Digital Jihad: Online Communication and Violent Extremism

Digital Jihad: Online Communication and Violent Extremism. Francesco Marone
Digital Jihad: Online Communication and Violent Extremism. Francesco Marone

Edited by Francesco Marone
Introduction by Paolo Magri

Throughout history, violent political groups have exploited available means of communications to promote their cause, en-gage with their audiences and oppose their adversaries.Clearly, in our age the internet offers tremendous opportuni-ties for violent extremists across the ideological spectrum and at a global level.

In addition to propaganda, digital technologies have transformed the dynamics of radical mobilisation, recruit-ment and participation. At least in the West, few cases of jihad-ist radicalisation completely lack a web component, including occasional viewing of extremist propaganda.

The study of the dynamics and trends of violent extremism on the internet are particularly relevant to the current evolution of the jihadist threat. While at first sight the collapse of the “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq, the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghda-di in 2019, and the decrease in the number of jihadist attacks in the West since 2017 could suggest violent extremism has entered a phase of relative decline, the web remains a crucial means for radical propaganda, mobilisation, planning attacks and financing.