Perspectives on Terrorism is an initiative of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism. Visit website
VOL. VI, Issue 1

Perception Challenges Faced by Al-Qaeda on the Battlefield of Influence Warfare

Many kinds of entities—including terrorists and insurgents—seek to influence perceptions and behavior among various target audiences, and have become increasingly reliant on the Internet in their efforts, incorporating social media, blogging, public video sharing and other online tools. This article is focused on the ideological messages that terrorist groups use to convey with these tools. Drawing from a study of Al-Qaeda, this discussion illustrates how ideologies of violence have certain vulnerabilities that can be exploited in order to degrade a terrorist group’s ability to achieve its objectives. While crafting and disseminating counter-narratives can be a critical part of a counterterrorism strategy, it is also important to identify ways in which terrorists undermine their own central narratives and exacerbate pre-existing “influence warfare” challenges.

About ICCT

The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) is a think-and-do tank based in The Hague, Netherlands. We provide research, policy advice, training and other solutions to support better counter-terrorism policies and practices worldwide. We also contribute to the scientific and publi.…