Author Biography

William M. Marcellino is a behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation, with interests in text and social media analytics as applied to national security issues.



Subject Area Keywords

Counterterrorism, Methodology, National security, Nonstate actors, Radicalization, Social media, Terrorism / counterterrorism


We describe an innovative approach to social media analysis, combining corpus linguists and statistical methods to measure the resonance of Daesh's propaganda to a sample population (Eqypt). The findings from this research effort demonstrate that: (1) Daesh's messaging is measurable and distinct from other Salafi groups, such as the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood; (2) while Daesh’s messaging generally do not resonate with Egyptians, its uptake increased in Upper Egypt and the Sinai regions during 2014; and (3) this method can be applied more broadly to measure the spread of violent extremist messaging across regional populations over time.