Extremist Content Online: ISIS And Neo-Nazi Propaganda Spread On Social Media

(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 located three Facebook accounts that posted ISIS content, including links to a recently released propaganda video from ISIS’s self-proclaimed West Africa Province (ISWAP). On a different Meta platform, Instagram, several accounts and posts were found that posted a variety of neo-Nazi, white supremacist, and antisemitic content.

In addition, CEP located instructions for making explosives on JustPaste.It posted by a pro-ISIS group. Last week there were multiple extreme-right and white supremacist Telegram channels that praised Patriot Front (PF) following the arrest of 31 members in Idaho. Finally, a private Telegram account posted content that encouraged acts of white supremacist violence on the 14th day of each month. 

Recently Released ISIS Content Located on Facebook

On June 16, CEP researchers located ISIS content on three Facebook accounts. The first account, with 140 followers, posted clips and photos from an ISIS video released on June 14 and links to the video on other websites. The second account, with almost 600 followers and over 3,200 friends, posted links to pro-ISIS Telegram channels and the June 14 video on different parts of Facebook, which Facebook had removed by the time CEP located the links. The final account, with only one follower, posted various clips from ISIS propaganda videos and links to the June 14 ISIS video on another website. CEP reported all three accounts to Facebook, who removed a clip taken from an ISIS propaganda video posted by one account. The three accounts remained online, including still images from the same video. It is unclear if further action was taken, and two of the three accounts remained active and posted additional content.

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Clip from an ISIS propaganda video released on June 14 on Facebook. Screenshot taken June 16. The video was removed after CEP reported it. The video was uploaded with a border that partially obscured the ISIS logo on the top right, in an effort to evade removal.

ISIS Propaganda Video Released on Multiple Websites

On June 14, ISIS released a propaganda video titled “A Book That Guides And A Sword That Gives Victory” from the group’s self-proclaimed West Africa Province (ISWAP).

The video opens with a list of ISWAP commanders, propagandists, and fighters who have been killed. The following scenes show combat between ISWAP and a force identified as the Nigerian army. Footage from three different engagements are shown in Bula Yobe, Katarko, and Gajiram, including the dead bodies of Nigerian soldiers and the burning of buildings. Additional footage shows what is purported to be an ambush on Nigerian special forces soldiers traveling on the Gajiram-Munguno road in Borno, including depicting individuals killed in action and footage of a suicide bombing on a Nigerian military convoy near Mallam Fatori.

The second part of the video proclaims that ISIS has established religious law in West Africa. Short clips show an individual being whipped and a person off-screen being stoned. The video declared that ISIS is intensely concerned with establishing proper religious instruction and that they spend resources on religious outreach efforts. The video briefly accuses the Taliban of being apostates and that they have not enforced religious law despite controlling territory in Afghanistan. The video also shows religious instruction and morality police destroying forbidden objects. ISIS bureaucrats are shown distributing currency as charity.

The video concludes with an ISIS fighter calling for Muslims to immigrate to ISIS-held territory in West Africa and a nasheed played-over combat footage and footage showing executions.

In addition to Telegram, RocketChat, and Hoop, the video was posted on at least 16 websites. Approximately 36 hours later, the video was still available on at least five websites: the Internet Archive, a site on the IPFS distributed web protocol, Ok.Ru, Pcloud, and Vimeo. Links to the video were also posted on Facebook. After CEP reported the video, the Internet Archive, Ok.Ru, Pcloud, and Vimeo removed it.

White Supremacist Content Located on Instagram

CEP researchers located several Instagram accounts and posts promoting white supremacism and antisemitism.

A French-language account with over 1,775 followers was found that sold merchandise from the neo-Nazi skinhead network Blood & Honour (B&H). CEP also located an Instagram account connected to Italian white supremacist fascist skinheads that posted pro-B&H content, with over 1,000 followers. CEP also found a page alleged to belong to a Finnish white supremacist group that posted photos of various racist and pro-Hitler graffiti with approximately 125 followers. An account that promoted a regional chapter of the “White Lives Matter” movement had over 165 followers and advertised demonstrations and posted photos of banners promoting antisemitism, the great replacement conspiracy theory, and segregation.

Another white supremacist account with over 320 followers was also found that posted content supporting the great replacement conspiracy theory. Two posts on other accounts promoted Holocaust denial and used footage from an Atomwaffen Division video and various Nazi slogans, had 44 likes and 64 views, and were on the platform for 50 days and 12 days, respectively.

CEP reported the content to Instagram, who removed only one post, a video that promoted the great replacement theory conspiracy and promoted racism and anti-Muslim sentiment.

Pro-ISIS Explosives Guide Located on JustPaste.It

On June 17, CEP researchers located a guide for making homemade explosives on the bulletin board style website JustPaste.It. The instructions were allegedly posted by The pro-ISIS group al-Saqri Foundation, which has published manuals over several years on the manufacture and use of explosives, poisons and other weaponry. The document had been viewed approximately 35 times when it was located. JustPaste.It removed the guide after CEP reported it.

Extreme-Right and White Supremacist Telegram Channels Praise Patriot Front Following Arrests

Following the arrest of 31 members of the neo-Nazi group Patriot Front (PF) in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, on June 11, multiple extreme-right and white supremacist Telegram channels praised the group. Channels affiliated with Rise Above Movement (RAM) inspired active clubs claimed that the arrests were unjust and noted positively that at least one PF member wore a t-shirt sold by a clothing brand affiliated with the active club movement. A media group affiliated with RAM and the active club movement had previously released a propaganda video promoting Patriot Front. A Telegram account belonging to a pro-Proud Boys media group made posts on June 13 praising PF and encouraging the channel’s 16,650 subscribers to contact the Coeur D’Alene police department for “imprisoning innocent Americans.” Several Telegram channels affiliated with Proud Boys chapters made posts supporting PF. A Telegram channel affiliated with The Base stated that they did not want to criticize PF but that the arrest showed that the group’s tactics were ineffective and called for acts of violence instead. A neo-Nazi Telegram channel that focuses on information and operations security stated that the arrest of PF members was further evidence that individuals should not join named groups that maintain membership lists.

Content Promoting White Supremacist Violence on the 14th Day of Each Month Located on Telegram

CEP researchers located posts by a private Telegram account encouraging acts of white supremacist violence on the 14th day of each month. The first post was made on May 14 and included footage of vandalism, arson, and shootings, as examples of the type of behavior the channel endorses. At least seven Telegram channels shared the post calling for acts of violence in May and five in June. On June 15, at least six channels shared a post from the private Telegram channel of news reports regarding acts of vandalism, arson, and hate crimes attacks committed on June 14. There is no evidence, nor is it likely, that any of the criminal acts on June 14 were related to the Telegram channel.

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

Fact:

On June 24, 2017, Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (TTP) launched back-to-back explosions at a market in Kurram Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in northwest Pakistan. The attack killed 67 people who were shopping in preparation for a religious holiday and wounded 200 others. 

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