The Use of Media by Terrorism

Subject: Warfare
Pages: 4
Words: 864
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College

The media plays a great role in defining the audience’s perspectives concerning issues happening all over the world. Terrorists have often used some form of media to advocate their cause. They use different forms of media to attract attention and show what they are doing. In fact, terrorism is just an act of violence that attracts attention. The article used is, “Media as an enabler for acts of terrorism”. David Gray and Lumbaca Sonise authored the article in 2011 seeks to give a detailed description of how terrorists use all types of media to facilitate their activities. It discusses various types of media and shows how terrorist groups use them to propagate their activities. Besides, the article has ten pages that offer examples of the actions of terrorists. According to the article, terrorists have concluded that media is an important instrument for putting their points across to the world on whatever they want to happen in the community. The article’s information was drawn from various historical books and journals authored by different professors.

From the article, it is apparent that the development of infrastructure in the communications sector has been on the rise since the 1970s. New inventions of global communication have increased the chances of like-minded people to meet and discuss their issues without meeting personally. Such a situation makes them be able to organize various activities without having to look for a meeting place like a restaurant or conference room. Among these individuals are the terrorist groups that can plan and carry out their operations with much ease and understanding. Technology has improved making them better off than their predecessors were in the past. States in the past were able to control information flow and put terrorists in their place. In fact, states could predict where to find terrorists and locate where they would attack next. Such information drawn from different sources makes the article comprehensive to the readers.

The article has influenced my views on investigating terrorism in a number of ways. For instance, it highlights that the development of technology has seen most terror groups use the media to their advantage. Technology has become cheaper and easily available thus enabling terrorists to publicize their cause across the world. Where there are restrictions, some of the terrorists create their websites to post whatever they wish. Terrorists tend to use various types of media depending on what information they want to pass across and their target audience. The messages are often sent across to seek recruitment, funding, educate or inform the target audience. The main aim of terrorists is to instill fear and undermine the people’s confidence in their country’s leadership and governance.

Various types of media used by terrorists are the internet through websites, audiovisual products, and publications. The article has given a comprehensive report on how various types of media are used and how it is an advantage to the terrorists but a disadvantage to the government. The article also shows how terrorists get different audiences when their violent acts are broadcasted through news media. Finally, the article discusses how other forms of media and websites are used as counterterrorism measures. The latter strategy is mainly for the protection of the citizens.

The article helps in the war against terrorism. First, given that the media is an instrument of communication among terrorists, the article puts out that while fighting terrorism has become difficult the same media can be used to the terrorists’ disadvantages. However, the situation is only possible if the counterterrorism agencies try their best to be either one or two steps ahead of the terrorists. Another way is to review the freedom of speech rights. Reviewing such rights can enable the government to track down the owners of various websites.

The article shows cases of how media helps in the increase of terrorism. It has demonstrated how the internet is used to seek funding for terror groups and how it is very easy to recruit its members. I believe this article will be of help to the war on terrorism. The information offered is needed by various government agencies so that they can find ways to control the media. Government agencies will also know what to look for when there might be a terror attack. The media can be used as an important device to fight terrorism. It may be used to issue warnings from the police to the public. Besides, the media may be a source of information on how to carry out oneself in dangerous situations. The media may also provide information on various terrorist organizations and possible human threats.

One of the lessons offered in the article is that the media and terrorist groups show mutual correlation. They depend on each other in various ways. News on terror often increases the viewer and reader ratings thus increasing its revenue by millions. On the other hand, this kind of coverage gives terrorists different audiences they need. However, terrorists take advantage of this platform to portray their message across the world by sending their violence-based messages to the media house. Mass media, therefore, influences the public’s perception of terrorism as well as the political decisions concerning terrorism.


Lumbaca, Sonise and David Gray. “The Media as an Enabler for Acts of Terrorism.” Global Security Studies, 2, no. 1 (2011): 45- 54.

Nacos, Brown. Mass-Mediated Terrorism: The Central Role of the Media in Terrorism and Counterterrorism. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007.

Ockrent, Charles. “Media and Terrorism.” Terrorism and International Relations, Washington, DC: Center for Transnational Relations, 2006.

Schbley, Andrew. “Religious Terrorism, the Media, and International Islamization Terrorism: Justifying the Unjustifiable.” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 27, no. 3 (2004): 207- 233.

Weimann, Gabriel. “How Modern Terrorism Uses the Internet.” USIP Special Report 116, Washington: United States Institute of Peace, 2004.