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Terrorist Group Brands: Understanding Terrorist Group Strategies Through Brand Exposure

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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Much as commercial firms do, terrorist groups use branding to increase support and thus their capacity to conduct operations. This thesis introduces the new concept terrorist brand exposure, as a reflection of effective brand management strategies and communications among terrorist groups. In that regard, this thesis seeks to merge two vastly different theories, brand theory and terrorism studies, into one package. The research involves a quantitative analysis of the terrorist brand exposure of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State in the news media published on the Internet between April 1, 2013, and December 31, 2015. The results of this thesis validate that terrorist groups can influence their brand exposure through violent terrorist actions and manage their brand strategies to differentiate themselves from other groups in the global competition for resources.

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Technical Report



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Approved For Public Release;

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