Resistant Jihadi Pests on Youtube

Rita Katz on terrorist adaptations to more hostile Youtube environment.

The amount of YouTube and other Google links created to push terrorist content is hard to overstate. Take one IS recruitment video, "And You Will be Superior," one of many released amid the snowballing boycott. The 35-minute video, released on March 18, urges people of all ages to join IS by featuring suicide bombers from different walks of life—a doctor, a disabled fighter, and a young child—describing their lives before footage of their respective suicide operations.

When IS releases a video like this, an array of pro-IS media groups—translators, promoters, social media leaders, link-creators—immediately get to work in pushing it out across the internet. One very important, but not widely known media group, The Upload Knights (or Fursan al-Rafa in Arabic), plays a major role in the dissemination of these releases by creating hundreds of links to them across various streaming and file-sharing sites on a daily basis.

The importance of YouTube to The Upload Knights and other terrorist media groups is clear as day. During a two-day span following the release of "And You Will be Superior," The Upload Knights distributed the video and its promotional banner with 136 unique links from Google services alone: 69 for YouTube, 54 for Google Drive, and 13 for Google Photos.

Interesting because I ran across one of these the other day. And I wasn't even really looking. So that shows you the reach they are achieving.

But the idea is not that you can totally eliminate all terrorist content. You could apply the expression herding cats. There has to be some balance.

Sure you need to limit expose as much as you can. But not too much as they will become resistant. While at the same time gathering intelligence and countering the extremist message.

But at the same time as we saw in Manchester intelligence that is not acted on is wasted effort. The bomber was of course being monitored, he's generating blips. And of course all analysts want more blips. it's their deal.

But in the end the judgment that the danger he posed was less than the value of what was learned was off. Incorrect. So we have to turn that knob up a little bit. We have to change the judgment. All the signs were there.

One of CAGE's lawyers was detained for failing to divulge a password to his PC just prior to the Manchester attack. If that level of scrutiny had been given to Salman Abedi a lot of people might still be alive.

Hat Tip: William.

Posted by: Howie at 08:29 AM


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