Terror and the Internet

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Paradoxically, the most innovative network of communication developed by modern Western societies - the Internet with its numerous online networking platforms - now serves the interests of the greatest foe of the West, namely, international terrorism. The growing presence of modern terrorism on the Internet is at the nexus of two key trends: (1) the democratization of communications driven by user-generated content on the Internet and (2) the growing awareness of modern terrorists of the potential of the Internet for their purposes. The Internet has long been a favorite tool of the terrorists. Decentralized and providing almost perfect anonymity, it cannot be subjected to control or restriction, and allows access to anyone who wants it. Large or small, terrorist groups have their own Web sites, using this medium to spread propaganda, raise funds, seduce, radicalize, recruit and train members, communicate and conspire, and plan and launch attacks. Besides thousands of terrorist Web sites, modern terrorists rely on chat rooms, e-groups, forums, social networking, and online platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and more. Thus, media-oriented terrorism has presented a tough challenge to democratic societies and their liberal values.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
EditorsJames D. Wright
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
StatePublished - 26 Mar 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.


  • Cyberterrorism
  • Cyberwar
  • Facebook
  • Internet
  • Political violence
  • Propaganda
  • Terrorism
  • YouTube

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Terror and the Internet'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this