On Monday 27th September, Quilliam launched its latest report, Cheering for Osama: How Jihadists use Internet Discussion Forums by Mohammed Ali Musawi, an out-going Research Fellow at Quilliam. This report, based on an 18-month study of around twenty Arabic-language pro-jihadist web forums, was original in that it looked at the messages used on these websites in order to better understand the ideological threat posed by these forums, and advance ways in which this ideology can be undermined.

During this presentation, Mohammed went into detail about the three main religiously-framed principles that were most commonly used on jihadist discussion forums to justify their pro-violence ideology: ‘The Saved Sect’, ṭāghūt, and al-walā’ wal barā’. In understanding the justifications used, it is hoped that we can start to better undermine their ideological viewpoints using online challenges. He also went through the other recommendations contained within the report.

Mohammed answered a range of questions from the audience, including whether or not these sites should be shut down, whether the authorities were sufficiently dealing with these online threats, and whether the ‘Londonistan’ scene had now gone online.

An executive summary of Cheering for Osama can be accessed here, and the full report is available to download here.