Terrorist Discourse: A Semiotic and Critical Discourse Analysis of ISIS Jihadi Videos
Author(s): Grasiella K. Harb*, Nadim Khoury
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) videos have shown unprecedented professionalism in communicating fear and enlisting members to the organization. Unfortunately, counter-media campaigns failed to have a lasting defeat for the organization’s social and cognitive impact on the public. Accordingly, the present qualitative study aims to explore how the use of the multiple communication modes in ISIS videos makes the organization’s ideology appealing and intimidating. The study employs Kress and van Leeuwen’s social semiotic framework as well as Fairclough’s and van Dijk’s model of critical discourse analysis for analyzing one of ISIS videos that resulted in a global outrage. The findings are significant for understanding how the terrorists’ communication strategies are embedded in their professional media techniques. A deep understanding of the ISIS technique has an impact on creating successful counter-media campaigns that persuade the public to resist any new wave of terrorism.