Internet-savvy US and Middle Eastern extremist groups
30 April 2020
What key questions were addressed?
Using an interdisciplinary perspective, this study provides a hyperlink and content analysis of U.S. domestic and Middle Eastern extremist groups' websites to analyze their use of computer-mediated communication (CMC) to support collective identity and mobilization.
The study takes an empirical approach and included 44 US domestic extremist groups and 40 Middle Eastern extremist groups.
The study covered U.S. and Middle Eastern websites.
Analyse the use of computer-mediated communication (CMC) to support collective identity and mobilization
The findings contrast Middle Eastern extremist groups' use of the Internet to develop virtual communities and support their virtual command/control operations with the U.S. domestic groups' focus on communication and ideological indoctrination. Finally, the results suggest that the usages of CMC are underpinned by the geographical reach of extremist groups' campaign as well as their strategic goals, ideologies, needs, and political legitimacy, driving the various groups to use CMC in a distinctive manner.