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Dark web forums portal: Searching and analyzing jihadist forums

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6 Author(s)
Yulei Zhang ; Department of Management Information Systems, The University of Arizona, Tucson, 85721, USA ; Shuo Zeng ; Li Fan ; Yan Dang
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With the advent of Web 2.0, the Web is acting as a platform which enables end-user content generation. As a major type of social media in Web 2.0, Web forums facilitate intensive interactions among participants. International Jihadist groups often use Web forums to promote violence and distribute propaganda materials. These Dark Web forums are heterogeneous and widely distributed. Therefore, how to access and analyze the forum messages and interactions among participants is becoming an issue. This paper presents a general framework for Web forum data integration. Specifically, a Web-based knowledge portal, the Dark Web Forums Portal, is built based on the framework. The portal incorporates the data collected from different international Jihadist forums and provides several important analysis functions, including forum browsing and searching (in single forum and across multiple forums), forum statistics analysis, multilingual translation, and social network visualization. Preliminary results of our user study show that the Dark Web Forums Portal helps users locate information quickly and effectively. Users found the forum statistics analysis, multilingual translation, and social network visualization functions of the portal to be particularly valuable.

Published in:

Intelligence and Security Informatics, 2009. ISI '09. IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

8-11 June 2009