French-Speaking ISIS Supporters Back On Facebook

January 27, 2017

Islamic State (ISIS) supporters and fighters depend on online communication to spread and distribute jihadi content, to recruit new members and potential operatives in the West, and to coordinate and organize activities, which may be of a terrorist nature. Online networks of jihadi supporters have proved to be resilient, switching platforms when necessary to avoid and thwart efforts to shut them down.

Although ISIS supporters have abandoned Facebook almost entirely in favor of other options such as Telegram, they appear to have recently returned to Facebook in significant numbers. Facebook offers supporters the ability to share content and communicate, while enjoying relative anonymity among its millions of users. While previous efforts seemed to have diminished jihadi presence on the social network, the individuals have adapted to the disruption and adopted practices to circumvent blocking efforts.

The following report will present a selection of suspicious accounts, which all have links to one another, through common “liked” pages or groups, or are members of the same Facebook friend network. They all have expressed signs of support for ISIS or shared jihadi content on their pages. Each user is likely to be in direct contact with, or able to make direct contact with, ISIS operatives in Syria and Iraq. Many of these individuals are believed to be on the French security services’ list of potential national security threats (the “S files”).

Some of the members of a Facebook group operated by ISIS’s official French media wing

The full text of this report is available to MEMRI Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor subscribers. 

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