This paper examines how suicide bombers are framed in terrorist communication, focusing on the empirical case of al-Qaeda’s suicide campaigns. Relying on the concept of media of communication in social systems theory, three main communicative levels of terrorist propaganda underlying the representation of suicide bombers are identified. First, on the level of power, armed organizations aim to coerce and deter their enemy by staging a complex set of communicative forms that signal their militants’ determination and resolve. Second, on the level of influence, armed groups exploit the symbolic qualities of suicide missions to gain support from a presumed constituency by referring to suicide attackers’ reputation and their ultimate sacrifice. Finally, by combining references to values and influence, bombers’ behavior and last wills are used as recruitment tools to attract new fighters by appealing to principles rooted in the prestige of martyrs. All of these communicative forms support the hypothesis that the representation of heroism and martyrdom is a crucial component of suicide terrorism. The synergy between the psychological impact of costly actions like suicide missions and framing processes exalting the military, moral and religious qualities of attackers constitutes a sophisticated weapon of a more recent asymmetric warfare involving radical Islamist organizations.
The Suicide Bomber as a Medium of Terrorist Communication: A Contribution from Social Systems Theory / Tosini, Domenico. - In: REVUE INTERNATIONALE DE SOCIOLOGIE. - ISSN 0390-6701. - First published online: October 9, 2018(2018).
|Titolo:||The Suicide Bomber as a Medium of Terrorist Communication: A Contribution from Social Systems Theory|
|Titolo del periodico:||REVUE INTERNATIONALE DE SOCIOLOGIE|
|Anno di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Codice identificativo Scopus:||2-s2.0-85054655581|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1080/03906701.2018.1529111|
|Citazione:||The Suicide Bomber as a Medium of Terrorist Communication: A Contribution from Social Systems Theory / Tosini, Domenico. - In: REVUE INTERNATIONALE DE SOCIOLOGIE. - ISSN 0390-6701. - First published online: October 9, 2018(2018).|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||03.1 Articolo su rivista (Journal article)|
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