The Taliban Choose The San Francisco-Based Internet Archive As Main Platform For Posting Their Jihad And Martyrdom Videos

March 2, 2022

Table of Contents

Background

Introduction 

  • About The Internet Archive      

  • Jihadis Use the Internet Archive As A File Storage Database For Distributing Their Content

  • Neo-Nazis and White Supremacists Use the Internet Archive     

  • Taliban Jihadi Videos Posted On The Internet Archive   

  • Taliban Video Content On The Internet Archive – Attacks, Training, Eulogies, Incitement, And "Nasheed" Music Videos

  • The Internet Archive Must Be Pressured To Tackle Extremist And Violent Content On The Platform

  • Examples Of Taliban Videos Posted On The Internet Archive

Various Sources: Sabhabhakim9, Al-Dawla, Islamic Emirate Afghanistan     

  • Attack Compilations And Martyr Tributes         

  • Sermons And Interviews          

  • Miscellaneous  

Al-Emara Media      

  • Attack Compilations And Martyr Tributes         

  • Sermons And Interviews          

  • Training Videos

  • Miscellaneous  

Al-Hijrat Media       

  • Attack Compilations And Martyr Tributes         

  • Sermons And Interviews          

  • Training Videos

  • Miscellaneous  

  • Al-Jihad Media

  • Miscellaneous  

Manba Al-Jihad Media       

  • Attack Compilations And Martyr Tributes         

  • Sermons And Interviews          

  • Training Videos

  • Miscellaneous  

Umar Media 

  • Attack Compilations And Martyr Tributes         

  • Sermons And Interviews          

  • Training Videos

  • Miscellaneous  

Saut ul Ahrar Media

  • Attack Compilations And Martyr Tributes         

  • Sermons And Interviews          

  • Miscellaneous  

Background

Every day, researchers from the MEMRI Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM) and Domestic Terrorism Threat Monitor (DTTM) projects see jihadis as well as neo-Nazis/white supremacists freely uploading their content directly to the Internet Archive (archive.org). Once it is uploaded, they circulate the Internet Archive links to it via their own social media accounts to their own networks of followers on a range of platforms, to all interested parties.

Examples from just this week include the top religious official of the Syria-based jihadi group Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), Abu Al-Fath Al-Farghali, whose real name is Yahya Taher Farghali, who has been publishing his books on the Internet Archive since May 2021. He posted his most recent title, The Road to [Establishing] the Caliphate, a few days ago.

This 195-page book sets out the history of the jihadi movement, starting with the Muslim Brotherhood, to the current jihad in Syria. His other books on the Internet Archive include The State [According to] the Quran, in which he argued that Muslims are personally obligated to take part in establishing an Islamic state; The Theory of Victory in Islam, which discusses the conditions and circumstances that are necessary for Muslims to defeat their enemies and attain the victory promised to them by Allah; and another book highlighting the importance of the concept of martyrdom in reviving the Muslim ummah. This book states: "The love of attaining martyrdom for the sake of Allah is the most qualitative and effective weapon of the Muslim ummah, across all eras; [it] distinguishes [the Muslims ummah] from all other nations. It is the weapon Allah has given to the ummah, and no one can take it away unless it fails to protect and safeguard it, in which case, [the Muslim ummah] will be humiliated and disrespected until it makes use of it [martyrdom] again."[1]


Abu Al-Fath Al-Farghali's books shared for downloading on the Internet Archive

Additionally, just last month, on January 31, 2022, the U.K.-based white supremacist group "Patriotic Alternative" promoted the Internet Archive in an article titled "Tools for Online Dissent." The group is led by prominent neo-Nazi Mark Collett and white supremacist Laura Towler. The article stated that storing content on the Internet Archive was extremely useful because "our enemies in the media and the government overplay their hand," and that the platform should be used for archiving content that may be subject to removal from other platforms, and for saving content by "truth-tellers who are running afoul of the powerful" so that their work can be saved for "posterity." It also encouraged users to upload media articles for others to view, since the Internet Archive typically "removes paywalls" so that they can be freely accessed without "helping pay for the cost of the website and employing subversive, lying journalists."[2]


"Tools for Online Dissent" article on the white supremacist Patriotic Alternative website promotes the Internet Archive

This report includes background on how the Internet Archive has become so popular amongst hate groups – both jihadis and neo-Nazi types. This has happened especially because the online library does nothing to prevent these groups from having free access to the platform, prioritizing its massive archive collection over the removal of any content, even if this content is actively inciting hatred and violence.

In contrast to their attention to other online platforms, including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, both Congress and media have failed to focus on the Internet Archive as a platform for hate groups. Such attention on their part is long overdue, if they really want to address online hate.

Introduction

About The Internet Archive

In recent years, jihadis, neo-Nazis, antisemites, and white supremacist and racist groups have been using the Internet Archive (archive.org) to spread their propaganda and incitement online. The massive online digital library is serving as a platform for these groups and individuals by allowing them to easily create an account, using only an email address, in order toin the Internet Archive's own words"upload movies, audio, texts, software, images, and other formats... any time you wish."[3] The page and link created when content is uploaded can be shared with anyone else at any time.

MEMRI has published a number of reports on hate groups uploading their content to the Internet Archive. One series was on Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (ISIS) content hosted on it; most recently, in January 2021, we published an in-depth study on neo-Nazi and white supremacist use of the Internet Archive:

The following report next highlights how the Taliban is also using the Internet Archive as a platform for distributing its videos and publications.


Major MEMRI studies of terrorist use of the Internet Archives: Al-Qaeda, Jihadis Infest the San Francisco, California-Based "Internet Archive" Library; August 17, 2011; U.S.-Based 'Internet Archive' Hosts Massive Amount Of Neo-Nazi, White Supremacist, And Holocaust Denial Propaganda – Serving As Major Resource For Recruitment And Radicalization, January 26, 2021.

Jihadis Use the Internet Archive As A File Storage Database For Distributing Their Content

For over a decade, MEMRI research has focused on how the Internet Archive (archive.org) has enabled Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other jihadi groups to use it as a file storage database from which they distribute their propaganda materials, conduct recruitment campaigns, incite violence, and fundraise.[4]

Neo-Nazis and White Supremacists Use the Internet Archive

Neo-Nazis and white supremacists are also using the Internet Archive to spread their messages of hate, incitement, and violence, allowing them to post content such as videos and books, and they are sharing this content by linking to it on the Internet Archive via other platforms, including Telegram.[5] The findings of the major MEMRI study published on January 27, 2021, U.S.-Based 'Internet Archive' Hosts Massive Amount Of Neo-Nazi, White Supremacist, And Holocaust Denial Propaganda – Serving As Major Resource For Recruitment And Radicalization, were shared with the director of the Wayback Machine, Mark Graham, at his request. However, despite receiving clear evidence of the virulent and violent content being posted and shared, Graham responded simply by saying that there were "difficult ethical and other decisions to consider around running an online library." In other words, the Internet Archive would not take any steps on its own initiative to either annotate, flag or remove the flood of hateful content that it currently hosts. A year later, this content remains on the platform.[6] 

This content includes the manifestos of mass killers who are lionized by white supremacists and neo-Nazis and who serve as inspiration to them, and thousands of antisemitic and extremist videos, books, and more. It should be noted that since the publication of the report, and despite MEMRI's numerous alerts to the company, the Internet Archive has removed none of this content. Following the publication of this study, on July 30, 2021, an op-ed focusing on the Internet Archive as Neo-Nazis' Favorite Website for Spreading Their Materials, by MEMRI Executive Director Steve Stalinsky, was published by SFGate.com. 

Taliban Jihadi Videos Posted On The Internet Archive

The following report comprises Taliban-sponsored videos uploaded to the Internet Archive between January 1, 2019 and October 20, 2021. Also included are some representative videos from 2012-2014.

In the past few years, the Taliban media outlets uploading content to the platform most frequently have been Umar Media and Al-Emara Media. This report features videos from these and other outlets: Al-Hijrat, Al-Jihad, Manba Al-Jihad, and Saut ul Ahrar. A large percentage of the content focuses on the Tehreek-e-Taliban.

Taliban media outlets are constantly uploading videos to the platform. For example, in the past six months alone, the Islamic Emirate Afghanistan posted a video of a sermon delivered to fighters; Qaiyoon Ki Rihai shared a compilation of excerpts of speeches delivered after the Taliban entered Kabul; Al-Dawla uploaded one in which Taliban members assured Shi'ites in Kabul that Shi'ite processions would be protected; Almueedoon LilQital06 uploaded a compilation of footage of Taliban fighters training; Umar_Media Vidz_Old uploaded a series of videos of interviews and discussions amongst Taliban members; VIDZ UMS uploaded a video about a man who was killed in a Tehreek-e Taliban attack; Sheikh_Khalid_Haqqani_Shaheed_Tafseer shared one of a Taliban speech; and Shaamalltag-media uploaded a compilation of Taliban fighters training with firearms.


Chart showing breakdown of Taliban-sponsored videos uploaded to the Internet Archive from January 2019 to October 2021, by media outlet.

The Taliban Uses The Internet Archive To Disseminate Its Jihadi Videos Of Attacks, Training, Support For Martyrdom, And Incitement

The videos in this report are representative of a range of subject matter: documentation and footage of attacks; training for fighters held in various locations; support for martyrdom and , tributes, and eulogies for "martyrs" –  i.e. suicide bombers; military achievements; incitement to violence, including with images of dead children; sermons by Taliban leaders; interviews with Taliban figures; and Taliban "music videos" featuring nasheeds for inspiration to jihad.

The Internet Archive Must Be Pressured To Tackle Extremist And Violent Content On The Platform

The Internet Archive has been allowing jihadi, neo-Nazi, white supremacist, and other violent extremist content on its platform with impunity, and refusing to remove it. Last month, to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2022, MEMRI published a press release together with the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice, titled "To Combat Holocaust Denial And Online Hate, Congress Should Set Its Sights On San Francisco-Based Internet Archive."[7] Stressing that MEMRI's publication of its major study exactly one year previously, "U.S.-Based 'Internet Archive' Hosts Massive Amount Of Neo-Nazi, White Supremacist, And Holocaust Denial Propaganda – Serving As Major Resource For Recruitment And Radicalization,"[8] had led to hopes that "exposing this rampant online hate, especially on a day of Holocaust remembrance, would lead to action," it added: "But, one year on, absolutely nothing has changed. The Internet Archive remains a powerful vehicle for spreading antisemitic conspiracy theories and the outlandish idea that the Holocaust never happened."[9]

Based on MEMRI's meetings and work with tech and social media companies, and with members of Congress, on the issue of violent extremism on their platforms, beginning with Google in December 2010 about the massive number of videos of Al-Qaeda leader Anwar Al-Awlaki and later on the removal of ISIS content from Twitter, we have encountered reluctance on the part of platforms to tackle this content. It was only after a great deal of pressure from Capitol Hill and media that it started to happen. The same pressure must now be applied to the Internet Archive so that it begins to take responsible action.

The following report comprises Taliban-sponsored media clips uploaded to the Internet Archive between January 1, 2019 and October 20, 2021. Also included are several videos from 2012-2014, since they came up first in the results in a search based on relevance, not chronological order. It should be noted that this report does not by any means include all the Taliban-sponsored content on the Internet Archive; another 2,000 or so items of content were uploaded between 2007, the date this content began appearing on the platform, and the end of 2018.

Examples Of Taliban Videos Posted On The Internet Archive

User "sahabhakim9" uploaded a video on December 29, 2019 titled "Shuhada E Islam 01,Waziristan."[10]

User "sahabhakim9" uploaded a video on March 14, 2020 titled "Sangar,pashto video,islami emirates afghanistan,martydom brigade,fadie lashkar,د استشهاد له سنګره (۵) د الهجره سټوډیو په زړه پوري اصدار نشر شو ,الهجرة جهادي سټوډیو د اشغال د خاتمې د تاريخي تړون په مناسبت يو جالب او ښکلې ويډيو ترتيب اونشرکړه."[11]

User "sahabhakim9" uploaded a video titled "Al-Emarah Studio shaheedi kawari: Video Of Martyrdom Operations in Kandaharالعمارہ اسٹوڈیو: قندھار میں شہادتوں کی کارروائیوں کا ویڈیاستوديو الإمارات: فيديو لعمليات الاستشهاد في قندهارو " on June 27, 2019.[12]

On May 23, 2020, user "sahabhakim9" uploaded a video titled "Taliban Video Shows Release Of US Army Sergeant After Five Years Of Captivityفيديو لطالبان يظهر إطلاق سراح رقيب في الجيش الأمريكي بعد خمس سنوات من الأسر."[13]

User "emara20195" uploaded a video titled "2018 10 11 [ Al Emara] Mujahidin Conducted An Operation On Enemy Checkpoints In The Darf Ul Haq Area Of Akhta Area Of Qal'eh E Sharif Province, With 6 Soldiers Killed" on September 3, 2020.[14]

User "sahabhakim9" uploaded a video titled "Ummat Kay Shair,loins Of Ummah,umar Media Urdu," on November 4, 2019.[15]

Graphical user interface, website

Description automatically generated

On May 23, 2020, user "sahabhakim9" uploaded a video titled "english,islamic emirates of afghanistan,taliban Sangin English Report."[16]

Graphical user interface, website

Description automatically generated

User "emara20195" uploaded a video titled "2018 10 18 [ Al Emara] Education And Learning ( 16)" on September 3, 2020.[17]

Graphical user interface, application

Description automatically generated

On June 5, 2020, user "sahabhakim9" uploaded a video titled هزيمة وهرب العدو عمري في محافظة نورستانورستان ، أفغانستان ، استوديو أليميرا ، الباشتو ، الإمارات الإسلامية في أفغانستانpashtoThe defeat and Flee of the enemy Amry in Nuristan ProvinceNoristan High.[18]

Graphical user interface, application, website

Description automatically generated

User "emara20195" uploaded a video titled "2018 10 24 [ Al Emara] Conquest Of Shilgar" on August 22, 2020.[19]

Graphical user interface, website

Description automatically generated

On August 22, 2020, user "emara20195" uploaded a video titled "2018 10 22 [ Al Emara] Mujahideen Is Seen In A Joint Operation Conducted By US Military Checkpoints At The Kabul Administration's Fake Elections In Pulakhmari District Of Baghlan Provin."[20]

Graphical user interface, website

Description automatically generated

User "al-hijrat" uploaded a video on September 17, 2020 titled "2018 10 20 [ Al Hijrat] Exclusive Video Of Heroic Infiltrator Mujahid Of Kandahar Attack."[21]

Graphical user interface

Description automatically generated

User "emara20195" uploaded a video titled "2018 11 14 [ Al Emara] Mujahedeen Conquered The Kabul Administration's Troops In The Qarqal Area And In Darreh E Bans District Of Dasht Arghi District" on August 20, 2020.[22]

Graphical user interface, website

Description automatically generated

On January 24, 2020, user "sahabhakim9" uploaded a video titled "taliban nasheed,engliah translation."[23]

Graphical user interface, website

Description automatically generated

User "sahabhakim9" uploaded a video titled "tehreek taliban pakistan training,umar media,ttp,video" on February 24, 2020.[24]

Graphical user interface, website

Description automatically generated

User "sahabhakim9" uploaded a video titled "Ghanaem, Urdu, video,afghan taliban,booty of wars,الجبهة الإعلامية الإسلامية العالمية//إغتنام المجاهدين//من إنتاج مؤسسة جنود الفداء الإعلامية//باللغة الأوردية " on February 10, 2020.[25]

Graphical user interface, website

Description automatically generated

On December 29, 2019, user "sahabhakim9" uploaded a video titled "202mb,Nasrum menallah Wa Fathun Qareeb,urdu,pashto video,tehreek taliban pakistan,ttp,."[26]

Graphical user interface, website

Description automatically generated

User "sahabhakim9" uploaded a graphic titled "Infographics Islamic emirates of afghanistan2020" on July 1, 2020. Accompanying text reads: "Infographics Islamic emirates of afghanistan2020."[27]

Graphical user interface, application, website

Description automatically generated

User "sahabhakim9" uploaded a video titled "urdu,pashto, مولانا نصیب خان رحمہ اللہ کی شہادت پر تعزیتی بیان از مولانا شیخ خالد حقانی حفظہ اللہpashto" on May 15, 2020.[28]

Graphical user interface

Description automatically generated

An unknown user uploaded a video titled "Bazm E Taliban 01 Original File" on April 6, 2021. The accompanying text reads:

سلسلہ ’’بزم طالبان‘‘ کا پہلا حصہ

تحریک المدارس الاسلاميه کے تحت دو روزہ تقریری مقابلہ

تقریب میں تحریک المدارس کے منتظمین کا انتظام، استخباراتی ادارے کے امن وامان کا کنٹرول اور عمرمیڈیا کی آڈیو ویڈیو کوریج کے قابل ستائش مناظر اس ویڈیو میں دیکھ سکیں گے ۔ان شاء اللہ.[29]

Graphical user interface, application, Teams

Description automatically generated

YOU MUST BE SUBSCRIBED TO THE MEMRI JIHAD AND TERRORISM THREAT MONITOR (JTTM) TO READ THE FULL REPORT. GOVERNMENT AND MEDIA CAN REQUEST A COPY BY WRITING TO [email protected] WITH THE REPORT TITLE IN THE SUBJECT LINE.

JTTM subscribers can click here to view the full report.

Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor

JTTM subscribers receive daily updates on imminent and potential threats posed by terrorists, extremist organizations, and individuals worldwide.
For subscription information, click here

Share this Post: