Communications Streams and Radicalisation

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This article is part of the Counter-Terrorism Portal project of Spinwatch.

See main article: Estimating network size and tracking information dissemination amongst Islamic blogs

Communications Streams and Radicalisation was the name of a £27,666 Economic and Social Research Council grant given to Dr David Stevens of the University of Nottingham to study 'radical blogs'. The research was conducted from January to March 2008, in collaboration with the UK Government's 'counter terrorism' group the Research, Information and Communications Unit (RICU). The description of the grant given on ESRC's website states:

The purpose of the placement is to conduct a study of radical weblogs (‘Blogs’) over the period of the placement, as well as to provide more general advice and assistance on RICU business. The nature of this study is somewhat sensitive. Consequently, the exact aims and outcomes of the project will not be publicised. In general terms, however, identification of a community of bloggers, and a hierarchical structuring in terms of importance forms its core business.

In addition to this stand-alone project it was also agreed that participation in seminars, presentation of work, commenting on other issues of interest to RICU staff, and fortnightly reporting on issues of interest arising from Blog monitoring would be undertaken, as well as providing any specialist advice on fundamentalist recruitment and beliefs, as and when requested. [1]

The research components of the placement was compiled into a report completed in April 2008, but not published by the Home Office until March 2010. The report - titled Estimating network size and tracking information dissemination amongst Islamic blogs - ranked 'Islamic' blogs according to their 'network' structure of hyperlinks.