Jibril’s Lectures Reign Free on the Internet, Including More Than 100 on iTunes
Continuing its series chronicling the most egregious online extremists, this week the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) is spotlighting Ahmad Musa Jibril, a Michigan-based Salafist preacher known for his support of violence and role in radicalizing one of the 2017 ISIS London Bridge attackers. In his online lectures, Jibril is careful to not specifically call for violence or endorse particular extremist organizations; instead, he offers a strict religious interpretation hostile to the West. However, he was convicted of and served time for crimes, such as fraud and money laundering. After he served time in prison, Jibril violated the terms of his probation, leading a federal judge to restrict his use of Internet and social media access between June 2014 and March 2015.
“Jibril presents a unique problem for tech companies, as his lectures do not directly call for violence, making them difficult to be removed under most sites’ Terms of Service,” said CEP researcher Joshua Fisher-Birch. “His content serves as an opportunity for the technology industry to acknowledge their loopholes and weaknesses. They should also further educate themselves on the nuanced ways in which extremists are adapting their strategy to circumvent rules in place.”
While Jibril has not established a new online presence since his Internet and social media ban was lifted, his old content remains widely available on several sites, including YouTube, Facebook, the Internet Archive and others. His followers maintain an active website that hosts his lectures and articles and, alarmingly, more than 100 of his lectures can be downloaded off iTunes. This accessibility is disconcerting considering Jibril’s popularity amonst ISIS foreign fighters. A 2014 report by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) found, Jibril “adopts the role of a cheerleader,” advocating for radical Islamist ideas.
Jibril’s extremist ideology has played out both in his online interactions and in those whom he has inspired. U.S. government attorneys have described a website he operated as hosting extremist religious sermons and, in 2014, said that Jibril “encouraged his students to spread Islam by the sword, to wage a holy war [and] to hate and kill non-Muslims.” An FBI Special Agent once labeled Jibril an ISIS supporter. In fact, Jibril has praised two British members of ISIS in the past and reportedly inspired Khuram Shazad Butt, one of the 2017 London Bridge attackers.
Ahmad Musa Jibril’s Online Presence
Website: A website allegedly created by Jibril’s followers is still online and was last updated in December 2018 (according to WhoIs information). The site includes an index of Jibril videos that can be watched on YouTube, as well as articles written by Jibril. The website originally had embedded YouTube videos, but following the addition of warning labels, the videos can no longer be embedded on the website. The site’s registrar is Domain.com and the name server is infinology.net.
YouTube: A YouTube search for “Ahmad Musa Jibril” led to 1,930 results on January 30th, 2019. Another search on the same day for “Shaykh Ahmad Jibril” on YouTube led to 950 results. There are at least 10 channels that include either substantial numbers of Jibril lectures or a sizable percentage of channel videos that are Jibril lectures. Those 10 channels cumulatively have 26,065 subscribers and 411 videos with a total of 1,304,003 views as of January 30, 2019.
Twitter: In addition to Jibril’s original Twitter account, there are at least six additional fan accounts. As of January 30, 2019, Jibril’s original account has 38,600-plus followers and more than 1,700 tweets. His last tweet was in July 2014. The six fan accounts have a total of 5,130 followers.
Facebook: There are at least four Jibril fan accounts on Facebook. As of January 30, 2019, all four pages have a total of 260,778 likes. Two of the accounts have had posts in 2019, one was last updated in 2016 and one other had its last post in 2014.
Apple iTunes: There are two sets of Jibril lectures, both available to download for free, on Apple iTunes. One set features 86 Jibril lectures, including “Gems of Ramadan” and the “Tawheed Series.” The other set is composed of 30 Jibril lectures and includes a Dropbox link to transcripts for the posted lectures.
Internet Archive: A search for “Ahmad Musa Jibril” on the Internet Archive led to 283 results on January 30, 2019. A similar search for “Shaykh Ahmad Jibril” on the Internet Archive led to 181 results on January 30, 2019.
Vimeo: A search for “Ahmad Musa Jibril” on Vimeo led to 44 results on January 30, 2019. Another search on the same day for “Shaykh Ahmad Jibril” on Vimeo led to 11 results.
Telegram: There are at least three Jibril Telegram channels. As of January 30, 2019, they had 100, 62 and 1,516 subscribers, respectively. Only the account with 1,516 members is still active.
WordPress: A WordPress blog devoted to Jibril’s lectures and essays is still available on WordPress. It was last updated in December 2015.
Selected Quotes From Ahmad Musa Jibril
- “If the West or their slaves are pleased with you, then something is seriously wrong with you.”
- “When your brothers in Syria speak, everyone today needs to shut their mouth and listen, because they’re proving themselves to be real men.”
- “Those who do not stand with their brothers in times of need are the ones who go into the waste basket of history.”