Encrypted Jihad: Investigating the role of Telegram App in lone wolf attacks in the West

Ahmad Shehabat, Teodor Mitew, Yahia Alzoubi

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


The study aims to capture links between the use of encrypted communication channel - Telegram and lone wolf attacks occurred in Europe between 2015-2016. To understand threads of ISIS communication on Telegram we used digital ethnography approach which consists of the self-observation of information flows on four of ISIS's most celebrated telegram Channels. We draw on public sphere theory and coined the term terror socio-sphere 3.0 as the theoretical background of this study. The collected data is presented as screenshots to capture a visual evidence of ISIS communication threads. This study shows that ISIS Telegram channels play critical role in personal communication between potential recruits and dissemination of propaganda that encourage 'lone wolves' to carry attacks in the world at large. This study was limited to the number of the channels that have been widely celebrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-53
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Strategic Security
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Safety Research
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Law


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