Anwar al-Awlaki Videos Ubiquitous on Google’s YouTube

Viewers guided toward more radical, violence-inciting content

(New York, NY) – Six years after his death, American-born cleric and al-Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki continues to radicalize U.S. and European extremists in part due to the ubiquity of his sermons and lectures on YouTube, the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) said today in releasing the updated case study, Anwar al-Awlaki on YouTube

As of August 30, 2017, a search for Anwar al-Awlaki on YouTube yielded more than 70,000 results, including Awlaki’s most incendiary lectures. For instance, Awlaki’s rallying lecture, “Battle of the Hearts and Minds,” in which Awlaki lionizes terrorists, is consistently and increasingly available on YouTube. A search for “Anwar al-Awlaki Battle of the Hearts and Minds” on YouTube yielded 991 results as of August 30, 2017, up from more than 220 results in September 2016.

YouTube’s search, autofill, and recommendations features guide viewers to extremist content by Awlaki and others. The first feature, search, readily exposes users to extremist content. The second feature, autofill, suggests related terms in YouTube’s search engine. The third feature, recommendations, suggests related video content.

To learn more about the presence of Anwar al-Awlaki on YouTube, please click here.

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On February 26, 2015, a Boko Haram suicide bomber detonated his explosives near a market in Biu, Nigeria, killing 19 people and injuring 20 others. A second attempted-suicide bomber was caught and beaten by a crowd before he was able to carry out his attack.

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