Prediction model of propaganda characteristics used by the main jihadist groups

Date11 February 2019
Published date11 February 2019
AuthorJudith Corcoba,Raigam Jafet Martinez Portilla
Subject MatterHealth & social care,Criminology & forensic psychology,Aggression, conflict & peace,Sociology,Gender studies,Gender violence,Political sociology, policy & social change,Social conflicts,War/peace
Prediction model of propaganda
characteristics used by the
main jihadist groups
Judith Corcoba and Raigam Jafet Martinez Portilla
Purpose Jihadist terrorism is one of the most important current global issues. Terrorism is an instrument of
fear and fear an instrument of news. The purpose of this paper is to understand the difference in propaganda
between the most powerful terrorist groups and the association with the Islamic State group (ISIS).
Design/methodology/approach This cross-sectional study has been carried out on the usage of
propagandistic material. For the analyses, two different groups have been created, propaganda emitted from
the Islamic State group and propaganda from the other main terrorist groups (Boko Haram, Taliban,
Findings It has been proved that there are significant differences between the Islamic State propaganda
and the other main groups.
Originality/value This study has been conducted in order to provide a comparison of the propaganda
content of the main jihadist groups.
Keywords Terrorism, Crime, Propaganda, Mass media, Islamic State, Jihadism
Paper type Research paper
In war, propaganda is a powerful additional weapon. It is the main instrument used to legitimize
violence, generate chaos, influence a population and many times, not only to gain the peoples
consent, but also their participation in the struggle. In addition to the effects of propaganda, the
constant use of spreading fear becomes part of dailylife and of how we perceive and talk about it
(Altheide, 2006). Throughout history, propaganda has been one of the great catalysts of diverse
movements and has transformed consciousness and changed attitudes. It creates an intentional
butterfly effect due to the fact that a small group of people can influence a large population.
Undoubtedly,propaganda is one of the besttools of communication, but in mostcases, is used for
inhuman purposes. This instrument has the power to change attitudes, behaviors and thoughts.
The purpose of terrorism is to intimidate a wider audience by harming only a few (Bartlett and
Fisher, 2015;Crenshaw, 2000). But,the most extraordinaryfact is that it is of no importancewhere
terrorist organization kills people because the attack can garner publicity from around the world
(Bandyopadhyayet al., 2017). The relationship between terrorists and the mediacan be described
as symbiotic(Rohner and Frey,2007), terrorists promotea sense of disorderand a belief that things
are out of control and the mass media gains audience through sensationalism.
The public gravitates toward violence not only because of its impressive nature, but also out of
a morbid interest in the images and stories offered by the media. The matter of how violence
provokes fear continues to occupy center stage in our understanding of individual behavior
(Ruddock, 2011). The major impact of the discourse of fear is the pervasive communication and
expectationthat danger and riskare a central feature thatpeople define and experiencein everyday
life (Altheide, 2006). Research has demonstrated a link between media coverage of terrorism
Received 6 April 2018
Revised 29 May 2018
Accepted 29 May 2018
© Judith Corcoba and Raigam
Jafet Martinez Portilla. Published
by Emerald Publishing Limited.
This article is published under the
Creative Commons Attribution
(CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may
reproduce, distribute, translate and
create derivative works of this
article ( for both commercial and
non-commercial purposes),
subject to full attribution to the
original publication and authors.
The full terms of this licence may
be seen at http://
Judith Corcoba and Raigam
Jafet Martinez Portilla are both
based at the Universitat de
Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
DOI 10.1108/JACPR-04-2018-0355 VOL. 11 NO. 1 2019, pp.59-66, Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 1759-6599
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