For immediate release | Monday, October 26, 2020

Extremist Content Online: Instagram, Facebook Accounts Speading Pro-ISIS Propaganda

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Media at CEP

(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, ISIS’s spokesperson Abu Hamza al-Qurashi released a video statement via the group’s Al Furqan Media Center on multiple websites that called for increased acts of terrorism, especially attacks in Saudi Arabia against American and European interests, and criticized the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain for establishing diplomatic ties with Israel. An Instagram account for the French language pro-ISIS propoganda group Infos An-Nur was among the locations CEP researchers identified as posting links to help spread the statement.

In addition, the ninth edition of the pro-ISIS web magazine “Voice of Hind” was released on numerous websites and contained articles stating that ISIS practices the only correct version of Islam, offering advice on recruiting, criticizing Middle Eastern states negotiating with Israel, and condemning the Taliban for negotiating with the government of Afghanistan. Also, CEP researchers located numerous pieces of ISIS propaganda on Facebook, including a pro-ISIS blog created in May 2020 with over 2,200 likes/follows that recently posted ISIS leadership statements and propaganda photos, including a gory image of the beheaded French teacher, Samuel Paty.

Meanwhile, ISIS’s Amaq News released a video claiming to show combat with Nigerian security forces near the village of Doska in Borno state, including footage of an ISIS fighter shooting a dead or wounded man. Also, a white supremacist Telegram channel with over 3,200 members uploaded an explosives and firearms handbook meant to inspire and offer guidance on fighting a race war. Finally, a notorious neo-Nazi accelerationist Telegram channel that had been removed returned to the platform after previously advocated for violence before the 2020 election, urging attacks on law enforcement officers and Jews, and routinely praising mass shooters.

Statement From ISIS Spokesperson Spread Via Numerous Websites

On October 18, ISIS’s spokesperson Abu Hamza al-Qurashi released a statement via the group’s Al Furqan Media Center on multiple websites titled “So Relate the Stories That Perhaps They Will Give Them Thought.” In the address, al-Qurashi called for increased acts of terrorism, especially attacks in Saudi Arabia against American and European interests, and criticized the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain for establishing formal ties with Israel. Al-Qurashi addressed ISIS supporters in Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Congo, Kenya, and Chad, calling for them to continue fighting. He additionally specifically called for attacks on prison facilities to free ISIS members held there and congratulated ISIS fighters in Afghanistan for attacking a prison in Jalalabad. Al-Qurashi also praised ISIS operations in Mozambique.

In addition to Telegram, RocketChat, and an ISIS propaganda website, audio files of the statement were uploaded to at least 13 websites: Mail.Ru, Spreaker, the Internet Archive, Ipfs.io, Soundcloud, MediaFire, Download.Gg, Dopapk.To, File.Fm, NexCloud, Webo.Cloud, PixelDrain, and Zupload. After approximately 48 hours, the audio file was still available on at least seven websites: Spreaker, the Internet Archive, Ipfs.io, Soundcloud, MediaFire, NextCloud, and Zupload.

Video containing the audio address and a static background was uploaded to at least 15 websites: Facebook, Ok.Ru, File.Fm, Dropbox, Mail.Ru, pCloud, the Microsoft One Drive, MediaFire, the Internet Archive, Download.Gg, Dopapk.To, NextCloud, Webo.Cloud, PixelDrain, and Zupload. After approximately 48 hours, the video was available on at least six websites: Facebook, Ok.Ru, MediaFire, the Internet Archive, NextCloud, and Zupload.

“So Relate the Stories That Perhaps They Will Give Them Thought,” on Facebook, approximately four days after it was uploaded.

Unofficial French Language ISIS Propaganda Account Located on Instagram

CEP researchers located an Instagram account for the French language ISIS propaganda group Infos An-Nur. The account posted links for the French translation of the recently released ISIS spokesperson speech, “So Relate the Stories That Perhaps They Will Give Them Thought.” The account had been created on October 20 and was deleted shortly after researchers reported it.

Pro-ISIS Magazine “Voice of Hind” #9 Released

The ninth edition of the pro-ISIS web magazine “Voice of Hind” was released on numerous websites on October 19. The magazine is meant to appeal to Muslims in the Indian subcontinent and beyond. The ninth issue contained an article allegedly from ISIS supporters in the Maldives, stating that ISIS practices the only correct version of Islam, and offering advice on recruiting. Another section criticized Middle Eastern states negotiating with Israel, and similarly condemned the Taliban for negotiating with the government of Afghanistan. The ninth issue also contained a story about three individuals who traveled from India to Afghanistan to fight with ISIS. The magazine concluded by referencing the execution of Samuel Paty in France, praising violence against those who defame the Prophet Muhammad.

Links and pdfs were spread via Telegram, RocketChat, and Hoop. The web magazine was released on at least eight websites: MediaFire, the Internet Archive, Cloudflare IPFS, Mega.Nz, Siasky.Net, the Telegram bot Tlgur.Com, Top4top, and Siacdn.Com. Approximately three days later, the web magazine was still available on seven websites: MediaFire, the Internet Archive, Cloudflare IPFS, Siasky.net, the Telegram bot Tlgur.Com, Top4top, and Siacdn.Com.

ISIS Propaganda Located on Facebook

CEP researchers located numerous pieces of ISIS propaganda on Facebook the week of October 17 to 23. Examples include a pro-ISIS blog created in May 2020 with over 2,200 likes/follows and posted recent ISIS leadership statements and propaganda photos, including a gory image of the beheaded French teacher, Samuel Paty. Another blog page was located with over 400 likes/follows and included ISIS propaganda news releases and written statements translated into Bengali. The blog also contained links to propaganda on other websites. Researchers located an additional Facebook blog page with over 4,200 likes/follows that included the group’s propaganda news statements, recently released official ISIS audio statements, and short video clips taken from official ISIS propaganda videos.

Additionally, personal Facebook accounts were located belonging to individuals that posted the recently released ISIS leadership audio speech, propaganda photos, Amaq News statements, or video clips taken from official ISIS propaganda, including graphic videos showing executions.

ISIS Amaq News Video Released on Multiple Websites

ISIS’s Amaq News released a video on October 19, claiming to show ISIS engaging in combat with Nigerian security forces near the village of Doska in Borno state. In the video, an ISIS fighter can be seen shooting a dead or wounded man. Links to the video were spread via RocketChat, and the video was uploaded to at least eight websites: File.Fm, Streamable, PixelDrain, Top4top, Dropbox, the Microsoft One Drive, the Internet Archive, and Mega.Nz. Approximately three days later, the video was still available on five websites: File.Fm, Streamable, PixelDrain, Top4top, and the Internet Archive.

White Supremacist Explosives Handbook Located on Telegram

A white supremacist Telegram channel with over 3,200 members uploaded an explosives and firearms handbook on October 19. The guide is meant to inspire and offer guidance on fighting a race war. The channel removed the handbook later the same day, due to concerns that the channel would be banned by Telegram. A different Telegram channel shared the post, and the content was online and available with over 300 views as of October 22.

Notorious Neo-Nazi Accelerationist Channel Returns to Telegram

A notorious neo-Nazi accelerationist Telegram channel has returned to the platform after previous removals. The channel operates an announcement account that spreads links for new channels as they are created. The most recent channel was created on July 5, 2020, but only began actively posting content on October 20.

The channel had over 5,900 members the first time it was removed in June and had approximately 3,000 users when it was removed by Telegram in September. In October, the channel had around 700 members after it was operational for 48 hours.

The channel has previously advocated for violence before the 2020 election, urged attacks on law enforcement officers and Jews, and has routinely praised mass shooters. The channel has also previously posted extensive content supporting groups as the Atomwaffen Division, The Base, and the neo-Nazi satanic group the Order of Nine Angles.