YouTube – The Internet’s Primary and Rapidly Expanding Jihadi Base: Part II

By: Steven Stalinsky*

May 4, 2010

Introduction

On April 30, 2010, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan group created its official YouTube Page. One day later, the terrorist organization posted its first video on that page – a claim of responsibility for the attempted New York City Times Square attack. This is just the latest example showing YouTube’s emergence as the Internet’s primary – and rapidly expanding – jihadi base.

The following report highlights how jihadist groups worldwide are increasingly using YouTube for a multitude of purposes, including taking responsibility for terrorist attacks and posting footage of attacks for propaganda and recruiting purposes.

This report also follows up on developments set out in Part I of this series, MEMRI’s “Deleting Online Jihad and the Case of Anwar Al-Awlaki” published December 30, 2009. That report noted that YouTube has become the largest clearinghouse of Al-Awlaki’s online videos since his own website was taken down following the November 2009 Fort Hood shootings by his follower, Maj. Nidal Hasan.[1]

Al-Awlaki is also credited with inspiring additional attacks through his online activities, including the attempted Christmas Day 2009 airplane bombing near Detroit; would-be bomber Umar Farooq Abdulmutallab was reportedly a frequent visitor to his website. Others reportedly radicalized by Al-Awlaki’s website are the “Fort Dix Six,” who in 2008 attempted to carry out a terror attack Fort Dix, New Jersey, and the London 7/7/05 bombers.

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