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Assemblages of radicalism: the online recruitment practices of Islamist terrorists

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This dissertation explores the various online radicalization and recruitment practices of groups like al-Qaeda and Hezbollah, as well as Salafi Jihadists in general. I will also outline the inadequacies of the federal government's engagement with terrorist / Islamist ideologies and

This dissertation explores the various online radicalization and recruitment practices of groups like al-Qaeda and Hezbollah, as well as Salafi Jihadists in general. I will also outline the inadequacies of the federal government's engagement with terrorist / Islamist ideologies and explore the ways in which early 20th century foundational Islamist theorists like Hasan al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb, and Abul ala Mawdudi have affected contemporary extremist Islamist groups, while exploring this myth of the ideal caliphate which persists in the ideology of contemporary extremist Islamist groups. In a larger sense, I am arguing that exploitation of the internet (particularly social networking platforms) in the radicalization of new communities of followers is much more dangerous than cyberterrorism (as in attacks on cyber networks within the government and the private sector), which is what is most often considered to be the primary threat that terrorists pose with their presence on the internet. Online radicalization should, I argue, be given more consideration when forming public policy because of the immediate danger that it poses, especially given the rise of microterrorism. Similarly, through the case studies that I am examining, I am bringing the humanities into the discussion of extremist (religious) rhetorics, an area of discourse that those scholars have largely ignored.

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Date Created
2014

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He’s Got Friends in Online Places: The Presence of Social Media in Radicalization

Description

Social media has become a significant aspect of American life and culture.

Criminal groups including extremists of various ideological milieus have found social

media useful in their recruitment efforts. Further, these online spaces allow extremists to

easily interact with one

Social media has become a significant aspect of American life and culture.

Criminal groups including extremists of various ideological milieus have found social

media useful in their recruitment efforts. Further, these online spaces allow extremists to

easily interact with one another, reinforcing each other’s radical perspectives. Little

research has examined social media’s role in radicalization and fewer studies have tested

the differences between the radicalization processes of individuals espousing disparate

ideologies. Using Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States, a data set of

804 extremist men, this study sets out to determine whether the role of social media in the

radicalization process varies between Islamist and far right extremists using social

learning as a theoretical framework. The results indicate no significant difference

regarding the role of social media in radicalization between Islamists and far rightists.

Additionally, the odds of having radical friends and family were much lower for Islamists

than far rightists, suggesting only partial support for social learning theory as an

explanation of radicalization.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2019