Mercyhurst Virtual Jihad Project

A trailer for "Second Skin," a documentary film
about virtual worlds.
Source: YouTube


About This Project:

The team received tasking to "obtain an understanding of the nature, severity and quantity of the use by jihadists of YouTube and Second Life, along with the threat this poses, for an assessment of possible measures to avert a (potential) threat."

Key Estimative Question:

The team and decision makers jointly developed the following key estimative question for the team to answer: What is the nature, volume, and likely current use of YouTube, other hosted video sites and Second Life by jihadist networks and individuals, and what will the likely future use of these mediums be over the next 12-24 months? What are the actual or perceived threats posed by this usage? What measures have other countries or organizations taken to counter this threat – are there emerging “best practices” for dealing with the threat?

Navigating The Wiki:

Wiki readers should use the navigation bar on the left side of the page. The bar links to different sections of the wiki, which contain estimates, informational sections, and even a video library.

  • Key Findings: Readers can view the answers to the Key Estimative Question on the key findings page. The page answers the Key Estimative Question for both the YouTube and Second Life sections.



  • Overall Estimate for YouTube and Second Life: These pages contain the overall estimates for both YouTube and Second Life.

  • Subordinate Reports for YouTube and Second Life: These pages contain all the lower level reports for both sections.

  • Video Library: This page contains jihadist videos the team found during the course of the project.


  • User Statistics: This page shows Second Life user statistics both worldwide and by region.

  • Resources: The team found and posted numerous reports related to the project in both .PDF and .DOC formats. The page also contains a comprehensive list of search engines, wiki HTML codes, and explanations of Source Reliability and Analytic Confidence.

  • Methods and Process: Readers may find the conceptual models for YouTube and Second Life here, as well as the YouTube video database, keyword searches, and Second Life user statistics. Site visitors may also view the hierarchy diagram which explains the breakdown of reports for the entire project.

  • Reference Libraries for YouTube and Second Life: Team members posted many of their sources in these pages.