Distribution of Propaganda From ISIS Leader Matches Scope Of Previous April Video
New Address by ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
(New York, N.Y.) - On September 16, 2019, ISIS’s al Furqan Media Foundation released an address by the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Titled “And Say, Act,” the speech was widely released on Telegram and various audio, video, and file sharing platforms. Baghdadi’s last prior public communication was on April 29, 2019.
“Al Furqan Media Foundation’s release of ‘And Say, Act’ was similar in scope, in terms of online distribution, to April’s ‘In the Hospitality of the Leader of the Faithful’, both of which feature Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” said CEP researcher Joshua Fisher-Birch. “Baghdadi is one of the most infamous extremists alive, so it is disappointing that ISIS was still able to utilize many of the same websites and tech companies to distribute his propaganda.”
In the speech, Baghdadi addressed several recent issues. ISIS’s self-proclaimed caliph urged his fighters to be patient and that the ultimate victory would eventually come. He stated that the group is growing around the world and winning battles, which in turn would stretch the capabilities of the U.S. Baghdadi also mentioned recent ISIS attacks in the Middle East. Addressing ISIS fighters around the world, he stressed the importance of educating Muslins about the self-proclaimed caliphate, allowing individuals to join, maintaining piety, and asked that fighters be just in their dealings with Muslims. Baghdadi then called for ISIS fighters to free men, women, and children in prisons and refugee camps, and to attack individuals who run those facilities.
An audio file of the speech was uploaded to at least nine websites in addition to Telegram: Dropbox, OwnCloud, Top4top, Mediafire, the Internet Archive, Icedrive.net, Soundcloud, Spreaker.com, and khlgy.com. Three days later, the audio file was still available on six websites in addition to Telegram: OwnCloud, Mediafire, the Internet Archive, Icedrive.net, Spreaker.com, and khlgy.com.
Video containing the speech and a static image was uploaded to at least 30 websites in addition to Telegram: Dropbox, file.fm, pc.cd, mail.ru, Top4top, Amazon Drive, Mediafire, Yadi.sk, the Microsoft One Drive, Anonfile, the Internet Archive, Bayfiles, Clicknupload.org, Dailymotion, ddl.to, Letsupload.co, mega.nz, Mirrorace.com, ok.ru, Tune.pk, Zippyshare, 1fichier.com, file555, uppit.com, upload.st, file.bz, filerio.in, dropapk.to, put.re, and racaty.com. Three days later, the video was still available on 15 websites in addition to Telegram: Mediafire, the Internet Archive, Clicknupload.org, Dailymotion, ddl.to, Mirrorace.com, Zippyshare, 1fichier.com, uppit.com, upload.st, file.bz, filerio.in, dropapk.to, put.re, and racaty.com.
“And Say, Act” on Dailymotion three days after it was uploaded. September 19, 2019.
ISIS Supporters Around the World Post Messages Following Baghdadi Speech
Following the September 16 Baghdadi address, pro-ISIS Telegram channels posted photos of handwritten messages made by ISIS online supporters. The messages included pledges of allegiance to ISIS, and the use of the group’s slogans. They were promoted by ISIS Telegram administrators to indicate global support for the group.
The messages offered support from individuals in at least 41 different countries, territories, or regions: Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kurdistan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, North Africa, Pakistan, Palestine, Russia (Dagestan), Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Africa, Southern Europe, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tanzania, the Netherlands, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United States, and the United Kingdom.