GPM510 Terrorist Propaganda and Communication (8)

Publicity is the oxygen that sustains terrorist organisations. In a modern world with an increasingly swift news cycle, it is important to understand how terrorist organisations and individuals formulate propaganda, and exploit communication and information strategies to accrue attention to their cause, and achieve strategic effect. In this subject, you will explore terrorist communication and propaganda operations; strategies for recruitment; cyber terrorism, and its evolution; social media and terrorism, and its adaption by Islamic State. The dark web provides further opportunities for terrorists, and you will evaluate the challenges it poses for law enforcement and security professionals. Finally, you will assess the counter measures enacted by various security stakeholders and private industry.


Session 1 (30)
Manly Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: GPM510. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate advanced knowledge of terrorist communication and propaganda strategies, including historical trends, contemporary strategies, and emerging developments in order to make assessments;
  • be able to critically evaluate terrorist communication and propaganda strategies, concepts, and tools to identify patterns and make assessments;
  • be able to select and apply appropriate research methods, in conjunction with open source intelligence, to develop theories regarding terrorist communication operations;
  • be able to objectively and professionally challenge established theories and contribute to current debate in order to inform professional practice; and
  • be able to clearly communicate complex terrorist communication theory and practice to inform specialist and non-specialist audiences.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Terrorist communication and information strategies and drivers.
  • Terrorist use of social media, new technologies, and online operations.
  • Terrorist tools for strategic communication.
  • Threat focus: Al Qaeda, Islamic State, and the Extreme Right.
  • Disrupting terrorist communications and information strategies.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of GPM510 in Session 1 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Assignment 1: propaganda analysis
Assignment 2: communications strategy evaluation
Assignment 3: key insights and takeaways

Special Resources


The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.