This literature review seeks to reorient the discourse on radicalization to consider
the connection between communication technology and violent extremism. By
interrogating three central questions vexing policy-makers, law enforcement
officials and academics, this review moves away from a monolithic understanding
of the internet and showcases the opportunities afforded by different communications
technologies within the context of radicalization and recruitment. As this
discussion shows, there is a consensus that despite significant exceptions to the
rule, the internet alone does not act as a radicalizing agent, but rather serves as a
facilitator and catalyst for terrorist organizations and their respective networks.
Despite varying analyses produced within the literature, there is agreement that
the virtual sphere does not replace the real world in most instances. Above all, a
review of the current literature demonstrates that to answer the crucial questions
posed in this article, more empirically-based research is required.