Communicating Terrorism and Counterterrorism

Authored by: Carol K. Winkler , Ayse Deniz Lokmanoglu

The Handbook of Communication and Security

Print publication date:  June  2019
Online publication date:  June  2019

Print ISBN: 9780815396789
eBook ISBN: 9781351180962
Adobe ISBN:


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This essay reviews previous strategic communication research related to online messaging of terrorist groups and rhetorical responses of U.S. presidents to terrorism. It identifies future areas of needed communication research related to both terrorism and counterterrorism efforts. To illustrate terrorism-related communication studies, it concludes with a content analysis examining how ISIS changed the quantity and nature of online visual messaging campaign in response to intensified battlefield operations for recapturing East Mosul in 2016–2017. The findings indicate that initially ISIS significantly increased its photographic output and relied more heavily on the about to die trope in response to heightened on-the-ground military actions.

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