Unraveling International Terrorist Groups' exploitation of the Web: Technical sophistication, media richness, and web interactivity

Jialun Qin, Yilu Zhou, Edna Reid, Guanpi Lai, Hsinchun Chen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Terrorists and extremists have become mainstream exploiters of the Internet beyond routine communication operations and dramatically increased their own ability to influence the outside world. Although this alternate side of the Internet, referred to as the "Dark Web," has recently received extensive government and media attention, the terrorists/extremists' Internet usage is still under-researched because of the lack of systematic Dark Web content collection and analysis methodologies. To address this research gap, we explore an integrated approach for identifying and collecting terrorist/extremist Web contents. We also propose a framework called the Dark Web Attribute System (DWAS) to enable quantitative Dark Web content analysis from three perspectives: technical sophistication, media richness, and Web interactivity. Using the proposed methodology, we collected and examined more than 200,000 multimedia Web documents created by 86 Middle Eastern multi-lingual terrorist/extremist organizations. In our comparison of terrorist/extremist Web sites to U.S. government Web sites, we found that terrorists/extremist groups exhibited similar levels of Web knowledge as U.S. government agencies. We also found that the terrorists/extremist groups are as effective as the U.S. government agencies in terms of supporting communications and interaction using Web technologies. Based on our case study results, we believe that the DWAS is an effective framework to analyze the technical sophistication of terrorist/extremist groups' Internet usage and our Dark Web analysis methodology could contribute to an evidence-based understanding of the applications of Web technologies in the global terrorism phenomena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIntelligence and Security Informatics - International Workshop, WISI 2006, Proceedings
Pages4-15
Number of pages12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 14 2006
EventInternational Workshop on Intelligence and Security Informatics, WISI 2006 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: Apr 9 2006Apr 9 2006

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume3917 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Other

OtherInternational Workshop on Intelligence and Security Informatics, WISI 2006
CountrySingapore
CitySingapore
Period4/9/064/9/06

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

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    Qin, J., Zhou, Y., Reid, E., Lai, G., & Chen, H. (2006). Unraveling International Terrorist Groups' exploitation of the Web: Technical sophistication, media richness, and web interactivity. In Intelligence and Security Informatics - International Workshop, WISI 2006, Proceedings (pp. 4-15). (Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics); Vol. 3917 LNCS). https://doi.org/10.1007/11734628_2