Date of Award

11-2014

Document Type

Capstone-Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Program Name

Intelligence Studies

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Philip Vos Fellmon

Abstract

This study is a bifurcated project. In the first portion of the project, the traditional analytical framework for propaganda is viewed through the lenses of the history of Islam, the theoretical framework of radicalization, and the discipline of applied linguistics, and is then adapted into a new analytical framework tailored specifically toward analyzing English-language jihadist propaganda. This tailored analytical framework includes components regarding the context of the jihadist organization, an assessment of the propaganda, and an assessment of the organization as a threat, and is based in Open-Source intelligence (OSINT) collection practices. Next, in the second section of the project, the English-language propaganda of the Islamic State, including both written and video media, is analyzed using the framework developed in the first section. From that analysis, the author is able to draw conclusions regarding the context, propaganda practices, and potential threats posed by the organization, culminating in an example of the policymaker recommendations that can be derived from an intelligence analysis conducted using this framework.

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