What Terrorist Leaders Want: A Content Analysis of Terrorist Propaganda Videos

  title={What Terrorist Leaders Want: A Content Analysis of Terrorist Propaganda Videos},
  author={Max Abrahms and Nick Beauchamp and Joseph Mroszczyk},
  journal={Studies in Conflict \& Terrorism},
  pages={899 - 916}
Abstract In recent years, a growing body of empirical research suggests that indiscriminate violence against civilian targets tends to carry substantial political risks compared to more selective violence against military targets. To better understand why terrorist groups sometimes attack politically suboptimal targets, scholars are increasingly adopting a principal-agent framework where the leaders of terrorist groups are understood as principals and lower level members as agents. According to… Expand
Power or progress: What terrorist group leaders really want
This paper examines how the different goals of terrorist group leaders affect their decision making calculus. This study uses a formal model and shows that terrorist group leaders who are moreExpand
Explaining Civilian Attacks: Terrorist Networks, Principal-Agent Problems and Target Selection
Terrorist groups exhibit variation in their targeting choices. Why do some groups direct their violence against civilians while others limit this occurrence? This study analyzes the networkExpand
The Strategic Logic of Environmental Terrorism: Linking Terrorist Ideology to Credit Claiming Behavior
Abstract Terrorist groups’ ideological types are a significant predictor of credit claiming for attacks. Environmental terrorist groups are more likely to claim credit because the attacks serveExpand
Denying to win: How image-savvy militant leaders respond when operatives harm civilians
ABSTRACT Terrorism carries high audience costs for militant leaders because the attacks on civilians risk tarnishing the entire group as immoral extremists. Image-savvy militant leaders reduce theExpand
Deception in Online Terrorist Propaganda: A Study of ISIS and Boko Haram
This chapter examines the meaning, types, and practice of propaganda by two prominent terrorist groups, namely ISIS and Boko Haram, and how deception and deceptive communication form aspects of theirExpand
Reconstructing the theater of terror
ABSTRACT The study explores the nexus of violence and mass media, and the ability of terrorists to enhance their influence and resources via effective marketing of their actions. We utilized aExpand
How do criminal organizations react to media coverage ? The case of Mexico ’ s drug war
Expanding on a long tradition of literature that tries to identify the conditions under which criminal organizations publicly take credit for their violent acts of terrorism, this paper presentsExpand
Criminal groups speak out : Information provision and competition among Mexico ’ s drug cartels
We question the assumption that criminal organizations avoid the limelight, shunning publicity, and instead provide theory and evidence of the conditions under which violent criminal groups publiclyExpand
Boko Haram insurgency: a decade of dynamic evolution and struggle for a caliphate
Is Boko Haram consistently motivated by the need for a territorial caliphate? That is, the creation of the Community of Ummah rather than religion as their envisioned motivation. We seek to take thisExpand
Media effects on public displays of brutality: the case of Mexico’s drug war
ABSTRACT This paper presents preliminary empirical evidence to show that media attention may influence public displays of brutality by Mexican drug cartels. We defined public displays of brutality asExpand


Why Terrorists Overestimate the Odds of Victory
Terrorism is puzzling behavior for political scientists. On one hand, terrorist attacks generally hail from the politically aggrieved. On the other hand, a growing body of scholarship finds theExpand
Is Islamist Terrorism More Dangerous?: An Empirical Study of Group Ideology, Organization, and Goal Structure
Scholars have traditionally argued that Islamist terrorist groups tend to commit higher casualty attacks. Noting that casualty rates of attacks vary widely across Islamist terrorist groups, thisExpand
Do Terrorists Win? Rebels' Use of Terrorism and Civil War Outcomes
Abstract How effective is terrorism? This question has generated lively scholarly debate and is of obvious importance to policy-makers. However, most existing studies of terrorism are not wellExpand
Explaining Terrorism: Leadership Deficits and Militant Group Tactics
Abstract Certain types of militant groups—those suffering from leadership deficits—are more likely to attack civilians. Their leadership deficits exacerbate the principal-agent problem betweenExpand
How Terrorism Ends : Understanding the Decline and Demise of Terrorist Campaigns
Max Abrahms is a postdoctoral fellow in the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College, a postdoctoral fellow on the Empirical Studies of Conflict project sponsored byExpand
What Terrorists Really Want: Terrorist Motives and Counterterrorism Strategy
What do terrorists want? No question is more fundamental for devising an effective counterterrorism strategy. The international community cannot expect to make terrorism unprofitable and thus scarceExpand
The Political Effectiveness of Terrorism Revisited
Terrorists attack civilians to coerce their governments into making political concessions. Does this strategy work? To empirically assess the effectiveness of terrorism, the author exploits variationExpand
Rewarding Bad Behavior: How Governments Respond to Terrorism in Civil War
Although violent organizations often use terrorism as a means to achieve political aims, recent studies suggest the tactic is ineffective because it fails to help groups gain concessions. WhileExpand
Rallying around the flag or railing against the government? Political parties’ reactions to terrorist acts
This article analyses the reaction of mainstream political elites to acts of terrorism and assesses whether opposition parties will rally around the flag, much like they do during military orExpand
Why Terrorism Does Not Work
This is the first article to analyze a large sample of terrorist groups in terms of their policy effectiveness. It includes every foreign terrorist organization (FTO) designated by the U.S.Expand