Policy Brief

Policy Brief | Terrorism in the Age of New Media

In an age of connectivity and increasingly porous national borders, threats to global security transcend limitations imposed by geography and conventional application of force. The realm of new media provides a space for violent non-state actors to employ non-traditional tools for narrative building, propaganda and recruitment to their ranks unrestricted by geography or operational capabilities. This imposes new security challenges to the world, with an increased impact on existing human, resource and national insecurities. At the moment, the global response to this very imminent threat has been both inefficient, ineffective, and uncoordinated – with a significant gap in capabilities between countries that are leaders in information technology and those that bear the brunt of terrorist violence.

This paper will examine the use of new media tools by modern violent extremist groups to build their narrative and develop self-sustaining “online” networks that allow them to increasingly impact the global information environment, and maintain adaptive terrorist networks. The paper will also review existing mechanisms being employed to counter these extremist ideologies within cyber terrorism, and identify the gaps that exist between the two, proposing possible policy measures and robust cross-disciplinary implementation strategies as a sustainable way forward towards ensuring global security and peace in the 21st Century.