FORMS OF INSURGENCIES, EXTREMISMS AND HATE CRIMES
In the aftermath of the 2021 military coup, hundreds of non-state armed groups have been established across Myanmar to fight the regime, known as State Administration Council (SAC). The newly formed revolutionary forces, generically called People’s Defence Forces (PDFs), have transitioned from poorly armed and uncoordinated small cells to structured, well-trained and semi-regular companies and battalions capable of operating through a wide range of guerrilla warfare tactics. After two years of war, the nation descended into a state of violence characterized by the collapse of legitimate central state authority, the regime’s countrywide scorched-earth campaigns against the population, the proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALWs), an unprecedented humanitarian crisis and a failing economy. Myanmar has become a war-torn country in the heart of the fastest-growing region in the world: Southeast Asia. Although, the dominant Western narrative frames the current national crisis as a never-ending conflict, political deadlock or a failed state, what’s happening in Myanmar is a multidimensional Revolution that aims, not only to overthrow the military regime, but to redefine the socio-political structure of the entire country. By analyzing both the Karenni leading guerrilla force, the KNDF, and the interim Government of the ethnic State, the KSCC, this paper investigates how Karenni youth, coordinating with local Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) and civil society groups, have established one of the most advanced anti-regime fronts in Myanmar.
Myanmar, military coup, Revolution, PDF, Karenni State
The various forms of participation on the web, such as likes, posts, tweets, leave ‘traces of our selves’, fragments of our identities that we are unaware of, that we cannot control and that we cannot delete.
In recent months, we have witnessed more and more diverse situations online, such as those involving groups of teenagers who use social networks to build identities, micro-celebrity paths and distribute photos/videos of beatings, torture, murders, but especially live suicides.
The causes and consequences of these forms of deviant behaviour, which are reproduced in the virtual dimension, are many and varied: depression, envy, the search for power and visibility, the transformation of a simple user into a cyber-victim, sometimes without even realising it, and the “telling off” on social networks, especially through self-produced videos and photos. Drawing on international sociological and psychological literature, this paper aims to reflect on some forms of online deviance related to ‘pathological’ communication practices concerning the body and (cyber) sexual violence.
Sex; crime; digital media; celebrity; online reputation; bodies, hate speech; crimini sessuali; media digitali; celebrità; reputazione online; corpi
Francesco Balucani – Fabio Ottaviani, L’Italia alla prova del fondamentalismo radicale islamico. Indagine sul polimorfismo della minaccia terroristica e analisi ragionata dell’ordinamento giuridico italiano in materia di antiterrorismo. Parte prima
EMERGING THREAT ECOSYSTEMS AND RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES
This publication aims to analyze the most relevant features of today’s islamic terrorism, to list the critical issues that this kind of threath poses both in a strategic and a legal dimension, to examine the peculiarities and the attributes of the Italian legal system in terms of national security and counter-terrorism, and finally to analyze this issue in terms of international cooperation. The polymorphism and the irreducibility to pre-established schemes that have always distinguished the threath of terrorism require us to carry out an analysis free from generalizations, focused both on present days foreign fighters, nuclear terrorism, Jihad 2.0, terrorism transnational – and historical past. Although in recent years the incidence of islamic terrorism has decreased more and more, probably as a consequence of the progressive dismantling of the Islamic State and the intensification of American search and destroy campaigns, conducted throught high-altitude military drones, satellite technologies and intelligence operations, we believe that it is appropriate to maintain high standards of security, since new potential threats may arrive unexpectedly and without great possibilities for prediction. The roots of the problem remain substantially unresolved – Islamic religious demands, the presence of political regimes close to the most extremist currents of the Islamic religion, the marginalization of Muslim populations within the global society, the presence of inter-ethnic conflicts and civil wars in regions of the world already affected by phenomena of poverty and by the externalities of climate change and so it is possible that in the future the containment policies of Western societies may no longer be enough to contain the pressures arising from a a problem that we have repressed and suffocated, but certainly not completely eradicated. In any case, this period of calm could also be used to address the unresolved issues related to the definition of terrorism on an international level and the dilemmas of interstate cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism and intelligence, which may compromise the effectiveness of the policies to contain the terrorist threat developed both nationally and internationally. The following publication is divided into two parts, or sections: in the first one, which you are about to read, we will deal with the issues mentioned above, while in the second, which will be included in the next issue of the journal, we will deal in depth with the issue concerning the protection of national security in the Italian legal system.
Terrorismo, fondamentalismo jihadista, antiterrorismo, sicurezza nazionale, intelligence, co- operazione internazionale / terrorism, jihadism, counter-terrorism, homeland security, intelli- gence, international cooperation
Federico Borgonovo – Ali Fisher, Mapping a Telegram-centred Accelerationist Collective
This paper aims to map the accelerationist collective known as Terrorgram and reconstruct its basic morphological characteristics through propaganda study and social network analysis. The core of the study focuses on digital ethnography within Telegram platform, and it is aimed at the recognition of narratives, communication objectives, techniques and strategies. And finally, a Social Network Analysis (SNA) is implemented, identifying actors and subgroups involved in pro-violence online propaganda within the the digital ecosystem.
Accelerationism, right, propaganda, terrorgram, terrorism
Simone Castagna, Exploring the Telegram Hacker Ecosystem
The study of hacker groups, their activities and the communities they form is becoming increasingly relevant in an even more digitalised world. Historically, academic research has portrayed hackers as solitary, misanthropic, and malevolent figures that reside within the depths of the underground web. This stereotype has led to a research focus only on the activities that occur within underground forums and markets. However, this narrow perspective is not entirely accurate, and it is crucial to understand the interactions and relationships that exist between hackers, even within more accessible and secure platforms such as Telegram. The current study employs a range of research techniques, including non-discriminative snowball sampling and social network analysis to explore the digital ecosystem of hacker groups on the Telegram instant messaging service. The aim of this research is to offer insights into the network’s organizational structure and dynamics, as well as to identify key actors, their relationships, and the dissemination patterns of content. The findings of this research provide an original approach to investigating the digital ecosystems of hacker groups, thereby enhancing the understanding of their structures, dynamics, and behaviours, and facilitating the development of effective strategies for monitoring, identifying, and countering their activities. Lo studio dei gruppi di hacker, delle loro attività e delle comunità che formano sta diventando sempre più rilevante in un mondo sempre più digitalizzato. Storicamente, la ricerca accademica ha dipinto gli hacker come figure solitarie, misantrope e malevole che risiedono nelle profondità del web underground.
Hacker groups, Social Network Analysis, Telegram, Digital Ecosystems
Silvano Rizieri Lucini — Federico Borgonovo, Exploring the Whitejihad Digital Ecosystem
A new generation of extremist is raising and it’s becoming able to establish self-created communities combing Salafi-Jihadism and extreme right. Such community originally hinged on a few influencers and self-named Islamogram has grown and contaminated within various platforms. Using a set of metaphors and visual motifs typical of the alt-right and far-right, they accuse a loss of tradition and a corrupt view of life. The community build networks, drive narratives across several platforms and spread violent propaganda. One way to study how this type of extremist develops and branches out within social platforms through the covert observation of their interactions. Reconstruct the morphology of the network in which these interactions occur. This article attempts to contribute to an advance of the literature on terrorism studies, through a combination of content analysis and ethnographic observation.
Islamogram, Whitejihad, alt-right, propaganda, content
With the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, several new players have emerged. Among these, PMC Wagner has assumed an ever-increasing role and has been described as a Russian proxy in warfare. Internet and social media have become essential, and the group uses video games to spread propaganda and recruit mercenaries. The gamification of propaganda tools, extremist online communities, and, ultimately, radicalization processes not only move forward but accelerate given the rising popularity of online gaming and the fact that extremists frequently take advantage of new technological advancements first. Also, the PMC Wagner has begun to exploit the use of video games for various purposes, from recruitment to fascination with violence. At the same time, using classic game-based marketing methods, they managed to reach not only the users of gaming platforms but also the citizens who, walking through the streets of the Russian capital, come across the illuminated billboards. More investigations are required into the precise workings and varied gamification strategies used by PMC Wagner and their supporters under various conditions.
PMC Wagner, Gamification, Video games, Russia, War
Sara Brzuszkiewicz, L’androsfera: marginalità e minacce
The term androsfera – the Italian translation from the English manosphere, describes the heterogeneous and complex set of websites, blogs, and online forums promoting non-mainstream and – at times – radical forms of masculinities.
Users in these communities are active and passive consumers of contents and values that openly oppose feminism and what they believe to be the unbalance of power that favors women over men from both a social and a sexual perspective in contemporary society.
In Italy the androsfera is still largely unknown. Researchers and journalists do not really talk about its users, let alone with its users and, if any effort is made, it is usually carried out in simplifying and sensationalist terms. For this reason, the author chose to write the paper in Italian. The present work aims at partly filling these gaps, scrutinizing the major components of the manosphere, their worldviews and narratives, with particular attention to the inceldom, i.e. the involuntary celibates galaxy.
The paper will then include the account of the major incel-inspired attacks, which are crucial to understand the potential threat, and will later focus on the Italian androsfera, which is not as known and radical as the anglophone manosphere, yet, and this is what makes it particularly worth researching further.
Indeed, the relative delay in the Italian manosphere’s radicalization process compared to what has been happening in other contexts represents an opportunity for terrorism experts and counter-terrorism actors to act with farsightedness, implementing crucial lessons learned elsewhere. Il termine androsfera, con cui di recente si è iniziato a tradurre l’inglese manosphere, indica l’insieme diversificato e complesso di siti, blog e forum online che promuovono forme di mascolinità non mainstream e a tratti radicale. I frequentatori di queste comunità online sono fruitori e produttori al tempo stesso di contenuti e ideali di opposizione al femminismo e a quello che percepiscono come maggiore potere sociale e sessuale delle donne rispetto agli uomini nella società contemporanea.
Androsfera; Celibi involontari; Misoginia; Terrorismo; Radicalizzazione.
Manosphere; Involuntary Celibates (Incels); Misogyny; Terrorism; Radicalization; Locus of Control.
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