Grant Will Fund Terror Research on ISIS Propaganda
JULY 24, 2019
ATLANTA—The Department of Defense is funding a new grant to expand research on the inner workings of Jihadi Terrorist groups and analyze their encrypted propaganda. The original project, Documenting the Virtual Caliphate (DVC), collected and archived thousands of pieces of ISIS propaganda, images, memes, and breaking news.
Dr. Mia Bloom, Professor of Communication at Georgia State University, will head up the new study entitled: The Jihadi Archive-A Database of Terrorist Tactics and Techniques.
The grant funds an expansion of the DVC searchable database of propaganda by adding new categories to the platform and continues to collect Jihadi propaganda in real time. The Minerva Research Initiative of the DoD is funding the project which is a critical component in the U.S. government’s anti-terror efforts. It will also allow other researchers the opportunity to study ISIS propaganda in the future.
“Minerva was so pleased with the outcome of Documenting the Virtual Caliphate they awarded TCV a new grant to continue adding Functionality to the Interface,” says Bloom.
The one-year project will use an inter-disciplinary approach to code and tag the tactics used by Jihadi fighters (e.g., drones, suicide bombers, disabled fighters). The project is a collaboration between Professors and Presidential Fellows from Georgia State University’s Departments of Communication, Computer Science and Political Science.
Dr. Raj Sunderraman is a Professor of Computer Science. His work with a team of researchers is crucial in the development of the database.
“This interdisciplinary research project is an excellent illustration of the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in automating the process of tagging or labelling large collection of images and other multimedia content,” says Sunderraman.
Dr. Bloom is the author of four books on terrorism and presents her research across the globe. Her most recent book “Small Arms: Children and Terrorism was published in May 2019 by Cornell University Press. Dr. Bloom and Sunderraman are both part of the university’s Transcultural and Violent Extremism initiative (TCV).