Thesis: Medium of Promotional Campaigns for Terrorism

Sample Thesis Paper

The internet has been found to match if not supersede radio and television networks as a medium of promotional campaigns for terrorism. For example, Osama Bin Laden’s terrorist campaign of “killing all Americans after the start of the coalition bombing on Afghanistan” (Thomas, 2002, p. 33-34) was presented as a broadcast on the internet designed to promote fear that would drive public policy.  Media practitioners, further, are tempted to televise terrorist messages because they drive ratings.  Perl (1997) argues that publicity seeking of terrorists on the internet and elsewhere requires an integrated response that includes monitoring of messages, response coordination, and the like.

Because the internet has global reach, it has been found to allow terrorists to spread their causes without having to acquire passports and engage in travel that could get them caught  (Thomas, p. 34).  In fact, they only have to stay in one country and they can disperse widely their coercive information.  Arquilla and Ronfeldt claim that the diffusion of networks and the global reach of terrorists has the added disadvantage of giving terrorism deniability for their actions.

Information coming from the internet is often difficult to discern and whether consciously or unconsciously, readers of internet information may be harmed through deceptive presentations (Thomas, p. 34)   The spread of psychological operations has become increasingly common in cases where terrorists undertake recruitment through the internet with information designed to gain trust, only later to reveal their violent purposes (Arquilla and Ronfeldt, p. 5).

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