GCHQ can delete extremist content online all it wants, but it won’t help defeat ISIS

Originally Published by The Independent 6 November 2014. Original linked here.

Recent comments made by the head of Britain’s surveillance agency, Robert Hannigan, insinuate that social media companies are in part to blame for the ease in which jihadists and extremist groups use online tools to propagandise and recruit. Not only is this line of thought misguided, but it remains counterproductive to focus security measures on censorship initiatives that, invariably, target a symptom rather than its cause. It is imperative that security services evolve alongside the rapidly changing threat.

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Islamic State: The Changing Face of Modern Jihadism

Report by Dr Erin Marie Saltman and Charlie Winter

This report was launched by Quilliam (November 2014). The link to the full report can be found here. The following is the Executive Summary to the report: Continue reading

What is ISIS hoping its abhorrent beheading video will achieve?

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.

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Online extremism: we need to target causes rather than symptoms

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.

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ISIS have used social media to wreak havoc in Iraq and Syria, but we can stop them

Originally Published by The Independent: 19 June 2014. Original linked here.

The group’s expert use of Facebook and Twitter has helped fuel their support. The Islamic State in Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) has taken control of huge swathes of Iraq and Syria, as well as hundreds of millions of US dollars. Already notorious for their brutal religious extremism, it might come as a surprise that they’re also highly adept at social media.

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