Jihadi Video Analysis
This chapter presents an exploratory study of jihadi extremist groups’ videos using content analysis and a multimedia coding tool to explore the types of videos, groups’ modus operandi, and production features that lend support to extremist groups. The videos convey messages powerful enough to mobilize members, sympathizers, and even new recruits to launch attacks that are captured (on video) and disseminated globally through the Internet. They communicate the effectiveness of the campaigns and have a much wider impact because the messages are media rich with nonverbal cues and have vivid images of events that can evoke not only a multitude of psychological and emotional responses but also violent reactions. The videos are important for jihadi extremist groups’ learning, training, and recruitment. In addition, the content collection and analysis of extremist groups’ videos can help policy makers, intelligence analysts, and researchers better understand the extremist groups’ terror campaigns and modus operandi, and help suggest counterintelligence strategies and tactics for troop training.
KeywordsExtremist Group Content Category Suicide Bombing Video Type Violent Attack
This research has been supported in part by NSF/ITR, “COPLINK Center for Intelligence and Security Informatics – A Crime Data Mining Approach to Developing Border Safe Research,” EIA-0326348, September 2003–August 2006.
We would like to thank the staff of the Artificial Intelligence Lab at the University of Arizona who have contributed to this work, in particular Wei Xi, Homa Atabakhsh, Catherine Larson, Chun-Ju Tseng, and Shing Ka Wu. Finally, we also acknowledge the presence of native analysts on our team who, in addition to being proficient in translating Arabic text to English, are also able to place the content within the sociopolitical and cultural environmental context. The absence of this latter skill would have created serious gaps which could have derailed our analysis.
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