European Centre for Counterterrorism and Intelligence Studies, Germany & Netherlands – ECCI
Extremist Content Online: Accounts Spreading Pro-ISIS And White Supremacist Propaganda Located On Meta-Owned Platforms
(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 five pro-ISIS accounts on Meta-owned Facebook that posted a variety of violent propaganda, including modified videos, and 10 accounts on Meta-owned Instagram that posted white supremacist, neo-Nazi, and antisemitic images and videos.
In addition, a white supremacist imageboard containing downloadable manifestos, including of the Christchurch attacker, Holocaust denial literature, and neo-Nazi accelerationist propaganda books that encourage acts of terrorism was found.
Further, the pro-ISIS tech group Qimam Electronic Foundation (QEF) published a guide for detecting and removing malware on Mac computers on a bulletin board-style website. Lastly, CEP located an online store operated by a neo-Nazi group on the print-on-demand platform Spring and a neo-Nazi online bookstore was found using PayPal services to accept payments.
Pro-ISIS Propaganda Located on Facebook
CEP researchers located five pro-ISIS accounts on Meta-owned Facebook in a sample of content located on March 2. The accounts posted clips from ISIS propaganda videos, including those modified to evade detection, pro-ISIS videos, ISIS Amaq propaganda photos with text blurred to avoid detection, and text-based propaganda. Four accounts had their number of friends or followers listed, ranging between 167 and 4,217 and an average of 1,274.
One account posted a clip on October 24, 2022, that contained footage of ISIS snipers shooting unknown security forces members. The video “Arrows of the Monotheists #2” was originally released in August 2017. The clip uploaded to Facebook in October contained an emoji on the top right of the screen to cover an ISIS logo. The clip had 47 likes/reactions, 10 shares, and over 750 views when it was located on March 2. Facebook identified the video as “violent or graphic content” and required an additional click to watch the video.The five accounts were reported to Facebook on March 2. One account was removed by March 6.
White Supremacist, Neo-Nazi, and Antisemitic Content Located on Instagram
In a sample of content located on March 1, CEP researchers found 10 accounts on Meta-owned Instagram that posted white supremacist, neo-Nazi, and antisemitic images and videos. Content included videos from a rally held in Springfield, Ohio, on February 25, 2023, posted by a regional chapter of a white supremacist group, a montage of Atomwaffen Division (AWD) propaganda photos, various neo-Nazi symbols, antisemitic posts, and posts glorifying the leader of the neo-Nazi group The Order.
CEP also located uploaded images supporting Patriot Front and the French active club chapter. One account, with over 1,300 followers, was for a clothing brand that offered t-shirts and slogans associated with the white supremacist movement. A Telegram page for the clothing brand has shared propaganda and photos from the Canadian branch of the active club movement.
The 10 accounts had between 12 and 1,346 followers, averaging 438. CEP reported all 10 accounts to Instagram on March 1. Six accounts were still online on March 6. Instagram removed four accounts, including those that posted active club, AWD, and Patriot Front propaganda.
Multiple Manifestos of White Supremacist Terrorists and Neo-Nazi Texts and Propaganda Located on Imageboard
CEP researchers located a section of a white supremacist imageboard containing over 200 white supremacist and neo-Nazi texts available for viewing and download. The website included the manifestos of the Christchurch terrorist and the 2011 Norway attacker, James Mason’s book Siege, William Luther Pierce’s The Turner Diaries, content from the Atomwaffen Division, and the Iron March Forum. Notorious accelerationist propaganda books that encourage acts of terrorism were also found, including one guide that contained bomb-making information and helpful information for committing individual attacks. Two publications from Blood & Honour were also found, as well as a large quantity of Holocaust denial literature.
The imageboard uses Cloudflare as its name server and Tucows as its registrar. The website also has a mirror onion site, accessible with Tor. The website accepts donations in the cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, LiteCoin, Monero, Ethereum, and Solana. The last publicly available transaction for Ethereum occurred in November 2022 for approximately $40.
Pro-ISIS Tech Group Publishes Guide For Detecting Malware on a Mac
On February 27, the pro-ISIS tech group Qimam Electronic Foundation (QEF) published a guide for detecting and removing malware on Mac computers on a bulletin board-style website. The post included examples of the most common malware on Mac devices and offered advice on determining if a computer is infected. The guide also included a short list of anti-virus programs. QEF has previously shared information on encrypted communications, online security, and cryptocurrency.
Spring Removes Clothing Store for Neo-Nazi Group
On February 28, CEP researchers located a web store on the print-on-demand platform Spring (formerly Teespring) selling clothing with the logo of a Scottish neo-Nazi group previously identified by CEP as the beneficiary of a crowdfunding campaign on GiveSendGo. The group stated that merchandise sales would benefit propaganda campaigns and legal and court costs. Spring quickly removed the web store after CEP reported it.
Spring also responded quickly to remove neo-Nazi clothing shops from its platform in April 2022 and again in June 2022. According to Spring’s Acceptable Use Policy, the platform does not “allow campaigns that promote or glorify hatred toward people based on their age, race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability and religion, including people, organizations or symbols dedicated to hatred against these groups.”
Neo-Nazi Bookstore Accepts PayPal
On March 1, CEP contacted PayPal regarding a neo-Nazi bookstore that uses the service to accept payments. The web store sells various white supremacist and neo-Nazi books, including The Turner Diaries and Holocaust denial literature and an improvised explosives manual. The store also sells hats and flags featuring swastikas and black sun/sonnenrad symbols that benefit a known neo-Nazi propagandist.
PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy prohibits the sale of items that promote “hate, violence, racial or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory.” The web store still appeared to accept PayPal on March 6.