‘Beyond Anything We Have Ever Seen’: Beheading Videos and the Visibility of Violence in the War against ISIS.
September 18, 2023
This article examines the role of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS’s) beheading videos in the United Kingdom and the United States. These videos are highly illustrative demonstrations of the importance of visual imagery and visual media in contemporary warfare. By functioning as evidence in a political discourse constituting ISIS as an imminent, ...
The Language of New Terrorism: Differences in Psychological Dimensions of Communication in Dabiq and Inspire
September 18, 2023
We investigate differences in the psychological aspects underpinning Western mobilisation of two terrorist groups by analysing their English-language propaganda. Based on a computerised analysis of the language used in two English-language online magazines circulated by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Qaeda (i.e., Dabiq and Inspire), we found significant differences in their language—the ...
Music of the Islamic State
September 18, 2023
Anashid – Islamic a cappella songs – figure prominently in the propagandaconsumption habits of the 17 jihadists who have caused casualties in the United States since 2013. ...
Capitalizing on the Koran to Fuel Online Violent Radicalization: A Taxonomy of Koranic References in ISIS’s Dabiq
September 18, 2023
The current study set out to investigate to what extent ISIS is bolstering its jihadist ideology on a ‘cut-and-paste’ or ‘cherry-picked’ version of Islam in their renowned online propaganda magazine Dabiq. The main objective was to examine in a systematic and quantitative way to what extent ISIS utilizes the Koran in an atomistic, truncated and ...
The Mediums and the Messages: Exploring the Language of Islamic State Media through Sentiment Analysis
September 18, 2023
This study applies the method of sentiment analysis to the online media released by the Islamic State (IS) in order to distinguish the ways in which IS uses language within their media, and potential ways in which this language differs across various online platforms. The data used for this sentiment analysis consist of transcripts of ...
Watching ISIS: How Young Adults Engage with Official English-language ISIS Videos
September 18, 2023
Research on jihadist online propaganda (henceforth JOP) tends to focus on the production, content and dissemination of jihadist online messages. Correspondingly, the target of JOP – that is, the audience – has thus far attracted little scholarly attention. This article seeks to redress this neglect by focusing on how audiences respond to jihadist online messaging. ...
Propaganda for Kids: Comparing IS-Produced Propaganda to Depictions of Propaganda in The Hunger Games and Harry Potter Film Series
September 18, 2023
The Harry Potter and The Hunger Games films are wildly popular with adolescents and adults alike, despite touching on themes that parallel the horrors in our own world’s geopolitical climate. The Islamic State (IS) promotes its own messages of violence, brutality, and even utopia through sophisticated propaganda disseminated via social media. This article discusses the ...
Although the (Dis-)Believers Dislike it: a Backgrounder on IS Hostage Videos – August – December 2014
September 18, 2023
With the beheading video of U.S. photojournalist James Foley, the Islamic State (IS) initiated a hostage video campaign that received tremendous coverage in the international news media. This backgrounder highlights the most important aspects of IS hostage videos with a particular focus on their media strategic functions, which, in part, stand in sharp contrast with ...
One Apostate Run Over, Hundreds Repented: Excess, Unthinkability, and Infographics from the War with I.S.I.S.
September 18, 2023
Compared to the more spectacular elements of its media repertoire—the slick recruitment campaigns on social media, the artfully composed battlefield footage, the grisly executions—I.S.I.S.’s infographics may seem dull, even trivial. Indeed, these data visualizations have gone largely unremarked, eliciting more bemusement than serious consideration. Against the tendency to discount these images, however, I argue that ...
The Path to Persuasion: An Investigation into how Al-Shabab Constructs their Brand in their Digital Magazine Gaidi Mtaani.
September 18, 2023
Branding strategies are becoming increasingly important for terrorist organisations who need to take a more purposeful approach at imbuing aspirational associations to their organisations in order secure recruits and funds in an increasingly competitive environment. The creation and implication of these individual brands are further amplified through the sophisticated harnessing of ICT and digital media, ...