Pro-ISIS Media Outlets On Telegram Publish Photos Of Fighters They Say Are From Libya And Africa And Were Killed Fighting With Russian Militias In Ukraine

April 20, 2022

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On April 19, 2022, a pro-ISIS Telegram channel specializing in coverage of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, shared photos of what it alleged to be "Libyan and African fighters" who fought alongside Russian mercenaries.

The photos show bodies of fighters and banknotes in different currencies that were found among the fighters' personal belongings, according to the channel: 10 U.S. dollars, five Libyan dinars, 500 francs from the Central African Republic, and 1,000 Russian rubles.

The channel wrote in its description of the photos: "News that mercenaries from Libya and Africa participated in battles with the Russian army in Ukraine! Where local currencies appeared in the belongings of soldiers killed."

On the same day, a pro-ISIS Telegram channel also shared the same photos.

A pro-Syrian rebel Telegram channel shared two of the photos on April 19, 2022, commenting: "The bodies of Wagner's mercenaries in Popasna. They apparently came from Libya and Central Africa[.]"

The photos were first shared by local Ukrainian media, which also listed the fighters' names along with their phone numbers and claimed that the phones were satellite phones, one of them registered in Mali.

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The Cyber & Jihad Lab monitors, tracks, translates, researches, and analyzes cyber jihad originating from the Middle East, Iran, South Asia, and North and West Africa. It innovates and experiments with possible solutions for stopping cyber jihad, advancing legislation and initiatives federally – including with Capitol Hill and attorneys-general – and on the state level, to draft and enforce measures that will serve as precedents for further action. It works with leaders in business, law enforcement, academia, and families of terror victims to craft and support efforts and solutions to combat cyber jihad, and recruits, and works with technology industry leaders to craft and support efforts and solutions.

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