The Use of the Media as a Terrorist Weapon


  • Gordon Woo


media, psychology, terrorism, violence


The use of violence to advance a political agenda is the hallmark of terrorism. Violence is not an end in itself, but a means to achieve specific political objectives. According to the military wisdom of Sun Tzu, the supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. Apart from knives, guns, fire and explosives, and improvised weapons, terrorists can minimize actual fighting and the resort to violence by using the media as a terrorist weapon. Remarkable media success has been achieved by terrorists, who have become as adept and proficient at using the media as a terrorist weapon as they have at using the AK-47. Terrorist use of the media as a weapon is reviewed in this paper.
The introductory section of this paper reviews the basic features of media coverage associated with terrorist violence. The constant striving for media attention serves to explain much of terrorist targeting in the western alliance. The media influence on terrorist targeting is thus an important topic for review. A psychological perspective is offered next, including a discussion of the link between narcissism and aggression. This linkage is one explanation for the widespread use of media as a terrorist weapon. This section is followed by a conclusion, which stresses the need for enhanced media skills in countering the terrorist narrative used in recruitment.

Információk a szerzőről

Gordon Woo

Gordon Woo, PhD, is a terrorism risk analyst with RMS, London. Since 9/11, he has devel-oped conceptual principles for the quantitative modelling of terrorism risk. He is a regular lecturer at the NATO Centre of Excellence for the Defence against terrorism, Ankara, Turkey. Educated at Cambridge, MIT and Harvard, he is an adjunct professor at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and a visiting professor at University College London.






Hogyan kell idézni

Woo, G. (2018). The Use of the Media as a Terrorist Weapon . Honvédségi Szemle – Hungarian Defence Review, 146(1), 37–48. Elérés forrás