Online radicalization

This project studies the coverage of terrorism in mainstream media and the influence of extremist groups’ use of online media. Most importantly, it provides and overview over the rhetoric used in online jihadist magazines and analyses how it appeals to different groups of potential supporters. 

About the project

Internet and social media plays a crucial role in the radicalization of young Muslims. They are used for fundraising, training, and planning, as well as cyber warfare. Webpages and social media are an important part of social interaction between recruiters and individuals vulnerable for recruitment for extremist organizations.


The project is based on a qualitative study of internet propaganda promoted by al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS). By examining official rhetoric, such as that found in e-magazines, webpages and propaganda videos, we highlight the framing and most important narratives of jihadist groups.


This project is based on several master theses, some of which are developed into academic articles. They show that in efforts to gain support, violent jihadist organizations promote a Muslim utopia and justify violence by highlighting the suffering of Muslims throughout the world. They also reveal the importance of visual images and videos, and explore the cultural expressions of “jihadi cool”. The relationship between extreme jihadist and right-wing propaganda and the framing of terrorism in mainstream media is also discussed.

Selected student dissertations

Published Sep. 21, 2016 11:55 AM - Last modified Feb. 4, 2019 10:12 AM