(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. Following the sentencing of Salah Abdeslam for his role in the 2015 Paris attacks, pro-ISIS Telegram channels called for attacks in France. ISIS released a propaganda video on several websites via their self-proclaimed Iraq province titled “From the Land of Iraq to the Lions of Africa.” In addition, after the passing of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, a neo-Nazi website linked to James Mason and the National Socialist Order condemned the new bill. Finally, CEP researchers found a video praising the Christchurch terrorist on the website Anonfiles.
Pro-ISIS Telegram Channels Call for Attacks in France
On June 29, pro-ISIS Telegram channels called for attacks in France following the sentencing of Salah Abdeslam to life in prison for his role in the November 13, 2015, Paris attacks in which ISIS terrorists killed 130 people and wounded 350 at the Bataclan theater, Stade de France, and nearby restaurants and cafes. Abdeslam was the only surviving attacker. Nineteen other defendants were also charged, although five are presumed dead, and one is currently serving a prison sentence in Turkey.
Pro-ISIS Telegram channels encouraged terrorist attacks in France in response to Abdeslam’s sentencing. In addition to statements calling for acts of violence, a channel posted infographics from ISIS’s Rumiyah magazine calling for attacks using vehicles and knives.
ISIS Propaganda Video Released on Multiple Websites
On June 27, ISIS released a propaganda video via their self-proclaimed Iraq province titled “From the Land of Iraq to the Lions of Africa.” The video is the second in a series. The previous video was released on June 23 via ISIS’s Syria province. Footage shows a group of three ISIS fighters and an additional individual ISIS member congratulating the successes of the group’s affiliates in African provinces and urging immigration to ISIS-held territory in Africa.
The video was released on Telegram, Hoop, and a pro-ISIS website. CEP also located the video on the Internet Archive, Facebook, and Odysee. The video was still available on Facebook two days after CEP reported it. The video was not removed from Odysee after CEP reported it. The Internet Archive made the video accessible only to logged in users after it was reported by CEP.
ISIS propaganda video “From the Land of Iraq to the Lions of Africa” on Facebook, two days after CEP reported the video for violating the website’s policies. The video had 865 views on June 30. The video was modified, included having the introduction removed, a logo placed on the bottom right, and color modified, to evade being removed by Facebook.
Neo-Nazi Website States that White Supremacists Will Be Impacted by Congressional Gun Control Bill
On June 27, a neo-Nazi website linked to James Mason and the National Socialist Order (NSO) condemned the Congressional gun safety bill known as the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. Passed by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden, the bill calls for more in depth background checks for potential firearms customers below the age of 21, federal funding for mental health and school safety programs, $750 million in federal grants to encourage states to institute red flag laws to allow law enforcement to remove firearms from individuals deemed to be a threat to themselves or others, and preventing the sale of firearms to individuals who have been convicted by a court of abuse of unmarried partners.
The neo-Nazi website alleged that the bill, especially the red flag provisions, would be used against white supremacists, citing the case of Kaleb Cole. Cole, a Washington state leader of the Atomwaffen Divison, had several firearms seized by Seattle police in 2019 after a court declared him a threat to public safety. Cole is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for participating in a plot to threaten and intimidate journalists and activists. The website further stated that the bill would lead to increased surveillance and the attempted disarming of the extreme right. The post claimed that the media focus on gun violence was a Jewish controlled plot and that white supremacist terrorism is not a threat. The website itself has previously advocated for acts of violence. The outlawing and confiscation of firearms is a plot device in the white supremacist novel The Turner Diaries.
On June 30, an NSO member in Mississippi, Aubrey Sakai Suzuki, plead guilty to making threats online in late 2020. Suzuki was arrested by the FBI on July 19, 2021 while he was picking up a firearm that he had purchased.
In addition to content from Mason, the website contains writing from former members of the Atomwaffen Division and current members of the NSO and lists members from the former as “prisoners of war.” On March 2, the site claimed that the bulk of its readership was between the ages of 16 and 18.
Video Praising Christchurch Terrorist Located
On June 30, CEP located a video praising the Christchurch terrorist on the website Anonfiles. The video claimed to be a documentary of the attacker’s life and glorified him and his murder of 51 people. Anonfiles did not remove the video after CEP reported it.