D5.1 Country Report | June 2021

Author: Garentina Kraja, Kosovar Centre for Security Studies (KCSS)

This report examines the use of media objects by the proponents of the Islamic State in Kosovo to trigger radicalization in the country by weaving in past political social grievances of discrimination and underrepresentation and evoking deep-seated traumas caused by the 1998-1999 war in Kosovo to conjure up a rallying cry of defiance to secular authorities and to the democratic order. Through an analysis of media landscape and audience habits in the age of digital media, the report traces the emergence of new forms of strategic communication by radical groups, which continue to elicit attention and spark debates long after the carriers of the messages have met their aims. To understand the context of radicalization in Kosovo, the report provides a key summary of cultural drivers that enabled the IS to raise in Kosovo one of the highest numbers of foreign fighters from Europe by combining traditional means of recruitment through social networks in real life and by media in real time. By tracing the narrative of a radicalized community as exemplified by its most prominent mouthpieces over time and space through two videos, the report contributes a perspective on how a radical group’s message springs from subcultural media to mainstream media in the process of radicalization.