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Cheering for Osama: How Jihadists Use Internet Discussion Forums

To access the report, please click the  image or here

Quilliam Foundation launched its latest report, Cheering for Osama, a major new study of Arabic-language jihadist websites. The report is based on an 18-month study of around twenty Arabic-language pro-jihadist web forums. Among these are prominent sites such as ‘al-Faluja’, ‘al-Hisba’ and ‘Medad al-Suyuf’, all of which are regularly used by al-Qaeda, its affiliate groups and their supporters to distribute pro-jihadist statements, propaganda videos and ideological tracts.

Unlike previous reports which have tended to focus on the technical aspects of jihadist websites, Quilliam’s report Cheering for Osama aims to re-focus attention on the ideological content of these websites and to show how pro-jihadist individuals interact on the sites’ forums in order to share religiously-framed justifications for violence, to organize a response to criticism of al-Qaeda and to plan outreach efforts in order to recruit others to violent extremism. The report aims to advance public knowledge about the threat posed by such websites and to contribute to ongoing debates about how this threat can best be tackled by governments and by civil society bodies.

The report concludes with a large number of recommendations for governments on how they can tackle pro-jihadist websites and also on how they can more generally combat the harmful narratives and ideologies which make jihadist violence possible.

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About Muhammad Haniff Hassan

Muhammad Haniff Bin Hassan is a Fellow. He holds a PhD and M.Sc. in Strategic Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (previously known as the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies), Nanyang Technological University. He received his early education in Aljunied Islamic School. He then continued his tertiary education at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, National University of Malaysia, with honours in Syar`iah and Civil law. Mr. Haniff is also active in social activities as a member of the Islamic Religious Council Appeal Board, HSBC Insurance Islamic Advisory Board from 2000 to 2014, Association of Islamic Religious Teachers and Scholars of Singapore (PERGAS) and Management Committee of Al-Irsyad Islamic School. He writes extensively in Berita Harian (a local Malay newspaper) and has also published articles in The Straits Times. He has published six books in his name, co-authored a monograph and helped publish two books for PERGAS and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore. His personal website in Malay is at www.haniff.sg

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