Scholar Develops Software to Search the Dark Web for Hate Group Manifestos

Ugochukwu O. Etudo, a new assistant professor of operations and information management in the School of Business on the Stamford campus of the University of Connecticut, has developed software that can be used to search the internet and the so-called “Dark Web” to identify websites that espouse radical views and violent behavior.

After extensive research on published materials from Al Qaeda, ISIS, the Ku Klux Klan and other terrorists organizations, Dr. Etudo was able to distinguished word sequences, negative tones, and other clues common in manifestos of terror groups and lone wolves who commit acts of terror. “Almost all lone wolves leave a memoir,” Dr. Etudo says. “They like to broadcast their intent.”

His software can explore domains that don’t have a formal web address. “It  can consume massive amounts of information requiring far too much human effort, ” Dr. Etudo says. One limitation is that the program only analyzes web content in English.

“Recent events underscore the need for us to gather as much intelligence as we can on the make-up of these radical ideologies,” Dr. Etudo says. “Such intelligence is particularly useful for identifying emerging targets and the rationale of terrorist violence.”

Dr. Etudo is a 2010 graduate of the University of Richmond, where he majored in economics. He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in information systems from Virginia Commonwealth University.

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