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Extremists & Online Propaganda

More must be done to stop extremist radicalization

Official extremist group propaganda materials are easily disseminated and accessed on the Internet. The individuals documented in this report accessed extremist group propaganda on a variety of social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Google Plus, Skype, Paltalk, and WhatsApp. Several individuals also played a part in further propagating extremist propaganda materials. Of the 168 individuals documented by CEP, at least 51 disseminated propaganda materials either online, in person, or via mail, and 59 viewed or discussed propaganda materials with another individual.

Daily Eye on Extremism

March 22, 2019
“A series of airstrikes late Thursday slammed into two pockets of Islamic State fighters trying to cling to the last scraps of land to be part of the terror group's self-declared caliphate. The strikes followed nearly two days of clearing operations in the northeastern Syrian town of Baghuz, where hundreds of IS fighters surrendered earlier this week to U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. A media official with the YPG, a Kurdish militia that has been supporting the SDF offensive, said some of the strikes targeted one group of IS fighters who had been pushed to the edge of the Euphrates River. The rest were aimed at a second group that had taken cover by a mountain on the outskirts of the town. But despite the bombardments, the U.S.-led coalition said late Thursday that IS was putting up a “hard fight.” ”Daesh is showing that they intend to keep fighting for as long as possible,” the coalition said in a statement to VOA, using the Arabic acronym for the terror group. The coalition also accused IS of deliberately putting the remaining civilians in harm's way. ”Daesh continues to resort to gruesome tactics like suicide attacks and using children as human shields,” it said.” Voice Of America: Airstrikes Target Last Defenders of IS Caliphate “The last ISIS stronghold is no longer strong. Or held. The last recognized remnant of the terrorist group’s so-called caliphate is gone, Fox News reported Thursday. This is a milestone victory for the forces of counterterrorism. But it is not the end of the war on terrorism. Unfortunately, the bad guys will be back on the field soon enough. Rising to prominence quickly, ISIS was the boldest of the bold transnational terrorist groups. At the height of its power, it advanced a claim that Al Qaeda – its former comrade and then competitor in arms – never dared make: control of a territorial caliphate. In asserting the establishment of an Islamist empire, ISIS signaled the equivalent of the end of times. In a part of the world where honor is power, this was heady stuff. It was a clarion call for all who shared the radical ideology of ISIS – a direct challenge to the Arab world, the West and “the great Satan” (the U.S.) in particular. It was also disturbingly effective. Tens of thousands foreign fighters answered the call, flocking to join the ranks of ISIS. In addition, ISIS launched a global media campaign that promoted radicalization and inspired terrorist attacks around the world, from North Africa to Europe to the U.S. and Australia.” Fox News: The ISIS Caliphate Is Gone – But ISIS Will Be Back “President Trump made new U.S. policy on Thursday, as he often does these days, with a tweet recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights on the border with Syria. This time his tweet was based on more than personal impulse and makes sense for American and Israeli interests. Israel captured most of the Golan from Syria in the 1967 war and formally annexed it in 1981. The rest of the world has never recognized Israel’s control, and U.S. negotiators over the decades have seen it as land Israel would return to Syria as part of a broader peace settlement. That scenario has become even more unlikely amid the chaos of Syria’s long civil war. A country controlled by the Assad family has become a fractured cauldron of jihadist militias and Iranian proxies. If Israel didn’t control the Golan, the heights might now be dominated by Hezbollah or perhaps Islamic State. Either reality is unacceptable to Israel.” The Wall Street Journal: Israel’s Golan Heights: U.S. Recognition Of Israeli Sovereignty Sees The Middle East As It Is “The Trump administration told The National that it is seeing an impact from its sanctions on Iran in constraining its estimated annual $700 million budget for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. With US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo making his first visit to Lebanon on Friday, the US Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, told The National in an exclusive interview from the State Department, that Washington is determined to keep up the pressure on Hezbollah. Mr Hook said the message to the Lebanese government is that Hezbollah is a “terrorist organisation [designated by the US in 1997] that is holding back the lives and creating a safety risk for the Lebanese people in its dedication to a war with Israel”. He said that Washington “is not looking to grant any exceptions or waivers” when it comes to the energy sanctions enforced on Iran since November.” The National: US Envoy Brian Hook: Sanctions Are Hurting Iran’s $700m Support For Hezbollah “Facebook Inc. left a gruesome video of shootings at a New Zealand mosque up on its site for half an hour after a user brought it to the company’s attention, a previously unreported delay that highlights the social media giant’s difficulty in controlling violent content on its platform. The timetable, based on times supplied overnight by Facebook and the New Zealand police, means the video showing men, women and children being gunned down at a mosque in Christchurch was available on Facebook’s site for an hour from the time it started rolling to the time it was ultimately removed. The live-streaming video was taken by the shooter as he began a rampage that left 50 people dead Friday afternoon. The broadcast began on Facebook at around 1:33 p.m. and ended 17 minutes later at approximately 1:50 p.m. A Facebook user flagged the post to the company 12 minutes after that, Facebook said. The social media team of the New Zealand police alerted Facebook to the video at 2:29 p.m., police told the Journal. Facebook said it took the video down within minutes thereafter. New Zealand police said the timeline was approximately correct. Facebook declined to comment.” The Wall Street Journal: Facebook Left Up Video Of New Zealand Shootings For An Hour “Though acts of terrorism take place in the real world, they attain a kind of online afterlife. Materials like those from the recent Christchurch shooting proliferate as supporters upload them to any media platform they can reach. Lawmakers in Europe have had enough, and this year, they hope to enact new legislation that will hold big tech companies like Facebook and Google more accountable for any terrorist-related content they host.  “Whether it was the Nice attacks, whether it was the Bataclan attack in Paris, whether it’s Manchester, [...] they have all had a direct link to online extremist content,” says Lucinda Creighton, a senior adviser at the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), a campaign group that has helped shape the legislation. “The frustrating thing is that [extremist content] has been flagged with the tech companies, it’s been taken down and it’s reappearing a day or two or a week later,” Creighton says, “That has to stop and that’s what this legislation targets.” The Verge: Upload Filters And One-Hour Takedowns: The  EU's Latest Fight Against Terrorism Online, Explained
Daily Dose
Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

Fact:

On March 22, 2017, British domestic terrorist Khalid Masood, born Adrian Russell Elms, drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing four. He then fatally stabbed a police officer outside the Palace of Westminster before being shot.

The Counter Extremism Project acts to shine a light of transparency and accountability on those persons, businesses and institutions that financially underpin the activities of extremist groups.

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