Comparing crime types: a linguistic analysis of communiqués associated with the animal and earth liberation movement

Michael K. Logan, Margeret Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The content and style of language reveal significant insight into psychological, cognitive, and emotional processes. A growing number of studies have also been devoted to linking language to psychological and social processes underlying violent extremism. Building on this body of literature, the current study examines the type of language used in communiqués associated with the earth and animal liberation movement between 2013 and 2017. We pay specific attention to differences in communiqués associated with different criminal events including arson, animal liberation, sabotage, and vandalism. We also compare the communiqué data to a collection of lone-actor terrorist’s writings. The results suggest that communiqués linked to arson and animal liberation were highest on the indicators of affect and cognitive complexity compared to the other crime types. As a whole, the earth and animal liberation movement communiqués were similar to the lone-actor texts in negative emotions. Finding from this study support the influence of negative emotions, and anger in particular, in motivating and justifying violent extremism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-181
Number of pages18
JournalDynamics of Asymmetric Conflict: Pathways toward Terrorism and Genocide
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 4 2019


  • Earth and animal liberation movement
  • LIWC
  • arson
  • communiqués
  • text analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Law

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