ISIS released its latest propaganda video last week, featuring ISIS leader and former Muslim Brotherhood member Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Baghdadi’s jihadist ideology can be traced back to his days in the Muslim Brotherhood while a student in Iraq, which led him down a path of violent jihadism with al-Qaeda and then ISIS. In its report, The Muslim Brotherhood’s Ties to ISIS and al-Qaeda, the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) details the core beliefs, the shared goals and the frequent examples of cooperation among the three groups.
Sudan’s President and Chairman of Muslim Brotherhood-Linked National Congress Party Ousted by Military
CEP today released updated resources on Sudan’s National Congress Party (NCP), the successor organization to the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated National Islamic Front (NIF). Recently deposed Sudanese President and NCP chairman Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir currently stands accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide for his violence against religious and ethnic groups throughout Sudan.
CEP released a new report, Spiders of the Caliphate: Mapping the Islamic State's Global Network on Facebook, which details how ISIS followers continue to exploit Facebook to host meetings, link to terrorist propaganda, and organize on the popular social media platform. CEP Executive Director David Ibsen Ibsen said: "For all of this to exist on the site despite Facebook's claims...indicates the massive scale in which IS supporters are active on the site."
The deadliest act of terrorism in Belgium’s history took place on the morning of March 22, 2016 in Brussels, when ISIS suicide bombers killed 32 people and wounded more than 300 others in attacks at the Zaventem airport and the Maelbeek metro station. While no large-scale attacks have occurred since, the threat from large numbers of battle-hardened foreign fighters re-entering the country, the problem of prison radicalization, and the availability of radicalizing ISIS propaganda online continues to pose a challenge to security official in Belgium.
CEP Executive Director David Ibsen issued a short statement regarding the U.K. Home Office's development of new technology to combat online extremist content that read in part: “Unfortunately, it is concerning that the tech industry’s failure to act has compelled the U.K. government to rely on taxpayer funding, rather than the tech companies themselves, to develop technologies to counter this enormous threat. Tech must take responsibility for the content hosted and shared on their platforms and do more to protect its consumers—the public at large—from the real-life consequences of extremism online.”
CEP Executive Director David Ibsen released a statement on the one-year anniversary of the ISIS-inspired truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany, that read in part: "Since ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani implored followers to kill non-believers ‘with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car,’ terrorists have markedly increased their use of low-tech tactics. Since Berlin, the use of vehicles as weapons has been replicated in Britain, Spain and the U.S., a testament to ISIS's continuing threat, despite its battlefield setbacks."
CEP released a statement in response to an attempted terrorist attack near the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City during the morning's rush hour that read in part: “This morning’s attempted terror attack reminds us of the influence that ISIS can exert on its followers, propelled by its relentless efforts to propagandize and inspire others to violence online. Though ISIS continues to lose territory in Iraq and Syria, the terror group remains intent on encouraging its followers to carry out lone-wolf attacks abroad, including in New York."
CEP today applauded Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, for insisting that tech companies do more to remove the kind of radicalizing propaganda apparently utilized by Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, the perpetrator of the New York City truck attack that killed eight people.
CEP released a statement in response to a vehicle attack in Lower Manhattan today that read in part: “Today’s vehicle attack in Manhattan, in which the driver of a rental truck drove down a busy bicycle path, killing at least eight people and injuring at least 15 others, is being investigated as an act of terrorism. This attack is a stark reminder that even as U.S.-led forces are pushing back against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the threat of directed and inspired attacks by the terrorist group remains high."
ISIS’s loss of Mosul after a three-year reign of terror does not end the group’s presence in Iraq and Syria, nor its ability to spread its extremist ideology targeting women, gay people, and members of other religions through affiliates in Africa and Southeast Asia. In Iraq and Syria, the terrorist group still controls Tal Afar, Hawija, large parts of Anbar Province and towns in the the Euphrates River valley.