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SDSU To Study Spread of Radicalism

Audio

Aired 10/7/10

San Diego State University has received a $1.3 million grant to study how radicalism is communicated across the globe.

A team of professors at San Diego State University will use the National Science Foundation grant to identify which words and phrases are used by jihadi websites. Those websites will then be analyzed for how they report certain news events. That information will be collected and placed on a world map to better see how ideas are spread.

Political Science Professor Dipak Gupta believes the map will show the spread of radicalism isn't random.

"Only certain countries, only certain cities are prone to having these, and the other ones have the immunity to these ideas," Gupta said.

The project is expected to have other applications outside homeland security.

"Our project is only about methodology," Gupta said. "It can be used for tracking ideas on Islamic radicalism. Our own right-wing radicalism. It can also trace epidemics."

Gupta says the epidemics can be traced by charting out where diseases first showed up and how they spread.

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