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[BRIEFING] The Terrorist Argument: Modern Advocacy and Propaganda

  • 214 Massachusetts Avenue Northeast Washington, DC, 20002 United States (map)

Terrorism is not only political violence, but also a twisted form of public communication. It is propaganda and advocacy in bloody forms. Armed groups and terrorists have honed their messages for maximum impact on multiple audiences: their followers, those they hope to recruit or persuade, and those they seek to terrorize. Sometimes their messages and communication techniques are crude. Others are highly refined, carefully crafted appeals to intellect or emotion, embracing the most sophisticated forms of communications technology. All are intended to use the power of ideas, along with violence, to project an image and to communicate – not merely intimidate.