ATbar Fainberg, Alisa (Dr.)

Fainberg, Alisa (Dr.)

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Russia Social Media on the service of jihad

The phenomenon of terrorists using Internet for their purposes is not new, and today, due to such factors such as technological development and radical changes in the core of online communications, social media networks became an integral part of jihadi groups’ modus operandi. Without any doubts, it was the Islamic State, who made the quantum leap and propelled jihadi involvement in online communication to the next level. At some point, ISIS put its attention to popular Russian social media networks, and occupied them with its propaganda.
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The Evolution of Foreign Fighters


The very phenomenon of foreign fighters has a long history and appears to be well known and explored to a certain extent. However, unlike previous conflicts with participation of jihadist foreign fighters, the current flow to Syria and Iraq is characterized by unprecedented growth dynamics and diversity of both origins (geographical and religious) and affiliations. The phenomenon of foreign fighters today has moved beyond the Middle East conflict and has turned into an international phenomenon, not least because of technological and communication developments. Foreign fighters pose great challenges to the international community, governments, security services and civil society. 

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The Islamic State speaks Russian – a new market for ISIS propaganda

Tracking the Islamic State (ISIS) propaganda activities clearly shows that 2014 and 2015 have become turning years in ISIS’ attention towards Russia - both government, officials, as well as potential fighters. Russians fight for ISIS at least since 2011, but it were these 2014 and 2015 years when ISIS propaganda machine has started active spreading both reading, audio, and video materials targeting various audience groups in Russia. Thus, in September 2014 (three month after declaring a new Islamic Caliphate) ISIS have released a message threatening Russian and personally president Putin to conquer (or to “liberate” according the message) Caucasus, and Chechnya in particular in retaliation to Russian military planes supplies to Syrian government army.
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