In subproject IV at German Police University, the use of internet and social media as means of incitement to acts of violent extremism is analysed in a comparative perspective covering Salafism/jihadism, right-wing extremism and left-wing extremism. In the face of increasing importance of digital communication for processes of radicalisation and for strategic and tactical coordination among (potential) extremist violent offenders, there is a significant need for research. The focus of the study is on the use of digital media for propaganda purposes and especially on the online incitement to extremist offenses. Such “calls to arms” are both means of driving third parties deeper into radicalisation and indicators of an advanced stage of radicalisation of the initiator.
Analyses in the frame of the study are based on online material (freely accessible as well as distributed in closed circles) and on judicial files on cases of extremist violence / incitement to extremist violence.
The aim of the subproject is to analyse acts of incitement to (violent) extremist crimes with regard to their dissemination, content and structural characteristics, communicative/rhetorical strategies and techniques as well as the way they are embedded into specific discourses. An analysis of judicial files will provide data on how incidents of incitement to extremist offences are reflected in the criminal justice system (both as offences of their own and as factors contributing to trajectories towards violent extremism and terrorism).