Report by Dr Erin Marie Saltman and Charlie Winter
Originally Published by CNN: 21 August 2014. Original linked here.
(CNN) — The recent video depicting the final words and beheading of U.S. journalist James Wright Foley by someone that seems to be a British foreign fighter has sent shockwaves across the West. The video has already been blocked multiple times from various video-sharing platforms, only to reappear as many times, something that once again emphasizes that the new frontline for counter-terrorist practitioners is online extremism.
Originally Published by Left Foot Forward: 23 June 2014. Original linked here.
Erasing extremist content and prosecuting foreign fighters won’t be enough.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the jihadist group that has taken control of large areas of central Iraq in recent weeks, seems to be unstoppable in its advance towards Baghdad. However, the success of ISIS is not confined to the battlefield alone, the group seems to be having almost as much success in the social media sphere as it provides regular Twitter updates on its progress.
This executive summary is based on the Quilliam report <Jihad Trending: A Comprehensive Analysis of Online Extremism and How to Counter it> by Ghaffar Hussain and Dr. Erin Marie Saltman. Published May 2014
Online extremism and the role the Internet plays in the radicalisation process is currently being debated and discussed by journalists, academics, technologists and government officials alike. This report demystifies the topic of extremist content online and exposes the manner in which online tools are being used by Islamist extremist organisations and individuals to recruit and propagandise. Current measures to tackle online extremism are also assessed and critiqued, after which the report details a practical strategy for countering extremism online and making the Internet a less hospitable domain for extremists. Continue reading
Originally Published in Left Foot Forward: 24 March 2014. Original linked here.
In the UK the radical right and radical Islamists are seen as obvious mortal enemies to one other, each producing the rhetoric and actions that fuel and justify the other’s stance. Yet we often assume that this social dynamic is organic instead of seeing it for what it really is: a culturally constructed narrative of ‘in-group’ and ‘out-group’, ‘self’ and ‘other’. This is most keenly exemplified by recent developments in France, where radical right and radical Islamists are uniting, finding common ground in homophobia, anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories about Zionism.