The Christchurch Terror Attack: A Case of Online Radicalisation?
December 16, 2020
By Joe Whittaker & Chamin Herath On 15 March, 2019, a far-right terrorist conducted two consecutive attacks at Mosques in New Zealand’s capital, Christchurch. The attacker killed 51 people who had come for Friday Prayers and injured 40 more. In August of 2020 he was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for his crimes. ...
One-to-one Digital Interventions: How can Practitioners Directly Reach Young People Expressing Interest in Extremist Content Online?
January 30, 2019
VOX-Pol contributed to the inaugural Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) Civil Society Empowerment Programme (CSEP) campaigns event in Brussels this week. We therefore thought we’d share some insights from a previous RAN event focused on online CVE. [Ed.] Introduction It is an essential part of extremist propaganda and outreach to not only communicate their messages to ...
Assessing Europol’s Operation Against ISIS’ Propaganda: Approach and Impact
December 19, 2018
By Laurence Bindner and Raphael Gluck On April 27 2018, a Europol press release announced that new action was underway to disrupt ISIS’[1] ability to spread its propaganda online. The press release referred to an operation that commenced two days earlier, which was led by the Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office and coordinated with six European countries ...
Ethics is Method, Method is Ethics: What Terrorism Researchers Should Know
September 5, 2018
By Carol Winkler One of the attendees at the recent Ethics of Terrorism Research workshop held at Swansea University poignantly observed, “ethics is method, method is ethics.” This rich concept has various implications for how terrorism researchers should think about their work. To start such a conversation, I will revisit Simon Cottee and Jack Cunliffe’s ...
TTP’s Online Women’s Magazine Has a Different Message for Their Female Jihadi Audience Than Rumiyah
July 4, 2018
By Mehwish Rani Daesh and Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) are two competitor militant organisations in Pakistan. Although, Daesh has no organisational presence in the country, small groups inspired by it have carried out attacks in the name of the organisation. Both organisations publish propaganda magazines to, amongst other things, gain new recruits. While Daesh published approximately ...
The Sound of an Echo
October 25, 2017
By Joe Whittaker In the aftermath of a terrorist attack, a series of events can ostensibly be relied on. As we mourn, the media frantically try to gather information about the attacker(s) and, upon learning that they used social media for some part of their activity, it is suggested by journalists, politicians, and pundits that ...
Islamic State’s Twitter network is decimated, but other extremists face much less disruption
September 13, 2017
By Maura Conway and Suraj Lakhani This post is based on findings contained in the VOX-Pol report Disrupting Daesh: Measuring Takedown of Online Terrorist Material and its Impacts published on 15 August 2017. Alongside the fierce battles that have been raging of late in key strongholds of so-called Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq, intense battles against ...
Responding to Terrorists’ Use of Social Media: Legislation, Investigation and Prosecution
July 5, 2017
This week’s Blog post is the full text of Max Hill QC’s, the UK’s Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, keynote speech from last week’s TASM conference at Swansea University. The speech was widely reported on in media, including in The Guardian and The Times. Ed. By Max Hill There can be no doubt  that social media plays ...
Terrorist Use of the Internet by the Numbers: Part I – Quantifying Behaviours, Patterns, and Processes Using Open Sources
March 22, 2017
This post is Part 1 of 3. Background Previous research on terrorist use of the Internet generally discusses the opportunities offered by the Internet to terrorist groups. Such accounts implicitly view the interaction between the Internet and the user as uni-directional (i.e. exposure to Internet content may cause behaviour change). This lacks an acknowledgement that not ...
Tips and Tricks from Google/YouTube, Facebook, and EXIT Germany for Effective Online CVE
September 30, 2016
The EU’s Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) brings together practitioners from around Europe working on the prevention of radicalisation. The aim of RAN’s Communication and Narratives (C&N) working group is to gather insights on both online and offline communication that 1.) offers alternatives to or 2.) counters extremist propaganda and/or challenges extremist ideas. The following is ...