Analysis of Success of Mobilization to Terror Using Tools of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)

Analysis of Success of Mobilization to Terror Using Tools of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)

Marina Shorer-Zeltser, Galit M. Ben-Israel
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7119-3.ch006
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The current research is dedicated to put forward the ways the Internet surfers are mobilized for the aims of illegal and harmful actions and even terror. We introduced usage of a psychological-linguistic approach known as NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) which constructs new realities and a fast shift in the behavior of the treated subjects after the beginning of the exposure. This approach is not accepted widely in academic circles yet its tools are frequently used by security forces for interrogations, hostages incidents and evidences collection. In the recent years the data on mobilization for illegal actions and even for terror intends continues to grow and this article is our modest attempt to shed a light and to simulate and analyze the content environment of the surfers exposed to the substance of the sites propagating terror. Using NLP techniques, the article analyzes Muslim Internet sites which are perceived to belong to different groups and communities.
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One would think that if you’re anonymous, you’d do anything you want, but groups have their own sense of community and what we can do. – John Allen, A network called ‘Internet’, CBC, 10.08.1993



As for June 2014 a search engine brings 96,400,000 million results for the term “Islam” on English; 128,000,000 million results for this term on Arabic; 22,000,000 million results on Hindu and 29,700,000 million results on Persian. For Muslim reader, in that ocean of information, letters, articles, opinions, sharing of experiences and of fatwas [legal opinion by jurist or mufti on Islamic law] an average site has an opportunity window of 3-5 seconds to present the most relevant information for the visitor and grab his/her attention.

Presenting Internet content in an attractive way is not an easy task and in the recent years it became more and more sophisticated and belongs to the realm of the professionals of the highest level. The content presented should be broad in a sense of emotional involvement so most of the visitors can find at least few emotional links to associate with. It also should be engaging as a visitor should feel that the content opens a real discussion and opinion sharing. Finally, the materials of the site should be short and reflective from the explanatory point of view and yet full and comprehensive as the comments presented should be as professional as they could be.

The Internet content is no more a naïve and spontaneous gathering of some interesting information but a well-planned and analyzable textual constructions aiming to achieve multiple aims like publicity, sharing of information, fundraising or commercial profit and even mobilization for political legal or illegal actions. Since the victorious triumph of Barack Obama in November 2008 presidential elections, the outrageous abilities of the Internet to serve as a mobilization tool became obvious both to the field practitioners and to the researchers in the discipline of creating and analyzing of the Internet content.

The current research owes its originals to the comparison of the Diasporic religious discourse and code-words usage analysis to estimate proximity and religious inclination of the routine practices expressed in the Internet content. We analyzed sites of three religious Diasporic groups (Muslim, Jewish and Sikhs) with an attempt to reveal certain cultural and religious codes that bring the potential terrorists to use the Internet as a tool for mobilization and coordination of their actions.

The aim had been to explore whether there is an intensive usage of religiously coded words for everyday routine conversations (such as forums, discussion boards, articles and comments) which can probably lead to mobilization for action. Amongst other findings of the research we found that the Muslim sites evidence for more intense religious keywords and codes usage than the Jewish and the Sikhs religious sites, correspondingly. These findings lead us to develop the data-mining analysis to look for certain words, combinations of words and even phrases in the content of the sites.

The usage of the code-words and techniques by the mobilizers is not a spontaneous deed nor a sudden outcome, but rather a planned and systematic effort. Contrary to the believe of U.S. FBI assistant director, Louis Reigel, that stated that Al Qaeda and related terrorist networks are presently incapable of mounting cyber-attacks that could damage US critical infrastructure, we do believe that they are gaining proficiency and knowledge of how to use Internet for cyber-attacks (TNTS 2006).

Correspondingly, Steve Coll and Susan Glasser describe Al Qaeda as the first “guerrilla movement in history to migrate from physical space to cyber space”, using modern communications and information technologies to (re)create online the operational bases they once possessed in the physical world in sanctuaries such as post-2001 Afghanistan. Coll and Glasser contend that the ‘global jihad movement’, sometimes led by Al Qaeda but increasingly made up of diverse groups and ad hoc cells with less direct links, has become a ‘web-directed’ phenomenon, allowing for a virtual community, guided indirectly through association of belief, to come alive (Coll and Glasser, 2005).

The Internet mobilizers not only validate sites content against its ability to draw attention of the visitors, they also take more direct approach of gathering details of the visitors by implementing cookies, sign-in forms and readings for download to create specific direct contacts with their visitors. Thus, according to Nordeste & Carment,

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