literature review based on theoretical foundation

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Please rewrite the theoretical foundation section to make it more focus on the central theory of the study, which is "deradicalization theory" of Barrelle (2015) and Kruglanski, A. W., et al. (2013). And please write a literature review from other articles (use more than 20 new articles) to discuss the benefit of using this theory and connect it to the central focus of the study which is deradicalization in the American universities (among middle eastern students) and how to protect our nation from ISIS by online recruitment.

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Running head: LITERATURE REVIEW 1 Literature Review Name Course Professor Date: LITERATURE REVIEW 2 Literature Review Background of the Problem On 11th September 2001, the Islamist extremist group al-Qaeda launched a devastating terrorist attack on the United States of America. The world woke up on that fateful Tuesday to the shocking news that had befallen the United States of America. In the four-pronged coordinated terrorist attack, about three thousand people died and over six thousand others injured (Zekulin, 2018). Further, there was massive destruction of property and infrastructure with the federal government estimating the loss in property to have been more than ten billion dollars. This terrorist attack shook the nation as Americans grappled to understand the circumstances that had befallen their great nation. In this regard, more American citizens – including university students - than ever before started to appreciate the fact that terrorism was a crime against humanity and it needed the collaborative of countries across the globe to fight terrorism (Alfifi et al., 2018). Additionally, it became succinctly clear that terrorism respected no international bounders and terrorism anywhere in the world was a direct threat to global peace and security. After the September 2011 attacks, the United States of America declared war on terrorism and vowed to exterminate any terrorist group in the world. It is important to note that the United States of America’s embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam had also borne the brunt of terrorism leading to the death of thousands of people and massive destruction of property (Ali, 2015). With the constant threat of terrorist attacks, the world was on edge with countries implementing various policies to prevent terrorism within their borders. During the 9/11 attacks, radical Islamists associated with al-Qaeda hijacked four planes, two of which they crashed into LITERATURE REVIEW 3 the one hundred and ten story World Trade Centre complex. The third plane was crashed into the Pentagon, but fortunately, the fourth plane crash-landed on a field after the passengers overpowered the carjackers (Yu, 2018). Various scholars of international repute have numerously opined that the 9/11 attack was the eye-opener to the world on the dangers of terrorism (Allendorfer & Herring, 2016). In this regard, the September 2011 terrorist attack on the United States of America is the single deadliest terrorist attack in human history, and its effects still felt to-date. After the 9/11 attacks, several other countries across the world have been targeted by various terrorist attacks leading to the death of thousands of people and massive destruction of property. For example, in recent past Britain and France have dominated international news after suffering from various terrorist attacks. To this end, terrorism has been classified as one of the major threats to global peace and security. The United Nations and other global organizations have been at the forefront in providing the necessary platform for countries and other stakeholders to discuss and come up with solutions to combating terrorism (Xu et al., 2017). Importantly, terrorism has metamorphosed over the years with new terrorist groups coming up. New terrorist groups such as ISIS have emerged in the recent past and are now the biggest terrorist group in the world (Aly et al., 2017). ISIS is a jihadist group that follows the extremist teachings of Islam, and it gained international recognition when it successfully dislodged and overpowered the Iraqi forces in 2014 from various strategic towns in Iraq. As a terrorist group, ISIS is a militia which believes in violence and uses terrorism to advance its goals, propaganda, and rhetoric. ISIS is considered one of the most dangerous terrorist groups of our time do its ability to marshal adequate resources to accomplish its goals on a global scale. In this regard, ISIS has a global presence across various countries in the world and in the countries LITERATURE REVIEW 4 that it is not actively present it has the resources to sponsor and coordinate terrorism in those countries (Wood, 2015). To this end, various countries, including the United States of America, have developed numerous strategies to combat terrorism within their borders. Certain strategies are specifically aimed clipping ISIS propaganda in the bud by preventing the spread of ISIS ideology. According to various international security observers, ISIS - unlike the traditional terrorist groups – has a strong online presence (Artrip & Debrix, 2018). The group is taking advantage of the advancement in technology and misusing the said innovations in propagating their propaganda. Particularly, ISIS uses various social media platforms as a recruitment platform across the world. In this regard, ISIS is specifically targeting the university students who frequent these media platforms to recruit them into their terrorist movement. Also, the online platforms provide them with the ability to indoctrinate these students with extremist Islamist views which may be wrongfully interpreted to inspire them into terrorism (Wignell et al., 2018). It is on this basis that it is essential for the United States of America’s government to come up with a clear and concise strategy that can effectively counter the ISIS online narrative (Awan, 2017). To this end, the government is also targeting the university students by providing these counter-narrative programs in various educational institutions in the country. These counter-narrative programmes equip the students with enough knowledge to decipher the truth from the online propaganda being propagated by ISIS. Various scholars of international repute have questioned the effectiveness of these counter-narrative programs and their impact on the targeted university students. Most security observers are of the considered view that the government-backed counter-narrative programs are largely successful; however, much can still be done to improve their efficacy. One of the most effective ways that the counter-narrative LITERATURE REVIEW 5 programs have accomplished in doing is to expose the terrorist ideology that ISIS is founded on and the need to shun such an ideology (Welch, 2018). Theoretical Foundation According to Benigni, Joseph & Carley (2017), undertakes a qualitative study and concludes that the volume and accessibility of ISIS extremist propaganda have increased tremendously in the recent past. The choice of conducting a qualitative study was to allow for a deeper understanding of the ISIS counter narrative program in universities. This is mainly attributed to ISIS strategy of using the various social media platforms to advance its objectives (Benigni, Joseph & Carley, 2017). In this regard, more university students are able to access these extremist views, and it also enables ISIS and other extremist groups the ability to recruit more members on these social media platforms. Further, American based extremists can directly communicate with other ISIS sympathizers not only in America but also across the globe. Therefore, the social media platforms increase the capacity of terrorist groups by enabling them to effectively communicate with each other and also disseminate their terrorist propaganda to billions of people across the globe. From this seamless communication channel, ISIS may coordinate terrorist attacks in the United States of America by inspiring university students to undertake these attacks (Turner, 2018). Similarly, Berger (2015) in a qualitative with descriptive design academic study notes that traditionally a country would protect itself from external forces by increasing it border surveillance. The qualitative research with a descriptive design allowed Berger to succinctly describe the research phenomenon and come up with accurate results. With regards to terrorism, countries for many years relied on strong immigration policy to keep LITERATURE REVIEW 6 terrorists and people associated with terrorism from stepping into their countries (Berger, 2015). Border patrols, intensive scrutiny, and background checks were heavily relied on in keeping the terrorists and their philosophy out of the reach of American university students. However, with the advancements in technology and the advent of social media terrorism agenda can be seamlessly accessed by the average internet user. Currently, the ease of disseminating information across the globe has made the world to be like a small village. In this regard, university students are more exposed to terrorist ideology than ever before hence it is prudent to come up with specific strategies that counter the terrorism narrative that is being propagated online by various extremist groups (Townsend, 2017). Binetti (2015) is of the considered opinion that there are various factors that propagate radicalization in the United States of America. Binetti uses his qualitative research paper to interrogate the why/how/when in matters relating to the counter measures put in place to curb the ISIS social media campaign in universities. Binetti primarily highlights grievances and ideals as the two main contributors of radicalization, especially among the university students (Binetti, 2015). With regards to grievances, there are many sources of grievances that a terrorist outfit may explore in its attempt to radicalize a university student. These grievances may range from poor family relations, a sense of nonbelonging in the community, and government policy. Certain individuals may develop extremist views due to their immense dislike of the government's policies especially in regards to security and foreign policy. Therefore, grievances are a major contribution of radicalization as the terrorist outfit, such as ISIL, can easily exploit the already existing emotional situation to radicalize an individual. For example, ISIL may convince an American university student that LITERATURE REVIEW 7 engaging in certain terrorist activities is the best way to reach a government which is propagating certain policies than the said university student is opposed to (Torok, 2015). Bloom (2017) buttresses this point by stating that once a negative viewpoint about certain issues has gotten root in the society, radical ideology comes in to fill void (Bloom, 2017). Thereafter, the radical ideology battens the grievance and elevates it to be the most important aspect in a university student’s life. Further, the radical ideology provides a way of venting out these grievances and may be used to radicalize a university student into committing terrorist attacks on the United States of America. Consequentially, the grievances when improperly channelled may lead to the development of extremist ideas. Empirical evidence tends to show that most terrorist groups exploit an individual's grievance and emotional imbalance to radicalize its members and in recruiting new members. In this quantitative research study, Bloom uses a research sample of three hundred university students sourced from various American universities. Additionally, previous involvement in gang violence and low-level crimes contribute to the radicalization of individuals in the United States of America (Tønnessen, 2017). Previous criminal history is a relevant factor when talking about radicalization as various social scientists of international acclaim have observed that people previously involved in criminal activities are more likely to commit the violent acts of terrorism. According to Bloom & Daymon, (2018), ISIS is an internet phenomenon and countering its online activities, and their impact in the United States of America requires a clear and effective strategy. This qualitative research paper with explanatory design provides a foundation of investigating the novel research problem by allowing the researcher to choose the best research design and data collection method. Further, Bloom and Daymon use the explanatory element of this research to develop operational definitions and improve LITERATURE REVIEW 8 on the research’s final design. To this end, Bloom & Daymon, (2018) observe that in 2004 no one knew what ISIS was, but in the recent past, the terrorist group has dominated the international news (Bloom & Daymon, 2018). Majorly, the current wide international recognition of ISIS is due to its massive internet presence and clear communication strategy. This terrorist group particularly has embraced the internet age and uses it effectively to disseminate radical Islamist propaganda all over the world. By its nature, the internet provides ISIS with a platform that can reach billions of people across various countries and ISIS has taken this opportunity to grow its networks globally. To effectively achieve its desired effect, ISIS has taken the initiative to translate its militant propaganda and religious rhetoric into various languages (Tierney, 2018). Through this initiative, ISIS is able to reach billions of people speaking different languages. This is contrary to most radical Islamist terrorist groups which mainly broadcasted their terrorist propaganda in Arabic. Further, Bloom, Tiflati & Horgan (2017) note that ISIS stands apart from other terrorist groups all over the world for its ability to use online propaganda and recruitment. This qualitative academic research paper allows the authors to discuss the research problem broadly and involve a greater number of research subjects. Also, the element of this paper being a qualitative research allows for the generalization of results. In this regard, ISIS uses a 21st-century phenomenon – the internet – to convince thousands of people, including university students, across the world to engage in the most medieval and archaic acts such as mass rape, mass murder, torture, and enslavement of people (Bloom, Tiflati & Horgan, 2017). This ability is perplexing to even scholars of international repute as ISIS seems to have a clear communication strategy aimed at achieving its goals. Through the use of social media and other internet platforms, ISIS has been able to recruit thousands of foreigners, including university students, to LITERATURE REVIEW 9 join in its war against social order in the Middle East. It is important to appreciate the fact that the ISIS social media campaign has entirely changed the landscape as regards to combating terrorism. Governments must come with well-thought counter-narrative strategies to ensure that their university students are not gullible to the online ISIS propaganda (Speckhard et al., 2018). Review of the Literature Various scholars are of the view that terrorism is one of the greatest threats to humanity in the 21st century. According to Botz-Bornstein (2017), terrorism is the indiscriminate use of violence and intimidation to pursue a particular agenda. Usually, terrorism metes out terror on a population and creates societal fear among people (Botz-Bornstein, 2017). All through history, various acts of terror have been meted on the human race to propagate a religious, political, or an ideological issue. Terror begets fear and thrives on this created fear to drive the general terrorism agenda. However, the modern day terrorism is associated with ISIS as this terrorist group uses modern day tools to drive its agenda. In this regard, Speckhard, Shajkovci & Yayla (2017) opine that ISIS is unique and distinguishes itself from traditional terrorist groups on the basis that it actively uses the various social media platforms to its advantage. ISIS has a very active online presence and has over the years used its online presence to not only recruit new members but also as a conduit of effective communication to existing members (Speckhard, Shajkovci & Yayla, 2017). Brown & Pearson, (2018) succinctly opines that terrorism came into the international light and dominated various social debates after the 9/11 terrorist attack on the United States of America (Brown & Pearson, 2018). On that tragic morning, the world watched in shock as the World Trade Centre came falling down. The shocking news of a terrorist attack on a world LITERATURE REVIEW 10 superpower led people to appreciate the fact that terrorism respected no borders and that it could affect even the strongest of countries. In this particular scenario, the highly coordinated terrorist attack led to the death of about three thousand people died, and over six thousand people were injured. Further, there was massive destruction of property and infrastructure with the federal government estimating the loss in property to have been more than ten billion dollars. The 9/11 terrorist attack shook the nation to the core as Americans, including university students, attempted to understand the circumstances that had befallen their great nation. In this regard, more American university students than ever before started to appreciate the fact that terrorism was a crime against humanity and it needed the collaborative of countries across the globe to fight terrorism. Additionally, it became succinctly clear that terrorism respected no international bounders and terrorism anywhere in the world was a direct threat to global peace and security (Shehabat & Mitew, 2018). After the September 2011 attacks, the United States of America declared war on terrorism and vowed to exterminate any terrorist group in the world. It is important to note that the United States of America’s embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam had also borne the brunt of terrorism leading to the death of thousands of people and massive destruction of property (Buchanan, 2017). Soon after these attacks, accusatory fingers were immediately pointed at alQaeda which was then led by Osama bin Laden. The al-Qaeda was a terrorist group that operated in Afghanistan and across the Middle East with the sole prerogative of causing death and mayhem across the world. This terrorist group based their actions on extreme Islamic views which most scholars of international repute have disputed as false indoctrination and interpretation of the Quran. According to Saltman (2019), the al-Qaeda presented Islam as a LITERATURE REVIEW 11 religion of violence and not peace as various theologians have stated numerously (Saltman, 2019). According to Chouliaraki, & Kissas (2018), the increased threat of terrorist attacks led to nations thinking more seriously on how to eliminate this scourge from the face of the planet. In the Middle East where al-Qaeda was based, it made many countries ungovernable as they meted out terror on innocent civilians and committed various atrocities (Chouliaraki, & Kissas, 2018). Russo (2017) notes that in Afghanistan, the al-Qaeda terrorist group was a government unto themselves and they murdered any government official or civilian who questioned their actions. In this regard, the massacred entire villages raped women and instilled fear on the population. Previously, the international world did not care much of their activities as they assumed that such local terrorist outfits did not directly threaten their interests. However, the 9/11 dispelled that thought and showed that terrorism was an international concern as its reach could directly affect any country (Russo, 2017). Terrorism was no longer regarded as a domestic or regional problem but was a global security issue. According to Cohen & Goldschmidt (2015), the September 2011 terrorist attack on the United States of America was the single deadliest terrorist attack in human history. The effects of this terrorist attack are still felt to-date as counties all over the world draw vital lessons about terrorism from this incident (Cohen & Goldschmidt, 2015). Today, terrorism is one of the greatest threats to global peace and security as it has the capacity of causing the death of thousands of people and the massive destruction of property. The United Nations and other global organizations have been at the forefront in providing the necessary platform for countries and other stakeholders to discuss and come up with solutions to combating terrorism. In this regard, Pearson (2018) notes that terrorism should be abhorred by all countries of goodwill as LITERATURE REVIEW 12 there are not a single proven benefit of terrorism. Realizing that terrorism is a global phenomenon which cannot be successfully fought by a single country, various nations have come together to finds appropriate ways of curbing terrorism (Pearson, 2018). According to Cohen-Almagor, (2017), terrorism has metamorphosed over the years with new terrorist groups coming up. New terrorist groups, such as ISIS, have emerged in the recent past and are currently the biggest terrorist group in the world to (Cohen-Almagor, 2017). ISIS is a jihadist group that follows the extremist teachings of Islam, and it gained international recognition when it successfully dislodged and overpowered the Iraqi forces in 2014 from various strategic towns in Iraq. As a terrorist group, ISIS is a militia which believes in violence and uses terrorism to advance its goals, propaganda, and rhetoric. ISIS is considered one of the most dangerous terrorist groups of our time do its ability to marshal adequate resources to accomplish its goals on a global scale. In this regard, ISIS has a global presence across various countries in the world and in the countries that it is not actively present it has the resources to sponsor and coordinate terrorism in those countries (Pearson, 2016). According to Day & Kleinmann (2017), the international community has found a lot of challenges in attempting to define what a terrorist is or what terrorism entails. In particular, the United Nations has variously attempted to define terrorism in a legally binding manner to its member to no success as these debates are usually politically and emotionally charged. Based on these prevailing circumstances and competing interests there has not been a universally accepted definition of terrorism under international law (Day & Kleinmann, 2017). In this regard, there are countries who believe that acts of terrorism are majorly propagated by countries against other sovereign States hence the definition of terrorism should specifically highlight this assertion. Similarly, Opperman (2018) has clearly opined that the very strict and pure definition of LITERATURE REVIEW 13 terrorism encompasses various actions that countries do during war hence States may be the biggest propagators of terrorism throughout history. This line of thought is not appreciated by many other countries who believe that terrorism that should preoccupy nations at the international stage is terrorism atrocities committed various terrorist groups (Opperman, 2018). Farwell (2014) notes that various countries, including the United States of America, have developed numerous strategies to combat terrorism within their borders. Certain strategies are specifically aimed at clipping ISIS propaganda in the bud by preventing the spread of ISIS ideology in the universities (Farwell, 2014). According to various international security observers, ISIS - unlike the traditional terrorist groups – has a strong online presence. The group is taking advantage of the advancement in technology and misusing the said innovations in propagating their propaganda. Particularly, ISIS uses various social media platforms as a recruitment platform across the world. In this regard, ISIS is specifically targeting the university students who frequent these media platforms to recruit them into their terrorist movement. Also, the online platforms provide them with the ability to indoctrinate these university students individuals with extremist Islamist views which may be wrongfully interpreted to inspire them into terrorism (Nuraniyah, 2018). Ferrara, (2017) concurs with Farwell (2014) and states that it is on this basis that it is essential for the United States of America's government to come up with a clear and concise strategy that can effectively counter the ISIS online narrative. To this end, the government is also targeting the youth by providing these counter-narrative programs in various educational institutions in the country. These counter-narrative programmes equip the students with enough knowledge to decipher the truth from the online propaganda being propagated by ISIS. Various scholars of international repute have questioned the effectiveness of these counter-narrative LITERATURE REVIEW 14 programs and their impact on the targeted population segment. Most security observers are of the considered view that the government-backed counter-narrative programs are largely successful; however, much can still be done to improve their efficacy. One of the most effective ways that the counter-narrative programs have accomplished in doing is to expose the terrorist ideology that ISIS is founded on and the need to shun such an ideology (Neer & O'toole, 2014). According to Ferrara et al., (2016) ISIS is pegging its growth on the internet where it has successfully convinced thousands that it is fighting for a worthy cause. To this end, ISIS ironically portrays the cool side of terrorism by professionally editing videos to convince impressionable people that it is the right party to back (Ferrara et al., 2016). Through the use of social media, ISIS has been able to glamorize its activities around the world and managed to expand its networks. For example, sometimes ISIS-affiliated groups share videos showing ISIS fighters sharing sweets with children in various villages in the Middle East. Essentially, the ISIS uses the internet to cleanse its activities and give it a humane face. Morris & Dunning (2018) observes that the internet is virtual playgroup for ISIS as they use it to share and propagate propaganda. Also, the internet provides the ISIS with an avenue to reinforce its ideals and ‘educate’ the university students on the need to back their cause (Morris & Dunning, 2018). According to Freilich, (2017), the volume and accessibility of ISIS extremist propaganda have increased tremendously in the recent past. This is mainly attributed to ISIS strategy of using the various social media platforms to advance its objectives (Freilich, 2017). In this regard, more Americans are able to access these extremist views, and it also enables ISIS and other extremist groups the ability to recruit more members on these social media platforms. Further, American based extremists can directly communicate with other ISIS sympathizers not only in America but also across the globe. Therefore, the social media platforms increase the capacity of terrorist LITERATURE REVIEW 15 groups by enabling them to effectively communicate with each other and also disseminate their terrorist propaganda to billions of people across the globe. From this seamless communication channel, ISIS may coordinate terrorist attacks in the United States of America by inspiring individuals to undertake these attacks (Meleagrou-Hitchens, Alexander, & Kaderbhai, 2017). Golan & Lim, (2016) aptly opines that the government of the United States of America should be more creative in its countermeasures to counter the ISIS social media campaign. In this regard, the government should put more resource in its counter-narrative projects and eliminate the bureaucratic steps needed before a counter-narrative message is posted online (Golan & Lim, 2016). In this light, it is important to appreciate the dynamism of ISIS and its ability to churn numerous videos and posts online hence the federal government should be able to at least match that capacity. Further, Meleagrou-Hitchens, (2017) argues that the government should develop more content in its counter-narrative efforts so as to provide university students with more detailed and various sets of information about ISIS. The only way to effectively counter propaganda is to provide the university students with the requisite knowledge which equips them with the ability to identify propaganda. According to various scholars of international repute, a university student can easily distinguish propaganda from the reality only if he/she is knowledgeable enough with respect to the appropriate facts (Meleagrou-Hitchens, 2017). Similarly, Greenberg (2016) notes that traditionally a country would protect itself from external forces by increasing it border surveillance. With regards to terrorism, countries for many years relied on strong immigration policy to keep terrorists and people associated with terrorism from stepping into their countries (Greenberg, 2016). Border patrols, intensive scrutiny, and background checks were heavily relied on in keeping the terrorists and their philosophy out of the reach of Americans. However, with the advancements in technology and the advent of social LITERATURE REVIEW 16 media terrorism agenda can be seamlessly accessed by the average internet user. Currently, the ease of disseminating information across the globe has made the world to be like a small village. In this regard, American university students are more exposed to terrorist ideology than ever before hence it is prudent to come up with specific strategies that counter the terrorism narrative that is being propagated online by various extremist groups (McDowell-Smith, Speckhard & Yayla, 2017). McElreath et al., (2018) is of the considered opinion that there are various factors that propagate radicalization in the United States of America. McElreath et al., (2018) primarily highlights grievances and ideals as the two main contributors of radicalization, especially among the young people (McElreath et al., 2018). With regards to grievances, there are many sources of grievances that a terrorist outfit may explore in its attempt to radicalize an individual. These grievances may range from poor family relations, a sense of non-belonging in the community, and government policy. Certain individuals may develop extremist views due to their immense dislike of the government's policies especially in regards to security and foreign policy. Therefore, grievances are a major contribution of radicalization as the terrorist outfit, such as ISIL, can easily exploit the already existing emotional situation to radicalize an individual (Howell, 2017). For example, ISIL may convince an individual that engaging in certain terrorist activities is the best way to reach a government which is propagating certain policies than the said individual is opposed to. Kim et al., (2017) buttresses this point by stating that once a negative viewpoint about certain issues has gotten root in the society, radical ideology comes in to fill void. Thereafter, the radical ideology battens the grievance and elevates it to be the most important aspect in a person's life (Kim et al., 2017). Further, the radical ideology provides a way of venting out these LITERATURE REVIEW 17 grievances and may be used to radicalize a university student into committing terrorist attacks on the United States of America. Consequentially, the grievances when improperly channeled may lead to the development of extremist ideas. Empirical evidence tends to show that most terrorist groups exploit an individual's grievance and emotional imbalance to radicalize its members and in recruiting new members. Additionally, previous involvement in gang violence and low-level crimes contribute to the radicalization of individuals in the United States of America. Previous criminal history is a relevant factor when talking about radicalization as various social scientists of international acclaim have observed that people previously involved in criminal activities are more likely to commit the violent acts of terrorism (Manrique et al., 2018). According to Lakomy, (2017), ISIS is an internet phenomenon and countering its online activities, and their impact in the United States of America requires a clear and effective strategy. To this end, Lakomy (2017) observes that in 2004 no one knew what ISIS was, but in the recent past, the terrorist group has dominated the international news. Majorly, the current wide international recognition of ISIS is due to its massive internet presence and clear communication strategy. This terrorist group particularly has embraced the internet age and uses it effectively to disseminate radical Islamist propaganda all over the world. By its nature, the internet provides ISIS with a platform that can reach billions of people across various countries and ISIS has taken this opportunity to grow its networks globally. To effectively achieve its desired effect, ISIS has taken the initiative to translate its militant propaganda and religious rhetoric into various languages. Through this initiative, ISIS is able to reach billions of people, invcluding university students, speaking different languages (Manrique et al., 2017). This is contrary to most radical Islamist terrorist groups which mainly broadcasted their terrorist propaganda in Arabic. LITERATURE REVIEW 18 Further, League (2014) notes that ISIS stands apart from other terrorist groups all over the world for its ability to use online propaganda and recruitment. In this regard, ISIS uses a 21stcentury phenomenon – the internet – to convince thousands of university students across the world to engage in the most medieval and archaic acts such as mass rape, mass murder, torture, and enslavement of people (League, 2014). This ability is perplexing to even scholars of international repute as ISIS seems to have a clear communication strategy aimed at achieving its goals. Through the use of social media and other internet platforms, ISIS has been able to recruit thousands of foreigners, including American university students, to join in its war against social order in the Middle East. It is important to appreciate the fact that the ISIS social media campaign has entirely changed the landscape as regards to combating terrorism (Mahood & Rane, 2017). Governments must come with well-thought counter-narrative strategies to ensure that their citizens are not gullible to the online ISIS propaganda. Magdy, Darwish & Weber, (2015) opine that ISIS is a militia which believes in violence and uses terrorism to advance its goals, propaganda, and rhetoric. ISIS is considered one of the most dangerous terrorist groups of our time do its ability to marshal adequate resources to accomplish its goals on a global scale (Magdy, Darwish & Weber, 2015). In this regard, ISIS has a global presence across various countries in the world and in the countries that it is not actively present it has the resources to sponsor and coordinate terrorism in those countries. Usually, terrorism metes out terror on a population and creates societal fear among people. All through history, various acts of terror have been meted on the human race to propagate a religious, political, or an ideological issue (Mahood & Rane, 2017). ISIS has a very active online presence and has over the years used its online presence to not only recruit new members but also as a conduit of effective communication to existing members. LITERATURE REVIEW 19 According to League, (2014), the ease of disseminating information across the globe has made the world to it possible for American university students to be more exposed to terrorist ideology than ever before. As a result, it is prudent to come up with specific strategies that counter the terrorism narrative that is being propagated online by various extremist groups. Particularly, ISIS uses various social media platforms as a recruitment platform across the world. In this regard, ISIS is specifically targeting the youth who frequent these media platforms to recruit them into their terrorist movement. Also, the online platforms provide them with the ability to indoctrinate these young individuals with extremist Islamist views which may be wrongfully interpreted to inspire them into terrorism. Therefore, the counter-narrative programme should be able to expose the lies that ISIS is peddling on the internet. The said programme should be able to adequately educate a layman on the actual activities of ISIS and the terrorist activities that they engage in across the globe (Manrique et al., 2017). To this end, Manrique et al., (2017) succinctly opines that the United States of America’s government should come up with a clear and concise strategy that can effectively counter the ISIS online narrative. The government should also target the university students and other socially impressionable people by providing these counter-narrative programs in various educational institutions in the country. These counter-narrative programmes equip the students with enough knowledge to decipher the truth from the online propaganda being propagated by ISIS. Various scholars of international repute have questioned the effectiveness of these counternarrative programs and their impact on the targeted population segment (Manrique et al., 2017). Most security observers are of the considered view that the government-backed counter-narrative programs are largely successful; however, much can still be done to improve their efficacy. One LITERATURE REVIEW 20 of the most effective ways that the counter-narrative programs have accomplished in doing is to expose the terrorist ideology that ISIS is founded on and the need to shun such an ideology. Lakomy (2017) aptly opines that the government of the United States of America should be more creative in its countermeasures to counter the ISIS social media campaign. In this regard, the government should put more resource in its counter-narrative projects and eliminate the time-consuming steps needed before a counter-narrative message is posted online. In this light, it is important to appreciate the dynamism of ISIS and its ability to churn numerous videos and posts online hence the federal government should be able to at least match that capacity. Further, Magdy, Darwish & Weber, (2015) argue that the government should develop more content in its counter-narrative efforts so as to provide American university students with more detailed and various sets of information about ISIS. The only way to effectively counter propaganda is to provide the masses with the requisite knowledge which equips them with the ability to identify propaganda. According to various scholars of international repute, an individual can easily distinguish propaganda from the reality only if he/she is knowledgeable enough with respect to the appropriate facts. With the constant threat of terrorist attacks, the world was on edge with countries implementing various policies to prevent terrorism within their borders. According to Kim et al., (2017), more reasonable people across the globe are appreciative of the fact that terrorism is a crime against humanity and it needs the collaboration of countries across the globe to fight it. Therefore, in coming up with counter-narrative strategies each country has a role to play in the war against ISIS online propaganda. These countries should be able to come up with a sustainable approach to clipping ISIS social media presence in the bud. The different strategies implemented by various countries across the world should harmonically gel into a singular effort LITERATURE REVIEW 21 to counter ISIS presence on the internet. Additionally, it is succinctly clear that terrorism respects no international bounders and terrorism anywhere in the world was a direct threat to global peace and security. According to Xu et al., (2017), terrorism thrives on terror and intimidation of a population and creates societal fear among people. All through history, various acts of terror have been meted on the human race to propagate a religious, political, or an ideological issue. Terror begets fear and thrives on this created fear to drive the general terrorism agenda. However, the modern day terrorism is associated with ISIS as this terrorist group uses modern day tools to drive its agenda. In this regard, Xu et al., (2017) opines that ISIS is unique and distinguishes itself from traditional terrorist groups on the basis that it actively uses the various social media platforms to its advantage. ISIS has a very active online presence and has over the years used its online presence to not only recruit new members but also as a conduit of effective communication to existing members. Through the use of the internet, ISIS has rapidly emerged as one of the biggest terrorist groups in the world. Consequently, ISIS is considered one of the most dangerous terrorist groups of our time do its ability to marshal adequate resources from its online platform to accomplish its goals on a global scale. According to Benigni, Joseph & Carley (2017), governments must think beyond the traditional ways of combating terrorism to succeed in effectively countering the ISIS online presence. To this end, the previously developed strategies to combat terrorism such as strong border controls has no significant effect in getting ahead of the ISIS online propaganda machinery. Therefore, certain strategies that are specifically aimed at clipping ISIS propaganda in the bud by preventing the spread of ISIS ideology are essential in this modern fight against terrorism. According to various international security observers, ISIS - unlike the traditional LITERATURE REVIEW 22 terrorist groups – has a strong online presence. The group is taking advantage of the advancement in technology and misusing the said innovations in propagating their propaganda. Particularly, ISIS uses various social media platforms as a recruitment platform across the world. In this regard, ISIS is specifically targeting the university students who frequent these media platforms to recruit them into their terrorist movement. Also, the online platforms provide them with the ability to indoctrinate these young individuals with extremist Islamist views which may be wrongfully interpreted to inspire them into terrorism. According to Welch, (2018), the government-backed counter-narrative programs have been largely successful in the United States of America. However, much can still be done to improve their efficacy by ensuring that the messaging its proper, informative and targeted to a particular audience. Welch proceeds to state that one of the most effective ways that the counternarrative programs have accomplished in doing is to expose the terrorist ideology that ISIS is founded on and the need to shun such an ideology. Further, the government just as ISIS is also targeting the youth, including university students, by providing these counter-narrative programs in various educational institutions in the country. These counter-narrative programmes equip the students with enough knowledge to decipher the truth from the online propaganda being propagated by ISIS. According to numerous researches, the youth - especially university students - are the most gullible to the terrorism propaganda being perpetrated by ISIS, and they form the largest percentage of foreigners who have been recruited into ISIS. According to Bloom & Daymon, (2018), terrorism is one of the greatest threats to humanity in the 21st century as it has the potential of wiping a significant number of people from the face of the earth. Terrorism is not a recent phenomenon as throughout history, various acts of terror have been meted on the human race to propagate a religious, political, or an ideological LITERATURE REVIEW 23 issue. In a similar vein Zekulin, (2018) theorizes that across human history, terrorism has been used by various societies to advance various agenda. From this unfortunate human history, it is safe to conclude that it the medieval times, the more violent and ruthless a society was to its enemies the more fear it generated among the people hence its authority could not be questioned. Similarly, in the modern day terrorism thrives on terror, violence, and intimidation of people to achieve its goals. However, ISIS distinguishes itself from these groups as it uses modern day tools to drive its agenda. ISIS has a very active online presence and has over the years used its online presence to not only recruit new members but also as a conduit of effective communication to existing members who may include university students. Previously, terrorist groups, such as the al-Qaeda, dominated the headlines as regards anything relating to international terrorism. According to Zekulin, (2018) al-Qaeda provided the foundational basis on which ISIS has currently perfected and thrives on. The al-Qaeda was a terrorist group that operated in Afghanistan and across the Middle East with the sole prerogative of causing death and mayhem across the world. This terrorist group based their actions on extreme Islamic views which most scholars of international repute have disputed as false indoctrination and interpretation of the Quran. According to Botz-Bornstein, 2017, the al-Qaeda presented Islam as a religion of violence and not peace as various theologians have stated numerously. Al-Qaeda is largely regarded as the terrorist group that was behind not only the September 2001 attacks but also the bombings of United States of America’s embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. These terrorist attacks led to the death of thousands of people and massive destruction of property. Particularly, the 9/11 shook the world’s conscience as the highly coordinated terrorist attack led to the death of about three thousand people died, and over six thousand people were LITERATURE REVIEW 24 injured. Alfifi et al., (2018) narrates that on that fateful Tuesday morning, radical Islamists associated with al-Qaeda hijacked four planes, two of which they crashed into the one hundred and ten story World Trade Centre complex. The third plane was crashed into the Pentagon, but fortunately, the fourth plane crash-landed on a field after the passengers overpowered the plane’s hijackers. The shocking news of a terrorist attack on a world superpower led people to appreciate the fact that terrorism respected no borders and that it could affect even the strongest of countries. Ali, (2015) succinctly opines that terrorism came into the international light and dominated various social debates after the 9/11 terrorist attack on the United States of America. From the 9/11 attacks, it becomes apparently clear to the international community that terrorism was a crime against humanity that needed to more attention than ever before. Bloom (2017) notes that at a local level, the 9/11 attack was the eye-opener to the nation on the dangers of terrorism. It was against this backdrop that the United States of America declared war on terrorism and began the hunt to capture and kill Osama bin Laden who was identified as the brains behind the attack. Additionally, it became succinctly clear that terrorism respected no international bounders and terrorism anywhere in the world was a direct threat to global peace and security. It became more apparent that the economic and military strength of a nation could not protect it from terrorism as terrorists used overt methods of warfare. Further, there was massive destruction of property and infrastructure with the federal government estimating the loss in property to have been more than ten billion dollars. It is important to note that hundreds of first responders, such as the police and firefighters, lost their lives in the line of duty on that day (Bloom, 2017). According to Torok, (2015), the September 2011 terrorist attack on the United States of America was the single deadliest terrorist attack in human history. The effects of this terrorist LITERATURE REVIEW 25 attack are still felt to-date as counties all over the world draw vital lessons about terrorism from this incident. Today, terrorism is one of the greatest threats to global peace and security as it has the capacity of causing the death of thousands of people and the massive destruction of property. The United Nations and other global organizations have been at the forefront in providing the necessary platform for countries and other stakeholders to discuss and come up with solutions to combating terrorism. In this regard, Torok, (2015) notes that terrorism should be abhorred by all countries of goodwill as there is not a single proven benefit of terrorism. Realizing that terrorism is a global phenomenon which cannot be successfully fought by a single country, various nations have come together to finds appropriate ways of curbing terrorism (Torok, 2015). According to Allendorfer & Herring, (2016), the increased threat of terrorist attacks led to nations thinking more seriously on how to eliminate this scourge from the face of the planet. In the Middle East where al-Qaeda was based, it made many countries ungovernable as they meted out terror on innocent civilians and committed various atrocities. Allendorfer & Herring (2016), notes that in Afghanistan, the al-Qaeda terrorist group were a government unto themselves and they murdered any government official or civilian who questioned their actions. In this regard, the massacred entire villages raped women and instilled fear on the population. Previously, the international world did not care much of their activities as they assumed that such local terrorist outfits did not directly threaten their interests. However, the 9/11 dispelled that thought and showed that terrorism was an international concern as its reach could directly affect any country (Allendorfer & Herring, 2016). Terrorism was no longer regarded as a domestic or regional problem but was a global security issue. Brown & Pearson, (2018) note that traditionally a country would protect itself from external forces by increasing it border surveillance. With regards to terrorism, countries for many LITERATURE REVIEW 26 years relied on strong immigration policy to keep terrorists and people associated with terrorism from stepping into their countries. Border patrols, intensive scrutiny, and background checks were heavily relied on in keeping the terrorists and their philosophy out of the reach of Americans. However, with the advancements in technology and the advent of social media terrorism agenda can be seamlessly accessed by the average internet user. Currently, the ease of disseminating information across the globe has made the world to be like a small village. In this regard, American university students are more exposed to terrorist ideology than ever before hence it is prudent to come up with specific strategies that counter the terrorism narrative that is being propagated online by various extremist groups (Brown & Pearson, 2018). However, the 21st-century terrorism as epitomized by ISIS has taken full advantage of the recent technological advancements such as social media in propagating its messages across the world. According to Binetti (2015), terrorism has metamorphosed over the years with new terrorist groups coming up. New terrorist groups, such as ISIS, have emerged in the recent past and are currently the biggest terrorist group in the world. ISIS is a jihadist group that follows the extremist teachings of Islam, and it gained international recognition when it successfully dislodged and overpowered the Iraqi forces in 2014 from various strategic towns in Iraq. As a terrorist group, ISIS is a militia which believes in violence and uses terrorism to advance its goals, propaganda, and rhetoric. ISIS is considered one of the most dangerous terrorist groups of our time do its ability to marshal adequate resources to accomplish its goals on a global scale. In this regard, ISIS has a global presence across various countries in the world and in the countries that it is not actively present it has the resources to sponsor and coordinate terrorism in those countries (Binetti, 2015). LITERATURE REVIEW 27 According to Wood, (2015), ISIS is pegging its growth on the internet where it has successfully convinced thousands that it is fighting for a worthy cause. To this end, ISIS ironically portrays the cool side of terrorism by professionally editing videos to convince impressionable people that it is the right party to back. The volume and accessibility of ISIS extremist propaganda have increased tremendously in the recent past. This is mainly attributed to ISIS strategy of using the various social media platforms to advance its objectives. Essentially, the ISIS uses the internet to cleanse its activities and give it a humane face. Wood, (2015) observes that the internet is virtual playgroup for ISIS as they use it to share and propagate propaganda. Also, the internet provides the ISIS with an avenue to reinforce its ideals and ‘educate’ the university students on the need to back their cause (Wood, 2015). Therefore, the Internet is constantly being misused and abused by ISIS to propagate its terrorist agenda across the globe. According to Berger (2015), through the use of social media, ISIS has been able to glamorize its activities around the world and managed to expand its networks. In this regard, more Americans are able to access these extremist views, and it also enables ISIS and other extremist groups the ability to recruit more members on these social media platforms. Further, American based extremists can directly communicate with other ISIS sympathizers not only in America but also across the globe. Therefore, the social media platforms increase the capacity of terrorist groups by enabling them to effectively communicate with each other and also disseminate their terrorist propaganda to billions of people across the globe. From this seamless communication channel, ISIS may coordinate terrorist attacks in the United States of America by inspiring individuals to undertake these attacks. The use of the Internet to propagate terrorist LITERATURE REVIEW 28 activities has exposed the soft underbelly of modern technology and the dangers that online users are exposed to on a daily basis (Berger, 2015). With the constant threat of terrorist attacks, the world was on edge with countries implementing various policies to prevent terrorism within their borders. According to Pearson, (2016), more reasonable people across the globe are appreciative of the fact that terrorism is a crime against humanity and it needs the collaboration of countries across the globe to fight it. Therefore, in coming up with counter-narrative strategies each country has a role to play in the war against ISIS online propaganda. These countries should be able to come up with a sustainable approach to clipping ISIS social media presence in the bud. The different strategies implemented by various countries across the world should harmonically gel into a singular effort to counter ISIS presence on the internet. Additionally, it is succinctly clear that terrorism respects no international bounders and terrorism anywhere in the world was a direct threat to global peace and security (Pearson, 2016). According to Aly et al., (2017) the international community has found a lot of challenges in attempting to define what a terrorist is or what terrorism entails. In particular, the United Nations has variously attempted to define terrorism in a legally binding manner to its member to no success as these debates are usually politically and emotionally charged. Based on these prevailing circumstances and competing interests there has not been a universally accepted definition of terrorism under international law. In this regard, there are countries who believe that acts of terrorism are majorly propagated by countries against other sovereign States hence the definition of terrorism should specifically highlight this assertion (Aly et al., 2017). Similarly, Wood, (2015) has clearly opined that the very strict and pure definition of terrorism encompasses various actions that countries do during war hence States may be the biggest propagators of LITERATURE REVIEW 29 terrorism throughout history. This line of thought is not appreciated by many other countries who believe that terrorism that should preoccupy nations at the international stage is terrorism atrocities committed various terrorist groups. On a local level, numerous countries all over the world - including the United States of America- have developed numerous strategies to combat terrorism within their borders. Certain strategies are specifically aimed at countering ISIS propaganda by preventing the spread of ISIS ideology. According to Allendorfer & Herring, (2016) ISIS - unlike the traditional terrorist groups – has a strong online presence and the group is taking advantage of the advancement in technology and misusing the said innovations in propagating their agenda on a global scale. Particularly, ISIS uses various social media platforms as a recruitment platform across the world. Anyone with a phone or a computer may easily access ISIS propaganda online from the comfort of their home anywhere in the world. In this regard, ISIS is specifically targeting the youth who frequent these media platforms to recruit them into their terrorist movement. Also, the online platforms provide them with the ability to indoctrinate these university students with extremist Islamist views which may be wrongfully interpreted to inspire them into terrorism. According to Bloom, (2017), ISIS stands apart from other terrorist groups all over the world for its ability to use online propaganda and recruitment. In this regard, ISIS uses a 21stcentury phenomenon – the internet – to convince thousands of people across the world to engage in the most medieval and archaic acts such as mass rape, mass murder, torture, and enslavement of people. This ability is perplexing to even scholars of international repute as ISIS seems to have a clear communication strategy aimed at achieving its goals. Through the use of social media and other internet platforms, ISIS has been able to recruit thousands of foreigners, including Americans, to join in its war against social order in the Middle East. It is important to LITERATURE REVIEW 30 appreciate the fact that the ISIS social media campaign has entirely changed the landscape as regards to combating terrorism. Governments must come with well-thought counter-narrative strategies to ensure that their citizens are not gullible to the online ISIS propaganda. Pearson (2016) states that it is on this basis that it is essential for the United States of America's government to come up with a clear and concise strategy that can effectively counter the ISIS online narrative. To this end, the government is also targeting the youth by providing these counter-narrative programs in various educational institutions in the country. These counter-narrative programmes equip the students with enough knowledge to decipher the truth from the online propaganda being propagated by ISIS. Various scholars of international repute have questioned the effectiveness of these counter-narrative programs and their impact on the targeted population segment. Most security observers are of the considered view that the government-backed counter-narrative programs are largely successful; however, much can still be done to improve their efficacy (Pearson, 2016). One of the most effective ways that the counter-narrative programs have accomplished in doing is to expose the terrorist ideology that ISIS is founded on and the need to shun such an ideology. According to Aly et al., (2017) ISIS is an internet phenomenon and countering its online activities, and their impact in the United States of America requires a clear and effective strategy. To this end, Wood, (2015) observes that in 2004 no one knew what ISIS was, but in the recent past, the terrorist group has dominated the international news. Majorly, the current wide international recognition of ISIS is due to its massive internet presence and clear communication strategy. This terrorist group particularly has embraced the internet age and uses it effectively to disseminate radical Islamist propaganda all over the world. By its nature, the internet provides ISIS with a platform that can reach billions of people across various countries and ISIS has taken LITERATURE REVIEW 31 this opportunity to grow its networks globally. To effectively achieve its desired effect, ISIS has taken the initiative to translate its militant propaganda and religious rhetoric into various languages. Through this initiative, ISIS is able to reach billions of people speaking different languages (Wood, 2015). This is contrary to most radical Islamist terrorist groups which mainly broadcasted their terrorist propaganda in Arabic. According to Botz-Bornstein (2017), governments must think beyond the traditional ways of combating terrorism to succeed in effectively countering the ISIS online presence. To this end, the previously developed strategies to combat terrorism such as strong border controls has no significant effect in getting ahead of the ISIS online propaganda machinery. Therefore, certain strategies that are specifically aimed at clipping ISIS propaganda in the bud by preventing the spread of ISIS ideology are essential in this modern fight against terrorism. According to various international security observers, ISIS - unlike the traditional terrorist groups – has a strong online presence. The group is taking advantage of the advancement in technology and misusing the said innovations in propagating their propaganda. Particularly, ISIS uses various social media platforms as a recruitment platform across the world. In this regard, ISIS is specifically targeting the youth who frequent these media platforms to recruit them into their terrorist movement. Also, the online platforms provide them with the ability to indoctrinate these young individuals with extremist Islamist views which may be wrongfully interpreted to inspire them into terrorism (Botz-Bornstein, 2017). Similarly, Brown & Pearson, (2018) aptly opines that the government of the United States of America should be more creative in its countermeasures to curb the ISIS social media campaign. In this regard, the government should put more resources in its counter-narrative projects and eliminate the bureaucratic steps needed before a counter-narrative message is posted LITERATURE REVIEW 32 online. In this light, it is important to appreciate the dynamism of ISIS and its ability to churn numerous videos and posts online hence the federal government should be able to at least match that capacity. Further, Brown & Pearson, (2018) argues that the government should develop more content in its counter-narrative efforts so as to provide American university students with more detailed and various sets of information about ISIS. The only way to effectively counter propaganda is to provide the masses with the requisite knowledge which equips them with the ability to identify propaganda. According to various scholars of international repute, an individual can easily distinguish propaganda from the reality only if he/she is knowledgeable enough with respect to the appropriate facts. According to Opperman, (2018), the ease of disseminating information across the globe has made the world to it possible for Americans to be more exposed to terrorist ideology than ever before. As a result, it is prudent to come up with specific strategies that counter the terrorism narrative that is being propagated online by various extremist groups. Particularly, ISIS uses various social media platforms as a recruitment platform across the world. In this regard, ISIS is specifically targeting the youth who frequent these media platforms to recruit them into their terrorist movement. Also, the online platforms provide them with the ability to indoctrinate these young university students with extremist Islamist views which may be wrongfully interpreted to inspire them into terrorism. Therefore, the counter-narrative programme should be able to expose the lies that ISIS is peddling on the internet. The said programme should be able to adequately educate a layman on the actual activities of ISIS and the terrorist activities that they engage in across the globe Opperman, (2018). According to Botz-Bornstein, (2017) the government-backed counter-narrative programs have been largely successful in the United States of America. However, much can still be done to LITERATURE REVIEW 33 improve their efficacy by ensuring that the messaging its proper, informative and targeted to a particular audience. Botz-Bornstein, (2017) proceeds to state that one of the most effective ways that the counter-narrative programs have accomplished in doing is to expose the terrorist ideology that ISIS is founded on and the need to shun such an ideology. Further, the government just as ISIS is also targeting the youth by providing these counter-narrative programs in various educational institutions in the country. These counter-narrative programmes equip the students with enough knowledge to decipher the truth from the online propaganda being propagated by ISIS. According to numerous researches, the youth are the most gullible to the terrorism propaganda being perpetrated by ISIS, and they form the largest percentage of foreigners who have been recruited into ISIS. Pearson, (2016) is of the considered opinion that there are various factors that propagate radicalization in the United States of America. Pearson, (2016) primarily highlights grievances and ideals as the two main contributors of radicalization, especially among the young people. With regards to grievances, there are many sources of grievances that a terrorist outfit may explore in its attempt to radicalize an individual. These grievances may range from poor family relations, a sense of non-belonging in the community, and government policy. Certain individuals may develop extremist views due to their immense dislike of the government's policies especially in regards to security and foreign policy (Pearson, 2016). Therefore, grievances are a major contribution of radicalization as the terrorist outfit, such as ISIL, can easily exploit the already existing emotional situation to radicalize an individual. For example, ISIL may convince an individual that engaging in certain terrorist activities is the best way to reach a government which is propagating certain policies than the said individual is opposed to. LITERATURE REVIEW 34 Manrique et al., 2017 buttresses this point by stating that once a negative viewpoint about certain issues has gotten root in the society, radical ideology comes in to fill void. Thereafter, the radical ideology battens the grievance and elevates it to be the most important aspect in a person's life. Further, the radical ideology provides a way of venting out these grievances and may be used to radicalize an individual into committing terrorist attacks on the United States of America. Consequentially, the grievances when improperly channeled may lead to the development of extremist ideas. Empirical evidence tends to show that most terrorist groups exploit an individual's grievance and emotional imbalance to radicalize its members and in recruiting new members. Additionally, previous involvement in gang violence and low-level crimes contribute to the radicalization of individuals in the United States of America. Previous criminal history is a relevant factor when talking about radicalization as various social scientists of international acclaim have observed that people previously involved in criminal activities are more likely to commit the violent acts of terrorism. Manrique et al., 2017 opines that ISIS is a militia which believes in violence and uses terrorism to advance its goals, propaganda, and rhetoric. ISIS is considered one of the most dangerous terrorist groups of our time do its ability to marshal adequate resources to accomplish its goals on a global scale. In this regard, ISIS has a global presence across various countries in the world and in the countries that it is not actively present it has the resources to sponsor and coordinate terrorism in those countries. Usually, terrorism metes out terror on a population and creates societal fear among people. All through history, various acts of terror have been meted on the human race to propagate a religious, political, or an ideological issue. ISIS has a very active online presence and has over the years used its online presence to not only recruit new members LITERATURE REVIEW 35 but also as a conduit of effective communication to existing members which includes university students (Manrique et al., 2017). To this end, Opperman, (2018) succinctly opines that the United States of America's government should come up with a clear and concise strategy that can effectively counter the ISIS online narrative. The government should also target the youth and other socially impressionable people by providing these counter-narrative programs in various educational institutions in the country. These counter-narrative programmes equip the students with enough knowledge to decipher the truth from the online propaganda being propagated by ISIS. Various scholars of international repute have questioned the effectiveness of these counter-narrative programs and their impact on the targeted population segment. Most security observers are of the considered view that the government-backed counter-narrative programs are largely successful; however, much can still be done to improve their efficacy (Opperman, 2018). One of the most effective ways that the counter-narrative programs have accomplished in doing is to expose the terrorist ideology that ISIS is founded on and the need to shun such an ideology. According to Brown & Pearson, (2018) terrorism thrives on terror and intimidation of a population and creates societal fear among people. All through history, various acts of terror have been meted on the human race to propagate a religious, political, or an ideological issue. Terror begets fear and thrives on this created fear to drive the general terrorism agenda. However, the modern day terrorism is associated with ISIS as this terrorist group uses modern day tools to drive its agenda. In this regard, Brown & Pearson, (2018) opines that ISIS is unique and distinguishes itself from traditional terrorist groups on the basis that it actively uses the various social media platforms to its advantage. ISIS has a very active online presence and has over the years used its online presence to not only recruit new members but also as a conduit of LITERATURE REVIEW 36 effective communication to existing members. Through the use of the internet, ISIS has rapidly emerged as one of the biggest terrorist groups in the world. Consequently, ISIS is considered one of the most dangerous terrorist groups of our time do its ability to marshal adequate resources from its online platform to accomplish its goals on a global scale. According to Botz-Bornstein (2017), ISIS uses various social media platforms as a recruitment platform across the world. In this regard, ISIS is specifically targeting the university students who frequent these media platforms to recruit them into their terrorist movement. The group disseminates extremist teachings of Islam to billions of people across the world that have access to the various social media platforms that ISIS operates in such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. As a terrorist group, ISIS is a militia which believes in violence and uses the internet platform to advance its goals, propaganda, and rhetoric. Further, Botz-Bornstein (2017) note that ISIS is considered one of the most dangerous terrorist groups of our time do its ability to marshal adequate resources to accomplish its goals on a global scale. One of the ways that it achieves this monumental task is through social media it can source funds and convince its sympathizers to contribute to its activities. Similarly, Wood (2015) notes that ISIS uses various social media platforms as a recruitment platform across the world. In this regard, ISIS is specifically targeting the youth who frequent these media platforms to recruit them into their terrorist movement. This terrorist group uses the internet platform to disseminate various radical Islamist teachings and numerously misinterprets the Quran to suit their selfish and criminal interests. To this end, the government is also targeting the university students by providing counter-narrative programs in various educational institutions in the country (Wood, 2015). These counter-narrative programmes equip the students with enough knowledge to decipher the truth from the online propaganda being LITERATURE REVIEW 37 propagated by ISIS. Also, the counter-narrative programs should be relevant and reflective of the messages that ISIS is propagative. To this end, the counter-narrative measures should holistically react to the propaganda being peddled by ISIS. This is the only way to deal with propaganda effectively as it is crucial to remain relevant to whatever you are responding to. Aly et al., (2017) is of the considered opinion that the internet provides ISIS with a platform that can reach billions of people across various countries and ISIS has taken this opportunity to grow its networks globally. To effectively achieve its desired effect, ISIS has taken the initiative to translate its militant propaganda and religious rhetoric into various languages. Through this initiative, ISIS is able to reach billions of people speaking different languages. ISIS has a very active online presence and has over the years used its online presence to not only recruit new members but also as a conduit of effective communication to existing members. Through the use of the internet, ISIS has rapidly emerged as one of the biggest terrorist groups in the world. Also, the online platforms provide them with the ability to indoctrinate these young university students with extremist Islamist views which may be wrongfully interpreted to inspire them into terrorism. According to Pearson, (2016) it is essential to develop a clear and concise strategy that can effectively counter the ISIS online narrative. The government must be creative and reconsider the traditional ways of combating terrorism. In this regard, terrorism itself has greatly changed hence the methods being used by governments across the world should reflect this change. With the emergence of new terrorist groups, such as ISIS, in the recent past, the government must change tact and come up with a comprehensive plan of dealing with these terrorist groups (Pearson, 2016). These counter-narrative programmes should equip Americans with substantial and relevant knowledge on ISIS to prevent them from being gullible to the LITERATURE REVIEW 38 online propaganda being propagated by ISIS. Primarily, the counter-narrative programs should effectively expose the terrorist ideology that ISIS is founded on and the need to shun such an ideology. Therefore, the government of the United States of America has a significant role to play in protecting its citizens from the online propaganda machinery by ISIS. According to Berger (2015), countries can no longer fully rely on the traditional ways of combating terrorisms such as the implementation of strong immigration policy to keep terrorists and people associated with terrorism from stepping into their countries. Traditional methods such as increased border patrols, intensive scrutiny, and background checks are not effective in effectively dealing with the ISIS online propaganda. In this regard, the advancements in technology and the advent of social media terrorism agenda has rendered these traditional methods obsolete as anyone with an internet enabled phone can easily access this propaganda online. To this end, the government of the United States of America should be more creative in its countermeasures to combat the ISIS social media campaign (Berger, 2015). In this regard, the government should put more resources in its counter-narrative projects and appreciate the dynamism of ISIS and its ability to generate churn numerous propaganda content over a short period hence the federal government should be able to at least match that capacity. According to Wood, (2015) the ease of disseminating information across the globe has made the world to it possible for Americans to be variously exposed to terrorist ideology. As a result, it is prudent for the government of the day to come up with specific strategies that counter the terrorism narrative that is being propagated online by various extremist groups. Particularly, ISIS uses various social media platforms as a recruitment platform across the world. Through the internet platform, ISIS has the ability to reach millions of people across various countries, and it has taken this opportunity to grow its networks globally. Through its very active online presence, LITERATURE REVIEW 39 ISIS cannot only recruit new members into its fold but also use the internet platform as a conduit for effective communication to existing members. Wood, (2015) observes that effective communication is key to the success of any organization including terrorist groups. The internet fills this gap and increases the capacity of these terrorist groups to coordinate and launch attacks across the globe (Wood, 2015). Binetti (2015) succinctly opines that American based extremists can directly communicate with other ISIS sympathizers not only in America but also across the globe through the internet. In essence, the various social media platforms enable terrorists to converse and share ideas just as other internet users make use of these platforms. Various scholars of international repute have questioned the effectiveness of these counter-narrative programs and their impact on the targeted population segment. Most security observers are of the considered view that the government-backed counter-narrative programs are largely successful; however, much can still be done to improve their efficacy (Binetti, 2015). Primarily, terrorism is an international menace hence international organizations should be at the forefront in providing the necessary platform for countries and other stakeholders to discuss and come up with solutions to combating terrorism. The countermeasures aimed at limiting the impact of ISIS internet presence must be a joint effort between countries across the world to deal with online propagated terrorism successfully. Summary According to Brown & Pearson, (2018), ISIS uses various social media platforms as a recruitment platform across the world. In this regard, ISIS is specifically targeting the youth who frequent these media platforms to recruit them into their terrorist movement. The group LITERATURE REVIEW 40 disseminates extremist teachings of Islam to billions of people across the world –including university students - that have access to the various social media platforms that ISIS operates in such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. As a terrorist group, ISIS is a militia which believes in violence and uses the internet platform to advance its goals, propaganda, and rhetoric. Further, Brown & Pearson, (2018) note that ISIS is considered one of the most dangerous terrorist groups of our time do its ability to marshal adequate resources to accomplish its goals on a global scale. One of the ways that it achieves this monumental task is through social media it can source funds and convince its sympathizers to contribute to its activities (Brown & Pearson, 2018). According to Allendorfer & Herring, (2016), ISIS is a militia which believes in violence and uses terrorism to advance its goals, propaganda, and rhetoric. ISIS has a global presence across various countries in the world and in the countries and is considered one of the most dangerous terrorist groups in the world (Allendorfer & Herring, 2016). ISIS uses the internet and various social media platforms to portray the cool side of terrorism to convince impressionable people that it is the right it doing the right thing in the world. Also, the internet provides the ISIS with an avenue to reinforce its ideals and ‘educate’ the said university students on the need to back their cause. Therefore, the Internet is constantly being misused and abused by ISIS to propagate its terrorist agenda across the globe. Additionally, the internet and advancements in technology have expanded the scope of terrorism as terrorist groups can reach out to their followers and sympathizers across the world from the comfort of their hiding places. Also, Torok (2015) notes that it is essential to develop a clear and concise strategy that can effectively counter the ISIS online narrative. The government must be creative and reconsider the traditional ways of combating terrorism. In this regard, terrorism itself has greatly changed hence the methods being used by governments across the world should reflect this LITERATURE REVIEW 41 change. With the emergence of new terrorist groups, such as ISIS, in the recent past, the government must change tact and come up with a comprehensive plan of dealing with these terrorist groups (Torok, 2015). These counter-narrative programmes should equip Americans with substantial and relevant knowledge on ISIS to prevent them from being gullible to the online propaganda being propagated by ISIS. Primarily, the counter-narrative programs should effectively expose the terrorist ideology that ISIS is founded on and the need to shun such an ideology. Therefore, the government of the United States of America has a significant role to play in protecting its citizens from the online propaganda machinery by ISIS. Bloom (2017) advises that each country should come up with counter-narrative strategies specifically aimed at the ISIS online propaganda. These countries should be able to come up with a sustainable approach of clipping ISIS social media presence and providing their citizens with the relevant information on terrorism. The different strategies implemented by various countries across the world should harmonically lead to a singular effort to counter ISIS presence on the internet. To this end, terrorism is an international menace hence international organizations should be at the forefront in providing the necessary platform for countries and other stakeholders to discuss and come up with solutions of combating terrorism (Bloom, 2017). The countermeasures aimed at limiting the impact of ISIS internet presence must be a joint effort between countries across the world to deal with online propagated terrorism successfully. According to Alfifi et al., (2018), the ease of disseminating information across the globe has made the world to it possible for Americans to be variously exposed to terrorist ideology. As a result, it is prudent for the government of the day to come up with specific strategies that counter the terrorism narrative that is being propagated online by various extremist groups. Particularly, ISIS uses various social media platforms as a recruitment platform across the world. LITERATURE REVIEW 42 Through the internet platform, ISIS has the ability to reach millions of people across various countries, and it has taken this opportunity to grow its networks globally. Through its very active online presence, ISIS cannot only recruit new members into its fold but also use the internet platform as a conduit for effective communication to existing members. Ali, (2015) observes that effective communication is key to the success of any organization including terrorist groups. The internet fills this gap and increases the capacity of these terrorist groups to coordinate and launch attacks across the globe. LITERATURE REVIEW 43 References Alfifi, M., Kaghazgaran, P., Caverlee, J., & Morstatter, F. (2018). Measuring the Impact of ISIS Social Media Strategy. Ali, M. (2015). ISIS and propaganda: How ISIS exploits women. Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, 10-11. Allendorfer, W., & Herring, S. (2016). ISIS vs. the US government: A war of online video propaganda. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research, 5. Aly, A., Macdonald, S., Jarvis, L., & Chen, T. M. (2017). Introduction to the special issue: Terrorist online propaganda and radicalization. Aly, A., Macdonald, S., Jarvis, L., & Chen, T. M. (2017). Introduction to the special issue: Terrorist online propaganda and radicalization. Artrip, R. E., & Debrix, F. (2018). The viral mediation of terror: ISIS, image, implosion. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 35(1), 74-88. Awan, I. (2017). Cyber-extremism: Isis and the power of social media. Society, 54(2), 138-149. Benigni, M. C., Joseph, K., & Carley, K. M. (2017). Online extremism and the communities that sustain it: Detecting the ISIS supporting community on Twitter. PloS one, 12(12), e0181405. Berger, J. M. (2015). Tailored online interventions: The islamic state’s recruitment strategy. CTC Sentinel, 8(10), 19-23. LITERATURE REVIEW 44 Binetti, A. (2015). A new frontier: Human trafficking and ISIS’s recruitment of women from the West. Information 2 Action. Bloom, M. (2017). Constructing expertise: Terrorist recruitment and “talent spotting” in the PIRA, Al Qaeda, and ISIS. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 40(7), 603-623. Bloom, M., & Daymon, C. (2018). Assessing the Future Threat: ISIS's Virtual Caliphate. Orbis. Bloom, M., Tiflati, H., & Horgan, J. (2017). Navigating ISIS’s Preferred Platform: Telegram1. Terrorism and Political Violence, 1-13. Botz-Bornstein, T. (2017). The “futurist” aesthetics of ISIS. Journal of Aesthetics & Culture, 9(1), 1271528. Brown, K. E., & Pearson, E. (2018). Social media, the online environment and terrorism. In Routledge Handbook of Terrorism and Counterterrorism (pp. 175-190). Routledge. Buchanan, E. (2017). Considering the ethics of big data research: A case of Twitter and ISIS/ISIL. PloS one, 12(12), e0187155. Chouliaraki, L., & Kissas, A. (2018). The communication of horrorism: a typology of ISIS online death videos. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 35(1), 24-39. Cohen, E., & Goldschmidt, D. (2015). Ex-terrorist explains how to fight ISIS online. CNN. 21st December.[Online] Available from: http://edition. cnn. com/2015/12/18/health/alquaeda-recruiter-fight-isis-online/index.html Cohen-Almagor, R. (2017). Jihad online: how do terrorists use the Internet?. In Media and Metamedia Management (pp. 55-66). Springer, Cham. LITERATURE REVIEW 45 Day, J., & Kleinmann, S. (2017). Combating the Cult of ISIS: A Social Approach to Countering Violent Extremism. The Review of Faith & International Affairs, 15(3), 14-23. Farwell, J. P. (2014). The media strategy of ISIS. Survival, 56(6), 49-55. Ferrara, E. (2017). Computational Social Science to Gauge Online Extremism. arXiv preprint. arXiv preprint arXiv:1701.08170. Ferrara, E. (2017). Contagion dynamics of extremist propaganda in social networks. Information Sciences, 418, 1-12. Ferrara, E., Wang, W. Q., Varol, O., Flammini, A., & Galstyan, A. (2016, November). Predicting online extremism, content adopters, and interaction reciprocity. In International conference on social informatics (pp. 22-39). Springer, Cham. Freilich, J. M. (2017). Section 230's Liability Shield in the Age of Online Terrorist Recruitment. Brook. L. Rev., 83, 675. Golan, G. J., & Lim, J. S. (2016). Third-Person Effect of ISIS's Recruitment Propaganda: Online Political Self-Efficacy and Social Media Activism. International Journal of Communication, 10, 21. Goyal, T., Saini, J. K., & Bansal, D. (2019). Analyzing Behavior of ISIS and Al-Qaeda using Association Rule Mining. In Proceedings of 2nd International Conference on Communication, Computing and Networking (pp. 669-675). Springer, Singapore. Greenberg, K. J. (2016). Counter-radicalization via the Internet. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 668(1), 165-179. LITERATURE REVIEW 46 Howell, M. (2017). Fighting Extremism: Efforts to Defeat Online ISIS Recruitment Methods (Doctoral dissertation, The University of Mississippi). Kim, J. J., Liu, Y., Lim, W. Y., & Thing, V. L. (2017, November). An Empirical Study on Collective Online Behaviors of Extremist Supporters. In International Conference on Advanced Data Mining and Applications (pp. 445-459). Springer, Cham. Lakomy, M. (2017). Cracks in the Online “Caliphate” How the Islamic State is Losing Ground in the Battle for Cyberspace. Perspectives on Terrorism, 11(3), 40-53. League, A. D. (2014). Homegrown Islamic Extremism in 2014: The Rise of ISIS & Sustained Online Recruitment. Magdy, W., Darwish, K., & Weber, I. (2015). # FailedRevolutions: Using Twitter to study the antecedents of ISIS support. arXiv preprint arXiv:1503.02401. Mahood, S., & Rane, H. (2017). Islamist narratives in ISIS recruitment propaganda. The Journal of International Communication, 23(1), 15-35. Mahood, S., & Rane, H. (2017). Islamist narratives in ISIS recruitment propaganda. The Journal of International Communication, 23(1), 15-35. Ibrahim, N. H. B., Aris, S. R. S., & Razak, F. H. A. (2017). The Use of Facebook in ISIS Recruitment-An Exploratory Study. Journal of Media and Information Warfare Vol, 10, 51-77. Manrique, P. D., Zheng, M., Cao, Z., & Johnson, N. F. (2017). Generalized Gelation Theory describes Human Online Aggregation in support of Extremism. arXiv preprint arXiv:1712.06000. LITERATURE REVIEW 47 Manrique, P. D., Zheng, M., Cao, Z., Restrepo, E. M., & Johnson, N. F. (2018). Generalized Gelation Theory Describes Onset of Online Extremist Support. Physical review letters, 121(4), 048301. McDowell-Smith, A., Speckhard, A., & Yayla, A. S. (2017). Beating ISIS in the digital space: Focus testing ISIS defector counter-narrative videos with American college students. Journal for Deradicalization, (10), 50-76. McElreath, D. H., Doss, D. A., McElreath, L., Lindsley, A., Lusk, G., Skinner, J., & Wellman, A. (2018). The Communicating and Marketing of Radicalism: A Case Study of ISIS and Cyber Recruitment. International Journal of Cyber Warfare and Terrorism (IJCWT), 8(3), 26-45. Meleagrou-Hitchens, A. (2017). The Challenges and Limitations of Online Counter-Narratives in the Fight against ISIS Recruitment in Europe and North America. Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, 18(3), 95-104. Meleagrou-Hitchens, A., Alexander, A., & Kaderbhai, N. (2017). The impact of digital communications technology on radicalization and recruitment. International Affairs, 93(5), 1233-1249. Morris, J., & Dunning, T. (2018). Rearing Cubs of the Caliphate: An Examination of Child Soldier Recruitment by Da’esh. Terrorism and Political Violence, 1-19. Neer, T., & O'toole, M. E. (2014). The violence of the Islamic State of Syria (ISIS): A behavioral perspective. Violence and gender, 1(4), 145-156. LITERATURE REVIEW 48 Nuraniyah, N. (2018). 10 Online extremism: the advent of encrypted private chat groups. Digital Indonesia. Opperman, J. (2018). How the Islamic State successfully recruits African youths. Africa Conflict Monitor, 2018(1), 44-47. Pearson, E. (2016). The case of roshonara choudhry: Implications for theory on online radicalization, ISIS women, and the gendered jihad. Policy & Internet, 8(1), 5-33. Pearson, E. (2018). Online as the New Frontline: Affect, Gender, and ISIS-Take-Down on Social Media. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 1-25. Russo, J. (2017). The Power of Pop Culture in the Hands of ISIS. Foundations of Homeland Security: Law and Policy, 459-467. Saltman, E. M. (2019). Western Female Migrants to ISIS: Propaganda, Radicalisation, and Recruitment. In Gender and Diversity: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications(pp. 1876-1899). IGI Global. Shehabat, A., & Mitew, T. (2018). Black-boxing the Black Flag: Anonymous Sharing Platforms and ISIS Content Distribution Tactics. Perspectives on Terrorism, 12(1), 81-99. Speckhard, A., Shajkovci, A., & Yayla, A. (2017). Following a Military Defeat of ISIS in Syria and Iraq: What Happens Next after the Military Victory and the Return of Foreign Fighters?. Journal of Terrorism Research, 8(1). Speckhard, A., Shajkovci, A., Wooster, C., & Izadi, N. (2018). Mounting a Facebook Brand Awareness and Safety Ad Campaign to Break the ISIS Brand in Iraq. Perspectives on Terrorism, 12(3), 50-66. LITERATURE REVIEW 49 Tierney, M. (2018). # TerroristFinancing: An Examination of Terrorism Financing via the Internet. International Journal of Cyber Warfare and Terrorism (IJCWT), 8(1), 1-11. Tønnessen, T. H. (2017). Islamic State and Technology–A Literature Review. Perspectives on Terrorism, 11(6), 101-111. Torok, R. (2015). ISIS and the institution of online terrorist recruitment. Middle East Institute. Townsend, C. (2017). Global Recruitment by ISIS. Enslow Publishing, LLC. Turner, L. (2018). The Path to Terrorism: The Islamic State and Its Recruitment Strategies. Welch, T. (2018). Theology, heroism, justice, and fear: an analysis of ISIS propaganda magazines Dabiq and Rumiyah. Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict, 1-13. Wignell, P., O’Halloran, K. L., Tan, S., Lange, R., & Chai, K. (2018). Image and text relations in ISIS materials and the new relations established through recontextualisation in online media. Discourse & Communication, 1750481318766938. Wood, G. (2015). What ISIS really wants. The Atlantic, 315(2), 78-94. Xu, F., Sun, D., Li, Z., & Li, B. (2017, December). Exploring structural features of terrorist organization's online supporting community via social network modeling. In Computer and Communications (ICCC), 2017 3rd IEEE International Conference on (pp. 274278). IEEE. Yu, J. (2018). Regulation of Social Media Platforms to Curb ISIS Incitement and Recruitment: The Need for an International Framework and Its Free Speech Implications. J. Glob. Just. & Pub. Pol'y, 4, 1. LITERATURE REVIEW 50 Zekulin, M. G. (2018). More than the medium: how the communication literature helps explain ISIS’s success in recruiting Westerners. Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, 13(1), 17-37. Running head: LITERATURE REVIEW 1 Literature Review Name Course Professor Date: LITERATURE REVIEW 2 Literature Review Background of the Problem On 11th September 2001, the Islamist extremist group al-Qaeda launched a devastating terrorist attack on the United States of America. The world woke up on that fateful Tuesday to the shocking news that had befallen the United States of America. In the four-pronged coordinated terrorist attack, about three thousand people died and over six thousand others injured (Zekulin, 2018). Further, there was massive destruction of property and infrastructure with the federal government estimating the loss in property to have been more than ten billion dollars. This terrorist attack shook the nation as Americans grappled to understand the circumstances that had befallen their great nation. In this regard, more American citizens – including university students - than ever before started to appreciate the fact that terrorism was a crime against humanity and it needed the collaborative of countries across the globe to fight terrorism (Alfifi et al., 2018). Additionally, it became succinctly clear that terrorism respected no international bounders and terrorism anywhere in the world was a direct threat to global peace and security. After the September 2011 attacks, the United States of America declared war on terrorism and vowed to exterminate any terrorist group in the world. It is important to note that the United States of America’s embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam had also borne the brunt of terrorism leading to the death of thousands of people and massive destruction of property (Ali, 2015). With the constant threat of terrorist attacks, the world was on edge with countries implementing various policies to prevent terrorism within their borders. During the 9/11 attacks, radical Islamists associated with al-Qaeda hijacked four planes, two of which they crashed into LITERATURE REVIEW 3 the one hundred and ten story World Trade Centre complex. The third plane was crashed into the Pentagon, but fortunately, the fourth plane crash-landed on a field after the passengers overpowered the carjackers (Yu, 2018). Various scholars of international repute have numerously opined that the 9/11 attack was the eye-opener to the world on the dangers of terrorism (Allendorfer & Herring, 2016). In this regard, the September 2011 terrorist attack on the United States of America is the single deadliest terrorist attack in human history, and its effects still felt to-date. After the 9/11 attacks, several other countries across the world have been targeted by various terrorist attacks leading to the death of thousands of people and massive destruction of property. For example, in recent past Britain and France have dominated international news after suffering from various terrorist attacks. To this end, terrorism has been classified as one of the major threats to global peace and security. The United Nations and other global organizations have been at the forefront in providing the necessary platform for countries and other stakeholders to discuss and come up with solutions to combating terrorism (Xu et al., 2017). Importantly, terrorism has metamorphosed over the years with new terrorist groups coming up. New terrorist groups such as ISIS have emerged in the recent past and are now the biggest terrorist group in the world (Aly et al., 2017). ISIS is a jihadist group that follows the extremist teachings of Islam, and it gained international recognition when it successfully dislodged and overpowered the Iraqi forces in 2014 from various strategic towns in Iraq. As a terrorist group, ISIS is a militia which believes in violence and uses terrorism to advance its goals, propaganda, and rhetoric. ISIS is considered one of the most dangerous terrorist groups of our time do its ability to marshal adequate resources to accomplish its goals on a global scale. In this regard, ISIS has a global presence across various countries in the world and in the countries LITERATURE REVIEW 4 that it is not actively present it has the resources to sponsor and coordinate terrorism in those countries (Wood, 2015). To this end, various countries, including the United States of America, have developed numerous strategies to combat terrorism within their borders. Certain strategies are specifically aimed clipping ISIS propaganda in the bud by preventing the spread of ISIS ideology. According to various international security observers, ISIS - unlike the traditional terrorist groups – has a strong online presence (Artrip & Debrix, 2018). The group is taking advantage of the advancement in technology and misusing the said innovations in propagating their propaganda. Particularly, ISIS uses various social media platforms as a recruitment platform across the world. In this regard, ISIS is specifically targeting the university students who frequent these media platforms to recruit them into their terrorist movement. Also, the online platforms provide them with the ability to indoctrinate these students with extremist Islamist views which may be wrongfully interpreted to inspire them into terrorism (Wignell et al., 2018). It is on this basis that it is essential for the United States of America’s government to come up with a clear and concise strategy that can effectively counter the ISIS online narrative (Awan, 2017). To this end, the government is also targeting the university students by providing these count...
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Running head: LITERATURE REVIEW

1

Literature Review
Name
Course
Professor
Date:

LITERATURE REVIEW

2
Literature Review

Background of the Problem
On 11th September 2001, the Islamist extremist group al-Qaeda launched a devastating
terrorist attack on the United States of America. The world woke up on that fateful Tuesday to
the shocking news that had befallen the United States of America. In the four-pronged
coordinated terrorist attack, about three thousand people died and over six thousand others
injured(Zekulin, 2018). Further, there was massive destruction of property and infrastructure
with the federal government estimating the loss in property to have been more than ten billion
dollars. This terrorist attack shook the nation as Americans grappled to understand the
circumstances that had befallen their great nation. In this regard, more American citizens –
including university students - than ever before started to appreciate the fact that terrorism was a
crime against humanity and it needed the collaborative of countries across the globe to fight
terrorism (Alfifi et al., 2018). Additionally, it became succinctly clear that terrorism respected no
international bounders and terrorism anywhere in the world was a direct threat to global peace
and security.
After the September 2011 attacks, the United States of America declared war on
terrorism and vowed to exterminate any terrorist group in the world. It is important to note that
the United States of America’s embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam had also borne the brunt
of terrorism leading to the death of thousands of people and massive destruction of property(Ali,
2015). With the constant threat of terrorist attacks, the world was on edge with countries
implementing various policies to prevent terrorism within their borders. During the 9/11 attacks,
radical Islamists associated with al-Qaeda hijacked four planes, two of which they crashed into

LITERATURE REVIEW

3

the one hundred and ten story World Trade Centre complex. The third plane was crashed into the
Pentagon, but fortunately, the fourth plane crash-landed on a field after the passengers
overpowered the carjackers (Yu, 2018).
Various scholars of international repute have numerously opined that the 9/11 attack was
the eye-opener to the world on the dangers of terrorism (Allendorfer & Herring, 2016). In this
regard, the September 2011 terrorist attack on the United States of America is the single
deadliest terrorist attack in human history, and its effects still felt to-date. After the 9/11 attacks,
several other countries across the world have been targeted by various terrorist attacks leading to
the death of thousands of people and massive destruction of property. For example, in recent past
Britain and France have dominated international news after suffering from various terrorist
attacks. To this end, terrorism has been classified as one of the major threats to global peace and
security. The United Nations and other global organizations have been at the forefront in
providing the necessary platform for countries and other stakeholders to discuss and come up
with solutions to combating terrorism (Xu et al., 2017).
Importantly, terrorism has metamorphosed over the years with new terrorist groups
coming up. New terrorist groups such as ISIS have emerged in the recent past and are now the
biggest terrorist group in the world (Aly et al., 2017). ISIS is a jihadist group that follows the
extremist teachings of Islam, and it gained international recognition when it successfully
dislodged and overpowered the Iraqi forces in 2014 from various strategic towns in Iraq. As a
terrorist group, ISIS is a militia which believes in violence and uses terrorism to advance its
goals, propaganda, and rhetoric. ISIS is considered one of the most dangerous terrorist groups of
our time do its ability to marshal adequate resources to accomplish its goals on a global scale. In
this regard, ISIS has a global presence across various countries in the world and in the countries

LITERATURE REVIEW

4

that it is not actively present it has the resources to sponsor and coordinate terrorism in those
countries (Wood, 2015).
To this end, various countries, including the United States of America, have developed
numerous strategies to combat terrorism within their borders. Certain strategies are specifically
aimed clipping ISIS propaganda in the bud by preventing the spread of ISIS ideology. According
to various international security observers, ISIS - unlike the traditional terrorist groups – has a
strong online presence (Artrip& Debrix, 2018). The group is taking advantage of the
advancement in technology and misusing the said innovations in propagating their propaganda.
Particularly, ISIS uses various social media platforms as a recruitment platform across the world.
In this regard, ISIS is specifically targeting the university students who frequent these media
platforms to recruit them into their terrorist movement. Also, the online platforms provide them
with the ability to indoctrinate these students with extremist Islamist views which may be
wrongfully interpreted to inspire them into terrorism (Wignell et al., 2018).
It is on this basis that it is essential for the United States of America’s government to
come up with a clear and concise strategy that can effectively counter the ISIS online narrative
(Awan, 2017). To this end, the government is also targeting the university students by providing
these counter-narrative programs in various educational institutions in the country. These
counter-narrative programmes equip the students with enough knowledge to decipher the truth
from the online propaganda being propagated by ISIS. Various scholars of international repute
have questioned the effectiveness of these counter-narrative programs and their impact on the
targeted university students. Most security observers are of the considered view that the
government-backed counter-narrative programs are largely successful; however, much can still
be done to improve their efficacy. One of the most effective ways that the counter-narrative

LITERATURE REVIEW

5

programs have accomplished in doing is to expose the terrorist ideology that ISIS is founded on
and the need to shun such an ideology (Welch, 2018).
Theoretical Foundation
Studies conducted by various authors who are interested in the forming the
foundation for dealing with the terrorism postulates that there has been an increase in the
number of terrorism cases around the globe. The surge has been caused by ease in access of
the internet where everyone can find readymade information on terror activities. It is
apparent that the war on terror is double-edged with the primary concern on the fighting
its existence as well as its spread. In a research which was aimed at establishing the prointegration and disengagement of terrorists, Barrelle (2015) finds out that there have been
vast investments in the United States and other western countries for the last two to three
decades. These efforts, adds Barrelle, have been well understood and are highly
appreciated by every one of us who admires peace in the country. These actions include the
traditional techniques which were utilized by states in shielding themselves from external
forces by increasing it border surveillance. Other countries depended on strict immigration
policies as a response to growing levels of terrorism. While these were deemed to be
effective ways, the primary focus on the contemporary issue of terrorism has shifted
towards de-radicalization. Barrelle (2015) defines deradicalization as the process of
attempting to cause a person who believes in terrorism to believe in more moderate ways
and techniques on certain political issues. While this remains to be a key step in the fight
against terrorism, studies reveal that the effectiveness of these techniques is highly
hindered by the lack of a clear strategy through which the deradicalized will be absorbed
back into the society. Several studies have conducted on the ways of fight radicalization

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and terrorism in the country but shallow studies and reports exist which defines how these
individuals will move back to their ways and lead the normal lives. This is an indication of
the vast dangers which exist in the fight against terrorism since most of these terrorists do
not know their fate after they accept to give in and surrender their violent actions.
Consequently, they prefer to carry on their activities rather than suffer in the hands
of administrative bodies after they have surrendered. Barrelle (2015) reckons that most of
the deradicalized individuals get back to normal citizenships by their own. This calls for
the need to increase the levels of research as well as administrative techniques as well as
policies which can be utilized to ensure that deradicalized members find it appropriate to
forsake their behaviour. In addition, there is need to establish the reasons why several
individuals decide to go back forego radical actions without the help of the government or
the any state officials. This is because it would act as an excellent reference point to the
reasons why people leave such groups, how they do it as well as the challenges they face. In
addition, the changes which are experienced by such individuals are understood thus giving
a chance for assisting the others who might have similar ideas. Integration models into the
society should be well defined to fasten the speed at which individuals are deradicalized.
Related research has been conducted by Kruglanski, A. W., et al. (2013) who postulate that
the study of radicalization and deradicalisation are sensitive and understanding them
would require an understanding of the fundamental factors. These factors include the
motivation which has been given to an individual to make such a decision. Apparently, the
quest which exists in an individual to search for personal significance is a major
determinant to the level at which an activist has been engaged in terror activities. The
lower the level of motivation to of an individual in the acts of violence, the higher their

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likelihood of foregoing their terror activities. The other factor which determines the degree
to which an individual is committed to terror activities is the ideological orientation.
Kruglanski, A. W., et al. (2013) reckons that the ideological component of an individual can
define their willingness to submit and adopt a new terror free lifestyle. Finally, it was
established that the social networks which an individual has also define their likelihood of
submitting their terror activities and adopting new lifestyles. The theory postulates that
strong social bonds of the radicalized groups reveal low chances of disengagement. While
these are factors which impact significantly on deradicalization process, it is apparent that
they need to be understood for an opportunity to curb the spread of the terrorism in the
United States as well as other parts of the globe.
According to Benigni, Joseph & Carley (2017), undertakes a qualitative study and
concludes that the volume and accessibility of ISIS extremist propaganda have increased
tremendously in the recent past. The choice of conducting a qualitative study was to allow
for a deeper understanding of the ISIS counter narrative program in universities. This is
mainly attributed to ISIS strategy of using the various social media platforms to advance its
objectives(Benigni, Joseph & Carley, 2017). In this regard, more university students are able to
access these extremist views, and it also enables ISIS and other extremist groups the ability to
recruit more members on these social media platforms. Further, American based extremists can
directly communicate with other ISIS sympathizers not only in America but also across the
globe. Therefore, the social media platforms increase the capacity of terrorist groups by enabling
them to effectively communicate with each other and also disseminate their terrorist propaganda
to billions of people across the globe. From this seamless communication channel, ISIS may

LITERATURE REVIEW
coordinate terrorist attacks in the United States of America by inspiring university students to
undertake these attacks (Turner, 2018).
Similarly, Berger (2015)in a qualitative with descriptive design academic study
notes that traditionally a country would protect itself from external forces by increasing it
border surveillance. The qualitative research with a descriptive design allowed Berger to
succinctly describe the research phenomenon and come up with accurate results. With
regards to terrorism, countries for many years relied on strong immigration policy to keep
terrorists and people associated with terrorism from stepping into their countries(Berger, 2015).
Border patrols, intensive scrutiny, and background checks were heavily relied on in keeping the
terrorists and their philosophy out of the reach of American university students. However, with
the advancements in technology and the advent of social media terrorism agenda can be
seamlessly accessed by the average internet user. Currently, the ease of disseminating
information across the globe has made the world to be like a small village. In this regard,
university students are more exposed to terrorist ideology than ever before hence it is prudent to
come up with specific strategies that counter the terrorism narrative that is being propagated
online by various extremist groups (Townsend, 2017).
Binetti (2015) is of the considered opinion that there are various factors that
propagate radicalization in the United States of America. Binettiuses his qualitative
research paper to interrogate the why/how/when in matters relating to the counter
measures put in place to curb the ISIS social media campaign in universities. Binetti
primarily highlights grievances and ideals as the two main contributors of radicalization,
especially among the university students (Binetti, 2015). With regards to grievances, there are
many sources of grievances that a terrorist outfit may explore in its attempt to radicalize a

8

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university student. These grievances may range from poor family relations, a sense of nonbelonging in the community, and government policy. Certain individuals may develop extremist
views due to their immense dislike of the government's policies especially in regards to security
and foreign policy. Therefore, grievances are a major contribution of radicalization as the
terrorist outfit, such as ISIL, can easily exploit the already existing emotional situation to
radicalize an individual. For example, ISIL may convince an American university student that
engaging in certain terrorist activities is the best way to reach a government which is propagating
certain policies than the said university student is opposed to (Torok, 2015).
Bloom (2017)buttresses this point by stating that once a negative viewpoint about certain
issues has gotten root in the society, radical ideology comes in to fill void(Bloom, 2017).
Thereafter, the radical ideology battens the grievance and elevates it to be the most important
aspect in a university student’s life. Further, the radical ideology provides a way of venting out
these grievances and may be used to radicalize a university student into committing terrorist
attacks on the United States of America. Consequentially, the grievances when improperly
channelled may lead to the development of extremist ideas. Empirical evidence tends to show
that most terrorist groups exploit an individual's grievance and emotional imbalance to
radicalize its members and in recruiting new members. In this quantitative research study,
Bloom uses a research sample of three hundred university students sourced from various
American universities. Additionally, previous involvement in gang violence and low-level
crimes contribute to the radicalization of individuals in the United States of America (Tønnessen,
2017). Previous criminal history is a relevant factor when talking about radicalization as various
social scientists of international acclaim have observed that people previously involved in
criminal activities are more likely to commit the violent acts of terrorism.

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According to Bloom & Daymon, (2018), ISIS is an internet phenomenon and countering
its online activities and their impact in the United States of America requires a clear and effective
strategy. This qualitative research paper with explanatory design provides a foundation of
investigating the novel research problem by allowing the researcher to choose the best
research design and data collection method. Further, Bloom and Daymon use the
explanatory element of this research to develop operational definitions and improve on the
research’s final design. To this end, Bloom & Daymon, (2018) observe that in 2004 no one
knew what ISIS was, but in the recent past, the terrorist group has dominated the international
news (Bloom & Daymon, 2018). Majorly, the current wide international recognition of ISIS is
due to its massive internet presence and clear communication strategy. This terrorist group
particularly has embraced the internet age and uses it effectively to disseminate radical Islamist
propaganda all over the world. By its nature, the internet provides ISIS with a platform that can
reach billions of people across various countries and ISIS has taken this opportunity to grow its
networks globally. To effectively achieve its desired effect, ISIS has taken the initiative to
translate its militant propaganda and religious rhetoric into various languages (Tierney, 2018).
Through this initiative, ISIS is able to reach billions of people speaking different languages. This
is contrary to most radical Islamist terrorist groups which mainly broadcasted their terrorist
propaganda in Arabic.
Further, Bloom, Tiflati& Horgan (2017) note that ISIS stands apart from other terrorist
groups all over the world for its ability to use online propaganda and recruitment. This
qualitative academic research paper allows the authors to discuss the research problem
broadly and involve a greater number of research subjects. Also, the element of this paper
being a qualitative research allows for the generalization of results. In this regard, ISIS uses

LITERATURE REVIEW

11

a 21st-century phenomenon – the internet – to convince thousands of people, including university
students, across the world to engage in the most medieval and archaic acts such as massrape,
mass murder, torture, and enslavement of people (Bloom, Tiflati & Horgan, 2017). This ability is
perplexing to even scholars of international repute as ISIS seems to have a clear communication
strategy aimed at achieving its goals. Through the use of social media and other internet
platforms, ISIS has been able to recruit thousands of foreigners, including university students, to
join in its war against social order in the Middle East. It is important to appreciate the fact that
the ISIS social media campaign has entirely changed the landscape as regards to combating
terrorism. Governments must come with well-thought counter-narrative strategies to ensure that
their university students are not gullible to the online ISIS propaganda (Speckhard et al., 2018).
Review of the Literature
Various scholars are of the view that terrorism is one of the greatest threats to humanity
in the 21st century. According to Botz-Bornstein (2017), terrorism is the indiscriminate use of
violence and intimidation to pursue a particular agenda. Usually, terrorism metes out terror on a
population and creates societal fear among people (Botz-Bornstein, 2017). All through history,
various acts of terror have been meted on the human race to propagate a religious, political, or an
ideological issue. Terror begets fear and thrives on this created fear to drive the general terrorism
agenda. However, the modern day terrorism is associated with ISIS as this terrorist group uses
modern day tools to drive its agenda. In this regard, Speckhard, Shajkovci& Yayla(2017) opine
that ISIS is unique and distinguishes itself from traditional terrorist groups on the basis that it
actively uses the various social media platforms to its advantage. ISIS has a very active online
presence and has over the years used its online presence to not only recruit new members but

LITERATURE RE...


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