(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. Over the last week, CEP researchers found ISIS supporters on RocketChat celebrating the August 26 attack on Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport. There were also two new pro-ISIS propaganda sites located, one on the dark web and the other on the surface web which both included the attack claim.
Additionally, a YouTube channel was found that includes a white supremacist podcast warning of federal infiltration. A white supremacist Telegram channel providing advice on how to commit arson was also located. And finally, neo-Nazis celebrated the release of Atomwaffen Division (AWD) founder Brandon Russell from federal prison on Telegram and a website that contains writing and propaganda from members of AWD and the National Socialist Order (NSO).
ISIS Online Supporters Celebrate Kabul Airport Attack
ISIS online supporters celebrated the August 26 suicide attack on Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport by a member of the group’s affiliate in Afghanistan. On RocketChat, ISIS online supporters praised the attack and shared statements from ISIS’s Amaq news outlet and an alleged video clip showing the aftermath of the bombing. An unofficial pro-ISIS propaganda group on Hoop messenger urged their followers to publicize the attack and stated that the Taliban worked with the U.S.
New Pro-ISIS Site Located on the Surface and Dark Web
CEP researchers located two identical pro-ISIS propaganda sites, one using an onion address on the dark web, the other available on the surface web. Both sites contain ISIS propaganda videos, statements from the group’s leadership, weekly Al-Naba newsletters, and announcements from the ISIS news outlet Amaq, including the claim for the August 26 Kabul airport attack. ISIS content is available on the website in 17 different languages, and the site also provides a Telegram contact for cryptocurrency donations. Both sites provided information on where to locate them if the current URLs are made inaccessible. The site on the surface web uses Cloudflare as a name server and a Finnish company, Sarek, as its registrar.
YouTube Fails to Take Down White Supremacist Podcast
On August 24, CEP researchers reported a white supremacist podcast hosted on YouTube. The podcast was still accessible six days later. The specific episode warned of federal infiltration of the extreme right and sought to educate listeners on the purported tactics of federal informants. The podcast host urged his listeners to read neo-Nazi texts for guidance. The specific episode, uploaded on August 22, had almost 1,400 views on August 27. The YouTube account used for posting podcast episodes was created in September 2020 and had approximately 1,000 subscribers and over 10,000 combined views on 11 videos. The podcast is streamed on YouTube, allowing for user chat interaction.
White Supremacist Telegram Channel Providing Information on Arson Located
On August 27, CEP researchers located a white supremacist Telegram channel that provided advice on committing arson. The account was created on August 22. Within five days of its creation, it had posted three scenarios with information on arson attacks. The account had 81 subscribers on August 27. CEP reported the channel to Telegram, but it was still online three days later.
Neo-Nazis Celebrate Release of Atomwaffen Division Founder From Prison
Neo-Nazis celebrated the August 23 release of Atomwaffen Division (AWD) founder Brandon Russell from federal prison. Russell was arrested in May 2017 and eventually plead guilty to possession of an unregistered destructive device and improper storage of explosive materials, serving four years and three months of a five-year prison sentence. While he was in prison, Russell’s voice appeared in a May 2018 AWD propaganda video where he described himself as a “prisoner of war” in a “war against society” and spoke in a position of authority within AWD. A website that contains writing and propaganda from members of AWD and the National Socialist Order (NSO) celebrated Russell’s release. The website uses Epik as its registrar and Cloudflare as its name server. Neo-Nazis on Telegram also cheered Russell’s release. One small neo-Nazi group that has allegedly spread propaganda flyers in Illinois and Florida stated their hope that Russell would “fix” AWD.