La narrazione, la storia e l’immagine del jihad. Un lavoro del Parlamento Europeo tra i più aggiornati.
Fundamentally, terrorism is communication; acts of terror themselves are propaganda by deed and, as such, strategic communications will always be a central part of counter-terrorism. The rise of the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (IS) and their successful and prolific use of online propaganda has raised the issue of terrorist propaganda in the public consciousness, in particular in terms of recruitment and radicalisation. In response, governmental actors are keen to understand and counter such communications; they believe that winning the communication war is a vital part of defeating terrorists. Although this has received renewed attention given the contemporary global threat of terrorism, it does not represent a new phenomenon. Rather, “persuasive communications have been partnered with war for millennia”, perhaps as far back as the Mesolithic and Epipaleolithic periods in which cave paintings depicted men fighting. Indeed, “during times of war and peace, state and non-state actors have sought to weld the ever evolving platforms of mass media and communications into instruments of control”. In short, it would be wrong to consider the threat posed by non-state actors to the state, or the state’s response, anything but a continuation of the ongoing struggle for communication control and the authority of the state. Today, a large part of this task is achieved via message disruption – that is to say either content removal on the Internet, or proscription of illegal speech – however, “there are severe limitations on the effectiveness of this response, given the speed with which new data is uploaded and the limited capacity of law enforcement agencies”. As a result, there has been a renewed interest in countering the narratives of terrorist organisations, rather than purely restricting them.