth of the Boogaloos, a new and increasingly prominent ...
Terrorist Communications: Are Facebook, Twitter, and Google Responsible for the Islamic State’s Actions?
September 18, 2023
Four of the world’s largest Internet companies pledged to monitor, combat, and prevent terrorists from using their social media platforms to conduct operations in May 2016. One month later, Twitter, Facebook, and Google were sued for deaths caused by the Islamic State in 2015, and their alleged allowance and facilitation of terrorist communication. A growing ...
Mapping Global Cyberterror Networks: An Empirical Study of Al-Qaeda and ISIS Cyberterrorism Events
September 18, 2023
This study explores the internal dynamics and networks of terrorist groups in cyberspace—in particular, Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Using a “Global Cyberterrorism Dataset” that features data on cyberterror attacks between 2011 and 2016, this research analyzes these two terrorist groups through the lens of a cyber-conflict theory that integrates ...
EEG distinguishes heroic narratives in ISIS online video propaganda
September 18, 2023
The Islamic State (ISIS) was uniquely effective among extremist groups in the Middle East at recruiting Westerners. A major way ISIS accomplished this was by adopting Hollywood-style narrative structures for their propaganda videos. In particular, ISIS utilized a heroic martyr narrative, which focuses on an individual’s personal glory and empowerment, in addition to traditional social ...
Extreme parallels: a corpus-driven analysis of ISIS and far-right discourse
September 18, 2023
In this study, we examine key psychological dimensions in the manifestos authored by the perpetrators of the Christchurch and Utøya massacres, the right-wing extremists Brenton Tarrant and Anders Breivik, and the ISIS propaganda magazine Rumiyah. All texts were authored and disseminated virtually with the purpose of attracting or consolidating support, and justifying violent, discriminatory actions. ...
The Propaganda Pipeline: The ISIS Fuouaris Upload Network on Facebook
September 18, 2023
This new investigation from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) delves into the inner workings of a pro-ISIS account network on Facebook, providing a case study of the resilient network dynamics, technological loopholes, and cross-platform activity that allowed a web of accounts to survive and flourish for over three months on a platform which purports ...
Online extremism and the communities that sustain it: Detecting the ISIS supporting community on Twitter
September 18, 2023
The Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) continues to use social media as an essential element of its campaign to motivate support. On Twitter, ISIS’ unique ability to leverage unaffiliated sympathizers that simply retweet propaganda has been identified as a primary mechanism in their success in motivating both recruitment and “lone wolf” attacks. The ...
Considering the Ethics of Big Data Research: A Case of Twitter and ISIS/ISIL
September 18, 2023
This is a formal commentary, responding to Matthew Curran Benigni, Kenneth Joseph, and Kathleen Carley’s contribution, “Online extremism and the communities that sustain it: Detecting the ISIS supporting community on Twitter”. This brief review reflects on the ethics of big data research methodologies, and how novel methods complicate long-standing principles of research ethics. Specifically, the ...
Framing War: Visual Propaganda, the Islamic State, and the Battle for East Mosul
September 18, 2023
This article explores how propaganda can be used to construct counter-factual visual narratives at times of war. Specifically, it examines how the Islamic State communicated its way through the 100-day-long battle for east Mosul, which was launched by the coalition and its allies in October 2016. Drawing on Jacques Ellul’s 1962 theory of propaganda, it ...