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DCU Academic to lead €5m cyberterrorism research project

DCU to lead violent online political extremism research

Dublin City University has been successful in attracting €5.1 million in European funding for international research into Violent Online Political Extremism. Dr Maura Conway of DCU's School of Law and Government will head up a team of the world's leading researchers on the Internet activities of violent jihadists, nationalist-separatists, and extreme Right groups.

Through the creation of long-term relationships and networks between research groups, security practitioners, the Internet industry, civil society and policymakers, the project will ultimately lead to the development of a multi-disciplinary Virtual Centre of Excellence for Research in Violent Online Political Extremism. Research findings will ensure that EU and national policies targeting violent online political extremism are based on concrete evidence, experience and knowledge of online extremism, thus increasing their likelihood of success.

Chief researcher, Dr Maura Conway, who specialises in terrorism and the Internet, said,

"The aim of VOX-Pol is the comprehensive exploration of the many varieties of violent online political extremism, its societal impacts, and responses to it. Through their use of the Internet, contemporary violent political extremists work to reach a much wider audience than they previously had access to. Substantive academic research into these activities is still relatively new however and as such is still very fragmented with many researchers pursuing their individual interests in isolation; VOX-Pol seeks to remedy this by drawing researchers together to collectively tackle some of the major under explored topics arising out of the intersection of violent political extremism and the Internet."

Joining DCU in the project are partner research institutions in Germany, Hungary, India, the Netherlands, the UK, and the US.

26th June, 2012