(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. Last week, CEP researchers identified numerous pieces of extremist content on social media and video-sharing websites, including encouragement of violence against African Americans and videos containing footage from the Christchurch terrorist attack.
Among the extremist content CEP discovered were accounts publicly advertising white supremacist t-shirts and white power music on Meta-owned Instagram. CEP researchers also located a live-streamed podcast on Google-owned YouTube, where the guest promoted the great replacement conspiracy theory and lamented that schools no longer taught white supremacy.
Additionally, CEP researchers located almost three dozen videos on an alternative video platform that included footage from the 2019 Christchurch attack or glorified the perpetrator. Several videos showed recreations of the attack in modified versions of the games Doom and Half-Life. CEP also located files for modifying both games to recreate the attack on two file download sites. Two short videos containing footage from the terrorist attack were also found on Twitter.
A video from the Tennessee active club was located on Telegram advocating for violence against African Americans, and a guide to circumvent the app's ban in Brazil was found on another channel. A neo-Nazi website encouraged users to invest in precious metals, and finally, a propaganda video released by a pro-ISIS-K group encouraged terrorist attacks in Pakistan.
Accounts for White Supremacist Clothing Labels Located on Instagram
CEP located three accounts on Meta-owned Instagram promoting web stores selling white supremacist clothing and other items.
The first account, for a Greek store, advertised shirts with white supremacist symbols, including the black sun and white power Celtic Cross. The account included links to items for sale on other websites. The second account, for a Russian business, advertised various t-shirts and pins with neo-Nazi themes, including a shirt for a Russian white power band. All items had prices in rubles listed. Another account, with over 950 followers, was for a French music distributor that promoted CDs, records, and t-shirts for many white supremacist bands, including well-known white power skinhead bands such as Skrewdriver, Brutal Attack, and Bound for Glory.
CEP reported the three accounts to Instagram on April 27, but they were still online four days later.
White Supremacist YouTube Podcast Promotes Antisemitism and Racism
CEP researchers located a white supremacist podcast on Google-owned YouTube that was live-streamed on the platform on April 22. In this episode, the podcast guest lamented that the educational system no longer taught eugenics and overt white supremacy. The guest stated that studying the “predominantly Jewish elite” was necessary because they promoted pro-LGBTQ issues and “racial equality.” He additionally promoted the great replacement conspiracy theory, stating that white people were directly “under attack.”
Five days after the livestream, the YouTube video had over 850 views. The podcast channel has over 750 subscribers and has posted videos for approximately one year, garnering over 15,150 total views. The same podcaster previously interviewed Rise Above Movement (RAM) founder and leader Rob Rundo in January. At least one prior YouTube account for the podcast was removed from the platform.
CEP reported the live-streamed podcast to YouTube on April 26 but it was still available on May 1.
Christchurch Terrorist Attack Video, Data for Recreating Attack Video on Videogame Platforms Located
On April 27, CEP researchers located multiple videos of the Christchurch terrorist attack video on a video-sharing website hosted by the Russian company Kolyma Network. Content included three full-length copies of the attack video, one of which had almost 1,000 views. Twenty-four videos included footage taken from the attack video and were paired with music or additional footage or images glorifying the attacker. Several videos also specifically encouraged further acts of violence. Four videos were uploaded to the site in 2022, and 28 were uploaded in 2023, including 14 in April.
Five videos on the site included recreations of the Christchurch attack video in the first-person shooter video games Doom, Half-Life, and Half-Life mods. CEP has previously found footage of similar videogame recreations in Roblox and Minecraft.
CEP also located files for recreating the attack video using Doom and a Half-Life mod on two file-hosting websites. Files contained maps and other files necessary to mimic the attack video.
Additionally, a Twitter account was found on April 27 that glorified the Christchurch terrorist and encouraged acts of white supremacist and anti-Muslim violence. The account uploaded two videos on April 9 and April 23, 19 and 36 seconds long, each containing violent footage from the Christchurch attack video. The videos had approximately 350 and 100 views, respectively. The individual who created the account had at least two previous accounts suspended from Twitter for violating the site’s Terms of Service.
CEP forwarded all content to relevant national authorities.
Tennessee Active Club Releases Video Encouraging Violence Against African Americans
On April 26, the Tennessee active club chapter released a video encouraging violence against African Americans. The approximately two-and-a-half-minute video contained footage of fights between white people and African Americans, with the phrase “bite back” repeatedly appearing on the screen. The last minute of the video consisted of footage of white people attacking and, in some cases incapacitating African Americans or committing violent attacks against people who were on the ground and unable to defend themselves. The video concluded with the image of a noose in a Nazi SS divisional shield and a logo for the active club movement.
The video was spread among several active club chapter Telegram channels and chats. The original post had over 700 views approximately 28 hours after it was posted. Rob Rundo, the founder of the active club movement, and several other of the group’s propagandists and leaders have encouraged members to train in mixed martial arts and other combat sports, claiming that these skills would eventually be necessary for street fights.
Active club logo used in the video (modified by researcher). Screenshot taken on April 27, 2023.
Telegram Channel and White Supremacist Chat Posts Instructions for Circumventing Brazil Telegram Ban
A Telegram channel and a prominent white supremacist Telegram chat dedicated to information and operations security posted instructions for using proxies to circumvent a regional ban on the Telegram app. The posts were in response to a Brazilian court ordering a temporary ban on the messaging app after they did not share information regarding neo-Nazi groups using the service with Brazilian authorities. The court ordered the levying of fines of $197,600 per day until Telegram obeys the court order. On April 29 the court revised the ruling, reversing the ban of the app, but keeping the fine in place.
Neo-Nazi Website Advises Purchasing Precious Metals
On April 24, a neo-Nazi website that supports the Atomwaffen Division successor group National Socialist Resistance Front advised their readers to purchase silver and gold bullion. The post stated that precious metals were not only good investments due to inflation but that groups should have a hidden reserve of bullion if they were sued and had their bank accounts seized by the federal government.
Pro-ISIS-K Video Released Encouraging Terrorist Attacks in Pakistan
On April 24, the pro-ISIS-K media group al-Azaim Media released an approximately 21-minute video advocating for terrorist attacks in Pakistan. The video mirrored rhetoric from a recent issue of the Voice of Khorasan web magazine and accused the Pakistani government of selling out the country to China and the West. The video warned that Chinese loans for projects in Baluchistan, including the port at Gwadar, would result in “mass subjugation to China.” It noted the Chinese government’s human rights abuses against the Uyghurs. The video stated that China would eventually offer similar predatory loans to Afghanistan. The video also condemned alleged predatory lending practices of the West through the IMF.
The video also condemned the government of Pakistan for human rights abuses and the killing of civilians in Waziristan. The video also criticized the Pakistani people for “abandoning religion.” The video warned the Pakistani government that development projects paid for with foreign loans were vulnerable to attack and concluded with footage of a police facility and the Serena Hotel in Islamabad before a montage of attack and execution footage.
Gwadar Sea Port in the pro-ISIS al-Azaim video released on April 24.