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.
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.
To request a full copy of this MEMRI Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor report, send us an email with the report title, number, and date in the subject line, and include your name, title, organization, and official contact info in the body of the email.