The project

Semantic Analysis against Foreign Fighters Recruitment Online Network (SAFFRON) is a 2-year European project (February 2016-January 2018) with a budget of 672 244,62€. SAFFRON is cofunded by the Internal Security Fund of the European Union.


The aim of SAFFRON is to build a system able to support early detection of foreign fighters recruitment by terrorist groups in Europe, with a focus on ISIS and Al-Qaeda. It consists in studying recruitment communication strategies on social media (e.g. narrations, argumentative tropes and myths used), and their evolution in time, as well as identification of needs, values, cultural and social contexts of the target.

A specific “social media guide” will be developed in order to give detailed guidelines to the social media team for managing different communicative situations, user generated contributions and reactions. Furthermore, a “social media crisis protocol” will be identified in order to identify critical communicative situations and design correct interactions.

The main objectives of SAFFRON are:

  • Objective 1 : Deliver and test a tool to be used by all relevant players (which are also part of the consortium) to identify in a timely fashion both all internet activities of direct and indirect recruitment of Foreign Fighters and all signals (weak or strong) pointing at radicalization of single individuals
  • Objective 2 : Analyze the recent trends about recruitment of young European people by terrorist groups
  • Objective 3 : Analyze the online communication strategy of terrorist groups and develop a social media campaign to contrast their propaganda