(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. This week, ISIS released a new video including footage of combat and executions from the group’s self-proclaimed West Africa province. Also, a right-wing chan user urged the use of violence in response to potential gun control laws in Virginia. An alleged member of the Siege inspired Feuerkrieg Division (FKD) uploaded guides to Mega.nz on the manufacture of explosives, the preparation of poisons and various acts of violence. Additionally, a white supremacist channel on Telegram released videos regarding plans for 3D printed firearms and components. There were also more than 10 pro-ISIS accounts located on the social network Mastodon.
New ISIS Video Released on Several Websites
A new ISIS video was released on Friday, January 10, from the group’s self-proclaimed West Africa province. The video includes footage from various locations in approximately the past two years. The video includes gory combat footage, including previously released clips taken from a helmet mounted camera during the 2017 Tongo Tongo ambush when U.S. and Nigerian soldiers were attacked by Islamic State in the Greater Sahara. The video also includes previously released footage from Amaq News clips. The video concludes with the execution of two soldiers in Mali.
“The wide release of an ISIS propaganda video on multiple websites and spread by several messaging apps shows the continued challenge of eliminating online terrorist propaganda,” said CEP researcher Joshua Fisher-Birch. “Despite efforts to counter the group’s online content, ISIS continues to spread violent ideologies, encourage their online supporters, and seek recruits.”
In addition to Telegram and TamTam, the video was uploaded to at least eleven websites: the Microsoft One Drive, Amazon Drive, the Internet Archive, mail.ru, file.fm, ok.ru, tune.pk, Dropbox, Vidyard, Vimeo, and YouTube. Three hours after being uploaded, the video was still available on six websites: the Microsoft One Drive, Amazon Drive, the Internet Archive, mail.ru, file.fm, and Vidyard. A shortened version of the video was located on YouTube, however it was removed after being on the platform for approximately ten minutes. The video was also located on Vimeo, after being online for approximately one hour. Links for the video were spread on Telegram, TamTam, Hoop, Nandbox, and JustPaste.It.
Variety of Tactics, Including Violence, Suggested as Response to Potential Virginia Gun Control Laws
On January 8, an extreme right-wing user of a chan imageboard advocated violence in response to potential gun control laws in Virginia. Other forum users suggested secession instead of violence. Additional users suggested that 3D printing firearms were a solution to potential bans.
Several white supremacist Telegram channels blamed Jewish lawmakers for Virginia’s expected firearms regulation. The channels portrayed firearms regulation as a Jewish plot to disarm the population of Virginia. Individuals advocating for white supremacism and/or accelerationist violence might attempt to insert themselves into the Virginia gun control debate. White supremacist Telegram channels have previously advocated resistance or violence in response to potential Virginia gun control laws.
The Democratic controlled General Assembly has signaled their intention to institute statewide universal background checks, pass a red flag law, and ban assault weapons. 120 counties in Virginia have passed resolutions declaring themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries” in response. Protests against the proposed legislation by pro-firearms groups are planned for January 20.
Large Cache of “How To” Guides, Including Explosives Manuals, Posted by the Feuerkrieg Division
A large cache of “how to” guides, were located this week on Mega.nz, posted by an alleged member of the Siege inspired neo-Nazi group Feuerkrieg Division (FKD). The folders contained over 200 files (over 6 GB of data) including information on constructing explosive devices, the manufacture of poisons and homemade firearms, and committing various acts of violence. The file link was spread by several white supremacist Telegram channels that advocate violence. Mega.nz promptly removed all files after they were reported by CEP.
In August 2019, FKD claimed that the group had spoken with Las Vegas resident Conor Climo and had offered him assistance in constructing an explosive device. Climo was arrested on August 8, 2019 by the FBI for possessing bomb making materials, and was suspected of planning to attack Las Vegas LGBT and Jewish communities.
White Supremacist Telegram Channel Shares Videos and Links for 3D Printed Firearms Accessories
On January 8, a white supremacist Telegram channel shared two short videos on 3D printed firearms accessories, as well as a link to an unaffiliated group that provides plans for 3D printed firearms and components. One video showed the use of a suppressor with 3D printed components, while the other advertised an extended handgun magazine. The Telegram channel has previously expressed support for violence and neo-Nazi groups such as the Base and the Atomwaffen Division.
Several Pro-ISIS Accounts Discovered on Mastodon
More than 10 pro-ISIS accounts were located on the Mastodon social network this week. The accounts posted pro-ISIS propaganda including links to videos, photo propaganda, and news. Mastodon’s Code of Conduct prohibits a wide variety of discriminatory behavior as well as online activities and content that are illegal in Germany and France.