Extremist Content Online: ISIS Propaganda Continues Proliferation On The Internet

(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 a pro-ISIS propaganda video on Streamable, with additional links spread via the Internet Archive that contained footage of ISIS affiliates fighting against government forces in northern Mozambique. In addition, Benjamin Carpenter, a pro-ISIS propagandist, who was recently taken into U.S. federal custody and charged with “attempting to provide material support and resources to” ISIS, still had easily locatable content on Facebook, Issuu, the Internet Archive, and a website dedicated to spreading pro-ISIS propaganda. Additionally, CEP researchers identified violent ISIS propaganda images on Telegram, one from the terrorist group’s self-proclaimed province in Niger, the other from Sinai. Researchers also located a pro-ISIS account on the Ignite social media site which features links to pro-ISIS chats and photo propaganda, as well as the group’s official weekly newsletter.

Meanwhile, white supremacists and neo-Nazis on Telegram and social media exploited the “White Boy Summer” meme by incorporating the phrase into content promoting terrorism, including white supremacist mass shootings and neo-Nazism. Finally, white supremacist Telegram channels spread propaganda and homemade weapons designs in response to proposed gun control efforts from President Biden.

Pro-ISIS Propaganda Video Featuring Footage from Mozambique Released

CEP researchers located a pro-ISIS propaganda video containing footage from Mozambique on several websites on April 7. The video included footage of ISIS affiliates fighting against government forces in northern Mozambique with shots of dead bodies of individuals who were allegedly killed by the terrorist group. Links to the video were spread via the Internet Archive, and the video was located on Streamable and a cloud storage site operated by the pro-ISIS tech group Electronic Horizons Foundation (EHF). EHF was created in 2016 to provide cybersecurity and web technical assistance to ISIS supporters.

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ISIS propaganda video on Streamable, April 8, 2020.

Recently Arrested Pro-ISIS Propagandists’ Work Widely Available Online

The work of the recently arrested American pro-ISIS propagandist Benjamin Alan Carpenter, a.k.a. "Abu Hamza," is widely available online. Carpenter was taken into custody by U.S. federal law enforcement agents on March 24, 2021, and has been charged with "attempting to provide material support and resources to" ISIS for operating "an international organization dedicated to the translation and publication of pro-ISIS and official ISIS media in English." CEP researchers located work made by Carpenter's group on Facebook, Issuu, the Internet Archive, and a website dedicated to spreading pro-ISIS propaganda. The Facebook page was created on September 10, 2020, and had over 425 likes and follows on April 8, before it was removed after being reported by CEP. Bluehost, which provides name-server services to the pro-ISIS website, refused to sever ties with the site after being alerted by CEP in March. 

ISIS Propaganda Spread via Telegram Feature Telegra.ph

ISIS supporters continue to spread the group’s propaganda on Telegram’s Telegra.ph feature. On April 7, CEP researchers located two photo propaganda sets, one from the terrorist group’s self-proclaimed province in Niger, the other from Sinai. The Niger set shows combat, captured weapons, and the body of a man allegedly killed in combat, while the Sinai photos show the execution of a man accused of belonging to an anti-ISIS tribal faction. Both uploads only contained the photos and did not include additional text.

ISIS Propaganda Located on Ignite

CEP researchers located a pro-ISIS account on the Ignite social media site. Ignite describes itself as a “blockchain based censorship-free social network.” The pro-ISIS account has posted links to pro-ISIS chats and photo propaganda, as well as the group’s official weekly newsletter. Pro-ISIS propagandists have expressed an interest in finding spaces online where moderators or site administrators cannot remove content.

White Supremacists Hijack “White Boy Summer” Meme

White supremacists and neo-Nazis on Telegram and social media predictably attempted to capitalize on the “White Boy Summer” meme. Propagandists incorporated the phrase into content promoting terrorism, including white supremacist mass shootings and neo-Nazism. The group Nationalist Social Club included the phrase in propaganda posters in Portland, Maine, meant to recruit and intimidate. 

White Supremacists Spread Homemade Firearms Plans on Telegram

On March 7 and 8, white supremacist Telegram channels spread propaganda and homemade weapons designs in response to proposed gun control efforts from President Biden. Gun control is an issue that white supremacists and accelerationists have consistently sought to exploit for recruitment and broadcasting their ideology. The prohibition of firearms is a trope in several pieces of white supremacist propaganda, including the infamous novel The Turner Diaries.

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Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

In Their Own Words:

How come they do not ask why the Holocaust happened? Was it because those who burned were criminals, or was it because the Jews in those countries took over the economy and politics and exploited the resources of these people for their own benefit

Mahmoud Zahar, Hamas co-founder and senior official Apr. 10, 2021
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