Progressive Terrorism Studies Webinar Series – Disrupting Networks of Influence

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The third webinar in this series examines the reasons behind the resilience of Salafi-Jihadi networks of influence and how this can inform disruption activities.


Exploring the roots of Salafi-Jihadi resilience creates an opportunity for policymakers and tech professionals to consider data which can augment attempts to disrupt this movement’s networks online.

Communication is a relational activity. Interaction creates connections between speaker and listener, producer and consumer. These connections are the basic building blocks of networks. Networks aggregate individual behaviours into larger dynamic structures which constantly reconfigure, and which can exert influence beyond that of the individual participants.

Since 2013 it has become increasingly clear that disrupting Salafi-Jihadi networks is a complex endeavour. Not only does it require the ability to identify and penetrate the network; it must be possible to access meaningful data and conduct analysis of the resulting network data.

In the face of increasingly aggressive efforts to disrupt communication, Salafi-Jihadi networks have continued to prove themselves resilient to the list-based and ‘whack-a-mole' approaches to disruption.

This session uses research conducted across a range of online platforms to examine in detail how the Salafi-Jihadi movement has maintained a persistent presence online. It shares new insights into the persistent presence of Salafi-Jihadi material uncovered using a genuine collaboration between data science and subject matter expertise. This session is of interest to researchers, policymakers and tech professionals as they consider how to collectively disrupt agile and constantly evolving networks.

Speakers

  • Dr Ali Fisher, Explorer of Extreme Realms, Human Cognition
  • Dr Nico Prucha, Chief Content Curator, Human Cognition

Chaired by: Dr Elizabeth Pearson, Cyber Threats Research Centre at Swansea University and Associate Fellow of RUSI

Photo by Dr. Ali Fisher

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