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Counter-terrorism, intelligence analysts, and other investigators continue to analyze the Internet presence of terrorists, hate groups, and other extremists through the study of primary sources including terrorists' own websites, videos, chat sites, and Internet forums. Forums and videos are both particularly rich sources of information. Forums - discussion sites supporting online conversations - capture each conversation in a “thread” and the ensuing postings are usually time-stamped and attributable to a particular online poster (author). With careful analysis, they can reveal trends in topics and discussions, the sequencing of ideas, and the relationships between posters. Videos gain a global audience when posted to YouTube, but identifying and finding videos relating to a specific interest or topic can be difficult among the tens of millions of available items. The Dark Web Forum Portal was originally constructed to allow the examination, from a broad perspective, of the use of Web forums by terrorist and extremist groups. The Video Portal module has been added to facilitate the study of video as it is used by these groups. Both portals are available to researchers on a request basis. In this paper, we examine the evolution of the Dark Web Forum Portal's system design, share the results of a user evaluation, and provide an overview of the development of the new video portal.
Date of Conference: 10-12 July 2011