This short article is the Research Brief for the full report: “Lights, Camera, Jihad: Al-Shabaab’s Western Media Strategy”, which is also available in this Portal.
This 2013 study profiles the ideologies, messages, and uses of social media among three types of extremist movements in Sweden: right-wing groups, left-wing “autonomist” groups, and Islamist extremist groups. The study provides a qualitative analysis of content and messaging among these three types of groups and ultimately discusses common themes in recruitment and radicalization The study suggests a number of measures that could be undertaken against pro-violence messaging online.
This article will be of particular use to practitioners and researchers interested in state approaches to social network and content analysis in the security context, and how different types of extremist groups use social media for radicalization and recruitment online. It will also be of use to those interested in understanding actions that can be taken against pro-violence online.