Extremist Content Online: Online Extremists Create Digital Version of Christchurch Terrorist Attack in Videogames

(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 identified a video posted on Streamable consisting of a recreation of the Christchurch terrorist attack video in the online video game Roblox, as well as a map of one of the mosques targeted in the attack in the game Minecraft, which was then shared on an imageboard that promotes violent white supremacism. Also, CEP located an audio message from ISIS spokesman Abu Hamza al-Qurashi on numerous websites urging fighters to practice secrecy and steadfastness among ISIS followers globally. CEP also located a recently released ISIS propaganda video on multiple websites.

Additionally, CEP identified the release of the seventeenth issue of the pro-ISIS web magazine, “Voice of Hind,” on multiple web platforms including the Internet Archive, Telegram and RocketChat, and CEP also found a pro-ISIS website containing ISIS propaganda and magazines on the eth.link domain. Lastly, CEP researchers located a propaganda video from a neo-Nazi Telegram channel urging attacks on electrical substations.

Video Game Recreations of Christchurch Terrorist Attack Video Located

CEP researchers located a recreation of the Christchurch terrorist attack video made in the online game Roblox and posted as a video on Streamable. The video included a weapon skin made to resemble the attacker’s rifle and included music originally used in the attack video. The link was posted on 4chan and had 23 views when it was located.

CEP also located a map and video recreation in the game Minecraft depicting one of the mosques targeted in the March 15 terrorist attack. The map was uploaded to a Minecraft community fansite. The map had been online for two months when it was located and had received over 330 views. The link to the map was posted on a white supremacist imageboard on the dark web. CEP has previously found footage of a recreation of the terror attack in a videogame and posted to Instagram and the government of New Zealand has banned a video game specifically made to digitally recreate the attack.

Statement From ISIS Spokesperson Spread Via Numerous Websites

On June 22, ISIS released an audio message from the group’s official al-Furqan media outlet, consisting of a statement from the terrorist organization’s spokesman, Abu Hamza al-Qurashi. Titled “And You Will Be Superior If You Are [True] Believers,” the message urges steadfastness among ISIS fighters worldwide and urged the group’s followers to practice secrecy. Al-Qurashi also stated that ISIS welcomed the defections of former Boko Haram fighters in Nigeria who have pledged their allegiance to ISIS’s West African Province. The statement also included recognition of multiple ISIS affiliates fighting in Central and West Africa, Iraq, Syria, the Sinai, Afghanistan, and Libya. The last official media release from ISIS’s leadership was in October 2020.

Audio files of the speech, as well as links to the speech on other websites, were located on Telegram and RocketChat. Approximately 24 hours after it was released, the audio files were still available on the Internet Archive, File.Fm, and FromSmash. The mp3 file was quickly removed from Mail.Ru, Yandex, PCloud, Mega.Nz, PixelDrain, Soundcloud, Dropbox, and Spreaker.

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Audio file of ISIS spokesman address on the Internet Archive, June 24, 2021.

ISIS Propaganda Video Released on Multiple Websites

CEP researchers located an ISIS propaganda video released on June 25 from the group’s self-proclaimed province in Nigeria (Islamic State West Africa Province). The video features Boko Haram fighters pledging their allegiance to ISIS and includes combat scenes and propaganda statements.

The video was released on Telegram and Hoop, with links spread on RocketChat. Approximately two days after the video was uploaded, it was available on six websites: the Microsoft One Drive, Mail.Ru, Yandex.Com, Jwp.Io, PixelDrain, and the Internet Archive.

Pro-ISIS Voice of Hind Magazine Released

The seventeenth issue of the pro-ISIS web magazine “Voice of Hind” was released on numerous websites on June 23. The magazine is meant to appeal to Muslims in the Indian subcontinent and beyond. The seventeenth issue contained an essay condemning secularism and a piece stating that groups fighting against the Indian government in Kashmir do not represent the true path and are spiritually impure. The magazine also featured an article allegedly by an ISIS supporter in the Maldives who stated that India is guilty of crimes against Muslims and must be punished, citing anti-Muslim communal violence and the destruction of the Babri Masjid. The author argued against a security relationship between the governments of India and the Maldives.

Links to the magazine were spread on Telegram and RocketChat, and were uploaded to at least six websites: the Internet Archive, File.Fm, Gofile.Io, Mega.Nz, Top4top, and Mediafire. Approximately 24 hours later, the magazine was still available on five websites: the Internet Archive, File.Fm, Gofile.Io, Top4top, and Mediafire. The e-magazine was not removed after it was reported to the Internet Archive.

Pro-ISIS Website Located

CEP researchers located a pro-ISIS website on the “eth.link” domain. The site contains recently released ISIS propaganda audio and links to ISIS magazines and propaganda on other websites. The website uses Cloudflare services.

Neo-Nazi Telegram Channel Releases Video Encouraging Attacks on Electrical Substations

On June 24, a neo-Nazi Telegram channel released a propaganda video that encouraged attacks on electrical substations. The video, which appeared to be modified footage taken from an educational video on the electrical grid, identified different parts of a substation interspersed with homages to a neo-Nazi group. The video was viewed over 100 times in approximately 15 hours. The Telegram channel that posted the video has previously been removed from the platform at least five times. In online spaces, various neo-Nazis and white supremacists frequently encourage attacks on electrical, transportation, and water infrastructure both as a form of bluster and also to encourage the breakdown of established order.

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