(New York, N.Y.) — The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) reports weekly on the methods used by extremists to exploit the Internet and social media platforms to recruit followers and incite violence. This week, CEP researchers identified two al-Qaeda propaganda videos, a magazine, and text from the group’s leader on Telegram celebrating the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
CEP also located a white supremacist cryptocurrency fundraiser on Telegram as well as a separate white supremacist manifesto that encouraged terrorism. In addition, a neo-Nazi website connected to the National Socialist Order and the Atomwaffen Division announced that they were selling two books on Amazon. The books espoused racist policies and promoted extreme antisemitism. Finally, a post on 4chan’s politically incorrect board that encouraged the murder of journalists in response to Covid was located.
Al-Qaeda Releases Videos, Book, and Magazine Celebrating September 11 Anniversary
The first video, “Price of the Wars,” commemorated the September 11 attacks as a great victory over the U.S. The video covered the attacks’ planning and glorified the hijackers. It also celebrated the killing and wounding of Americans in the Global War on Terror in the twenty years since 2001. The video was distributed on Telegram and was also located on the Internet Archive. The Internet Archive removed the video after CEP reported it. However, two clips taken from the footage, each approximately 45 seconds long, were not removed.
The second video, also released on the twentieth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, was titled “Jerusalem Will Not Be Judaized.” The video, released by al-Qaeda’s as-Sahab propaganda outlet, consisted of an hourlong speech by al-Qaeda’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, condemning Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for working with Israel. The video was released on Telegram and an al-Qaeda website that uses Public Domain Registry as its registrar and Cloudflare as its name server.
Al-Qaeda also released a magazine on Telegram that praised the September 11 attack planners and hijackers for the revolutionary use of civil aircraft as weapons. The magazine encouraged future attacks using airliners in Europe, Russia, China, and Arab states that have opened relations with Israel.
On September 10, as-Sahab also released an 850-page book, volume one of a two volume work, written by Zawahiri titled “Reflections on Political Corruption and Its Effects on the History of Muslims.” The forward to the volume is dated April 2021.
Amazon Fails to Remove Books Sold By Neo-Nazi Website
On September 5, a neo-Nazi website affiliated with members of the National Socialist Order and that contains writing from former members of the Atomwaffen Division (AWD) announced that they were selling two books on Amazon. The first book, a manifesto for the website, calls for creating an American fascist movement and identifies Jews as the ultimate enemy who must be targeted with violence, along with the government, to destroy American society. The second book, originally written for the German armed forces during World War II, was meant to be an “ideological orientation” for military officers. The book outlines several of Nazi Germany’s racial policies and promotes extreme antisemitism.
Amazon’s policies prohibit the sale of books that contain “hate speech” or “advocates terrorism, or other material … deem(ed) to be inappropriate or offensive.” The books were available for purchase through Amazon in several countries, including the U.S. and Germany. CEP contacted Amazon on September 9 to report both pieces of content for violating their content guidelines but the content was not removed four days later. In 2017, Brandon Russell, AWD’s co-founder, claimed to have previously made money by selling books on eBay.
White Supremacist Media Group Attempts to Fundraise Cryptocurrency Using Telegram Bot
On September 8, a media group affiliated with former members of the white supremacist Rise Above Movement launched a bot on Telegram for fundraising cryptocurrency. Telegram bots are user-made applications in the communications platform that are used to forward information, serve administrator functions in a chat, and perform other tasks. The bot used by the white supremacist media group directs users to wallet addresses to donate Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, and LiteCoin. Five days after the bot was made public, the listed Bitcoin wallet had received approximately $450. The Telegram channel affiliated with the group has approximately 2,500 subscribers.
The media group has previously solicited cryptocurrency on their website, noting that it can be used to “undermine the banks and payment platforms,” specifically citing problems they had with PayPal. Various neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups have offered guides for purchasing cryptocurrency or asked for donations using cryptocurrencies.
Telegram bot used by a white supremacist media group for soliciting cryptocurrency donations
Manifesto Encouraging White Supremacist Terrorism Released on Telegram
On September 8, a white supremacist manifesto that encouraged terrorism was released on several Telegram channels. The manifesto praised a notorious occult leader and white supremacist mass shooters, urging readers to take further action. The text specifically advocated for acts of violence against Asian people, Jews, people of color, journalists and politicians. The manifesto referenced several ideas from the Iron March forum and a Satanic occult group that encourages the infiltration of different organizations and institutions. Noting that Covid was “probably” created by Jews, the author stated that vaccines were a form of social control and asserted that violence was an appropriate response.
The manifesto was spread by at least ten Telegram channels, including a dedicated channel created to spread the text. The alias used by the alleged author was similar to a DeviantArt account that posted content made in a similar art style to illustrations in the text, and also glorified white supremacist mass shooters, Nazi leaders, and accelerationism.
4chan Users Encourage the Murder of Journalists in Response to Covid
CEP researchers located a post on 4chan’s politically incorrect forum encouraging the murder of journalists in response to Covid. The original poster uploaded a video of a journalist being shot with a handgun, along with text advocating the killing of reporters. The footage was originally from the 2015 killing of two journalists who were murdered by a former colleague. The 4chan post had over 300 replies within approximately 24 hours, including numerous posts advocating for violence against media figures.