Dailymotion (dailymotion.com) is a social video-sharing website where members and visitors can upload, view, and share videos. The popular France-based website is among the 16 most accessed websites in that country; Business Insider has called it "the YouTube of France."
Despite France's strict ban on incitement to violence and racial hatred, a wide variety of jihadi videos is available on Dailymotion, ranging from official media releases by Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and other jihad groups and videos praising terrorist attacks and "martyrdom" to speeches by radical figures and more. Because of its popularity – and also because uploaded videos may be up to 60 minutes long or 2GB in size – Dailymotion is used extensively by online jihad supporters.
The following is an overview of the site's use by the online jihadi community.
Despite French Ban – And Its Own Policy On Hate Speech and Incitement to Violence – Dailymotion Hosts Wealth of Jihadi Content
In contrast to the protections for freedom of speech in the U.S., France has some significant restrictions, especially with regard to inflammatory and inciting speech. In 1972, the French Parliament passed the anti-racism Pleven Law banning incitement of racial hatred or the use of language that is racially defamatory, derisive, or offensive.
Additionally, following the March 2012 terrorist shootings in Toulouse and Montauban by Muhammad Merah, French policymakers decided to crack down on online indoctrination and incitement. Thus, on March 22, 2012, then-French president Nicolas Sarkozy stated: "From now on, anyone regularly visiting websites promoting terrorism... or participating abroad in indoctrination related to ideologies that lead to terrorism will face prosecution."
Dailymotion's own policy prohibits the uploading of videos containing footage of "dangerous or illegal acts (including but not limited to incitement to violence)" and enables viewers to flag videos meeting this description, notifying administrators. However, unlike YouTube, there is no provision for noting why the flagged video is objectionable.
In several instances, Dailymotion has taken action against jihadi videos; for example, it removed one titled "The Lone Lion" praising Merah that had been uploaded by members of the Ansar Al-Haqq jihadi forum. As of this writing, the video is still unavailable on Dailymotion.
Nevertheless, Dailymotion still hosts a wide variety of jihadi videos, among them official Al-Qaeda productions of lectures and messages by the organization's leaders; videos and recordings of the late Yemeni-American Al-Qaeda leader Sheikh Anwar Al-'Awlaki; clips praising Al-Qaeda's jihadi operations; inciting sermons by extremist clerics; videos depicting violent operations by Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and other groups, and more.
Stills of videos praising Toulouse shooter Muhammad Merah, removed by Dailymotion
Jihadi Forum Members Explain Dailymotion's Advantages
In a thread on the Shumoukh Al-Islam jihadi forum on methods of uploading to video-sharing websites, "Abu Qudama Al-Muhajir" set out the advantages offered by Dailymotion: "For your information, my brothers, the Dailymotion website is excellent, as it accepts videos in most formats, including rmvb, and it accepts any amount of time. I uploaded the film la tukalif ila nafsak in its entirety, without dividing it up [into segments]. One of [Dailymotion's] advantages is that it is less oppressive than YouTube, as the latter has declared war on anything that has to do with jihad by erasing its files. It also provides the option to withdraw [files] from other websites, such as Hotfile, 2shared, Filefactory, Sendspace, Megaupload, Mediafire and 4shared."
A Shumoukh member going by the handle "zarqawi1" noted to fellow member "Ma'askar Khalden," who had created a YouTube archive of videos of Al-Qaeda commander Ayman Al-Zawahiri: "Don't forget to create a channel with the same videos on Dailymotion, since YouTube will eliminate your channel after several days, and all your hard work will be gone. So create a channel on Dailymotion and you will be pleased."
It is standard procedure on jihadi forums for videos released by Al-Qaeda and its affiliated groups, or on jihadi media outlets, to be immediately uploaded by forum members to video-sharing websites, in order to disseminate them as widely as possible and ensure the largest possible viewership. Dailymotion is among the most prominent of these websites; videos produced by the media companies of Al-Qaeda and its affiliates inciting violent jihad and depicting violence are uploaded to the website on a daily basis.
Jihadi Forum Members Prominent on Dailymotion
The accounts of some Dailymotion users can easily be traced to members of jihadi forums. For example, one member of the jihadi forums who has uploaded numerous jihadi videos to Dailymotion uses the same handle on the site as on the forums: he goes by "نور التوحيد83" ("Nour Al-Tawhid," "the light of monotheism") on leading jihadi forums Al-Fida' and Shumoukh Al-Islam, and by "nouraltawhid" on Dailymotion (dailymotion.com/nouraltawhid), and possibly the user shamikh29 (dailymotion.com/shamikh29) belongs to him as well. As of this writing, this user has uploaded 86 videos to the site, including productions by Al-Qaeda's Al-Sahab media company featuring Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, propaganda videos produced by the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI, Al-Qaeda in Iraq), and more.
Another member of Shumoukh who regularly uploads jihadi videos to Dailymotion is "Gharib Al-Mughtaghib," who is in general very active in uploading and sharing jihadi materials on the Internet. His Dailymotion username is "taimour_abdoulwahab," after Stockholm suicide bomber Taimur abd Al-Wahhab (dailymotion.com/Taimour-Abdulwahab and dailymotion.com/taimour_abdulwahab1#video=xmvyzq). This user has uploaded numerous jihadi videos translated into French, including speeches by Ayman Al-Zawahiri, propaganda videos of the ISI and AQAP, and others.
Al-Qaeda Video Inciting Lone-Wolf Attacks By Western Muslims Uploaded to Dailymotion
One prime example of how jihadis use Dailymotion to promote terrorism is the two-part video "la tukalafu ila nafsak" ("Do Not Rely on Others, Take [the Task] upon Yourself"). It was uploaded to the site on June 6, 2011, three days after its release on the jihadi forums, and has been available on Dailymotion ever since via several links.
Al-Qaeda leader 'Atiyyatallah Al-Libi in la tukalafu ila nafsak
In "la tukalafu ila nafsak," Al-Qaeda calls on Muslims everywhere, with a strong emphasis on Muslims in the West, to attack Western targets and interests wherever they may be. The video features Al-Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri, as well as leading figures 'Atiyyatallah Al-Libi, Abu Yahya Al-Libi, Anwar Al-'Awlaki, and Al-Qaeda's American spokesman Adam Gadahn, all praising and discussing the necessity of jihadi operations carried out by lone individuals or small groups. These calls are interspersed with footage from Western media intended to illustrate the West's crimes against the Muslims. Among past perpetrators of lone-wolf attacks hailed by the video are Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan, Theo Van Gogh's murderer Muhammad Bouyeri, and others.
Encouraging lone-wolf attackers, Abu Yahya Al-Libi says in the video: "Whoever carries out a one-man operation in the U.S., Britain, France, or in any other country that is clearly fighting and attacking the Muslims should feel that he is part of the jihad [campaign] of his Muslim brothers, and that his operation – if carried out properly – is no less important than the operations they carry out on the open battlefield."
Anwar Al-Awlaki on Dailymotion
One of Anwar Al-Awlaki's videos available on Dailymotion
Dailymotion stores a considerable number of clips featuring one of Al-Qaeda's most notorious figures, Yemeni-American Al-Qaeda leader Sheikh Anwar Al-'Awlaki, who was killed in a September 30, 2011 drone strike in Yemen. Al-'Awlaki was in charge of terror attacks targeting U.S. and European targets on behalf of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and has been linked to Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan and others.
Dozens of Al-'Awlaki's video and audio clips can be found on Dailymotion. These include videos inciting Muslims in the West to wage jihad against the U.S. and the West, including lone-wolf attacks, as well as videos praising suicide attackers and "martyrs," i.e. individuals who carried out such attacks – such as failed Christmas Day 2009 bomber Umar Farouq Abdulmuttalab. There is even a channel named after Anwar Al-'Awlaki and dedicated to videos of him, currently with 69 videos and 4,451 views (see Appendix II).
Profile of Dailymotion page of "AnwarAlAwlaki"
Bringing Jihadi Propaganda to French Speakers
Clearly, one major reason for the online jihadi community's use of Dailymotion is to provide French-speaking jihad supporters with jihadi material. Many official Al-Qaeda releases and other jihadi videos subtitled in French are on the website – for example, one titled "La démocratie : l'idole modern" ("Democracy: The Modern Idol") featuring Al-Qaeda spokesman Abu Yahya Al-Libi.
Another user uploaded Anwar Al-'Awlaki's video "Message to the Ummah" with French subtitles, in three parts (see Appendix II); in it, Al-'Awlaki urges Muslims to kill Americans everywhere, stressing that doing so requires no special religious consultation or decree.
Members of the French-language forum Ansar Al-Haqq, one of the major French-language jihadi sites, often use Dailymotion to upload jihadi videos translated into French as well as to embed them in the forum. For instance, Dailymotion user "Ansar_Al_Haqq" uploaded a French translation of an interview with Al-'Awlaki to the site, and subsequently embedded the three parts of the interview in a thread that has headed the sticky section in the forum's media section since September 2009.
A number of notable Ansar Al-Haqq forum members are active on Dailymotion; some of them use their forum handles as their Dailymotion username. One forum administrator, "Ibn Hittin," maintains an account on Dailymotion under the same name (dailymotion.com/Ibn-Hittin#video=xmac19). "Ibn Hittin" has uploaded 47 videos to the site, many of them Al-Qaeda propaganda releases in Arabic for which a French title is provided. Another Ansar Al-Haqq member active on Dailymotion, "Al-Dominikani" (dailymotion.com/Al-Dominikani), has uploaded jihadi videos to the site in addition to several recordings of himself, such as the 11-minute 22-second audio clip "De l'Amour pour Shaykh Oussama" ("Love for Sheikh Osama [bin Laden]").
Profile of Dailymotion page of Ansar Al-Haqq administrator "Ibn-Hittin"
Appendix I: Noteworthy Videos Posted Recently on Dailymotion
· "Sabiluna al-jihad" – a film released by the Taliban, depicting attacks on NATO soldiers in Afghanistan (dailymotion.com/video/xq4hrq_yyyyyy-yyyyyy_shortfilms).
A scene from the Talibn film "Sabiluna al-jihad" showing an IED attack on a NATO vehicle
· "Udkhulu 'alayhim al-bab" – a film produced by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), featuring its attacks on the Algerian army (dailymotion.com/video/xpyxql_yyyyyyyy-yyyyyyyyy-yyyyyyyy-yyyy-yyyyyyy-yyyyy-yyyyyy-yyyyy-yyyyy_shortfilms).
· "Amisom wal nihaya al-mahtuma" – a film produced by Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen, showing its battle against the AMISOM forces in Somalia (dailymotion.com/video/xpyyfo_yy-yyyyyy-y-yyy-yy-yyyy-y-yyy-yyy-yy-y-yyyyy-yyyyyy_shortfilms).
· "Min al-shaykh osama bin laden ila al-sha'ab al-faransi" – a message from Osama bin Laden to the French people, originally released in November 2010 (dailymotion.com/video/xpz2jy_yy-yyyyy-yy-yyyy-yy-yyyy-yyy-yyyyy-yyyyyyy_people).
· "Wa harid al-mu'minin – and inspire the believers" – an Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen (Somalia) production aimed at recruiting fighters from Western countries and from other Horn of Africa countries (dailymotion.com/video/xpz3el_y-y-y-y-yy-y-y-y-y-yy_webcam).
· "Umma muntasira wa-salibiya munkasara" – Ayman Al-Zawahiri's message dedicated to the ninth anniversary of the NATO invasion of Afghanistan (dailymotion.com/video/xpz6po_yyy-yyyyyy-yyyyyyy-yyyyyy-yyyy_shortfilms).
· "Al-'amaliyat al-istishhadiyya" ("Martyrdom-seeking Operations") – a video featuring a talk by Humam Al-Balawi, aka Abu Dujana Al-Khurasani, praising and encouraging suicide operations (dailymotion.com/video/xpzg31_yyyyyyyyyyyyyy-yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy_shortfilms).
· "Min mujahidin al-sham li ahl al-sham: ghazwat al-tha'r li ahl homs" ("From the Mujahideen of Syria to the People of Syria: The Raid of Vengeance for the People of Homs") (dailymotion.com/video/xqdgog_yyyy-yyyyy-yy-yyyyyy-yyyyy-yyyy-yyyyy-yyyy-yyy_shortfilms?search_algo=1).
· "'Aam al-jama'a 1433" ("The Year of Unity") – a video celebrating the merger of Al-Qaeda and Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen (dailymotion.com/video/xq5x0t_yyyyy-yyyyyyy-yyyyyyy-yyyyyy-yyyyyy-yyyyy-yyyyyyyyy-1433_shortfilms).
Appendix II: Videos of Anwar Al-'Awlaki on Dailymotion
· "Exclusive interview with Anwar Al-'Awlaki" – found on the Ansar Al-Haqq forum (ansar-alhaqq.net/forum/showthread.php?t=10941) and on Dailymotion in English (dailymotion.com/relevance/search/shaykh+Anwar+Al-%27Awlak%C3%AE+/1#video=xn4z61).
· "Le Hijra sur la voie d'Allah" ("Hijra on the Path of Allah") – on Dailymotion, with French subtitles (dailymotion.com/relevance/search/shaykh+Anwar+Al-%27Awlak%C3%AE+/1#video=xipov1).
· "A l'ombre de la shariah et de la justice" ("In the Shade of Shari'a and Justice") – posted in two parts by Ansar Al-Haqq forum administrator "Ibn-Hittin" (dailymotion.com/video/xm3ksa_a-l-ombre-de-la-shariah-justice-d-omar-2-3-une-video-actu-et-politique_webcam?search_algo=1; dailymotion.com/video/xm3k1g_a-l-ombre-de-la-shariah-gouvernance-1-3-une-video-actu-et-politique_webcam?search_algo=1).
· "Anwar Al Awlaki the Martyr of Dawah" – in which Al-'Awlaki praises "martyrs" and urges Muslims in the U.S. and West to carry out individual attacks (dailymotion.com/video/xn57lf_new-anwar-al-awlaki-the-martyr-of-dawah_lifestyle).
· "Interview exclusive avec le Shaikh Anwar Al-'Awlakî #" ("Exclusive Interview with Sheikh Anwar Al-'Awlaki) – with French subtitles (dailymotion.com/video/xf0ulh_interview-exclusive-avec-le-shaikh_news).
· "Cheikh Anwar Al-'Awlaki – Message à la Ummah" – a video in two parts
Appendix III: French-Language Jihadi Videos on Dailymotion
· "Ma chère oumma" ("My Dear Ummah") – promoting Al-Qaeda, in Arabic with French subtitles (dailymotion.com/video/xmac19_ma-chere-oummah_webcam#).
· "L'Algérie et le combat de la patience" ("Algeria and the Fight of Patience") – a sermon aired by Al-Qaeda broadcasting company Al-Sahab, in Arabic with French subtitles (dailymotion.com/video/xlvx3c_l-algerie-et-le-combat-de-la-patience_webcam#).
· "La Sacralité du Sang des Musulmans" ("The Sanctity of Muslim Blood") – posted by "Ansar Al-Haqq" on June 3, 2011, in Arabic, with French subtitles (dailymotion.com/video/xj35zf_la-sacralite-du-sang-des-musulmans_news#).
· "Djihâd An-Nafs - Khâlid Al Husaynân (hafidhahuLlâh)" – about jihad, which concerns "women, children, and all," in Arabic with French subtitles (dailymotion.com/video/xlabcf_djihad-an-nafs-khalid-al-husaynan-hafidhahullah_webcam#).
· "Djihad obligatoire" ("Compulsory Jihad") – posted by "azzamhero" on June 3, 2011, in Arabic with French subtitles (dailymotion.com/video/xj36l7_le-jihad-obligatoire_people#).
· "La perle des appels au djihad" ("The Best Call to Jihad") – posted by "azzamhero" on June 3, 2011, in Arabic with French subtitles (dailymotion.com/video/xj37ik_la-perle-des-appel-au-jihad_people#).
· "Réveillez-vous oumma" ("Wake Up, Ummah") – posted by "azzamhero" on June 3, 2011, the video depicts images of wounded children and calls for retaliatory jihad (dailymotion.com/video/xj37im_reveillez-vous-oumma_people#).
· "Pourquoi nous combattons" ("Why We Fight") – a message from a spokesman for the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), posted by Ansar Al-Haqq forum administrator "Ibn Hittin," in Arabic with French subtitles (dailymotion.com/relevance/search/Ibn+Hittin/1#video=xlh2lw).
· "Discours du Shaikh Abou 'Omar Al-Baghdadi" ("A Talk by [late ISI Leader] Abu 'Omar Al-Baghdadi") – posted by "Ansar Al-Haqq" on June 28, 2010 (dailymotion.com/video/xdunk5_discours-du-shaikh-abou-omar-al-bag_news#).
Appendix D: French-Language Videos of Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi
· "Biographie du Sheikh Abu Mohammed Al-Maqdissi EP 01" ("Biography of Al-Sheikh Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi, Episode 1") – posted by "Taimour-Abdulwahab" (dailymotion.com/Taimour-Abdulwahab) on January 31, 2012 (dailymotion.com/video/xo7oc3_biographie-du-sheikh-abu-mohammed-al-maqdissi-ep-01_news#).
· "Biographie du Sheikh Abu Mohammed Al-Maqdissi EP 02" ("Biography of Al-Sheikh Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi, Episode 2") posted by Taimour-Abdulwahab on March 22, 2012 (dailymotion.com/video/xplz2q_biographie-du-sheikh-abu-mohammed-al-maqdissi-ep-02_news#).
· "Abou Mohammed Al-Maqdissi: Où étiez-vous?" ("Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi: Where Were You?") – posted by "Ansar Al-Haqq" on June 27, 2010, in Arabic with French subtitles (dailymotion.com/video/xdub1s_abou-mohammed-al-maqdissi-ou-etiez_news#).
*R. Green and N. Maruani are research fellows at MEMRI.
Le Figaro (France), March 22, 2012.
 See ansar-alhaqq.net/forum/showthread.php?t=17153.
 See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 3885 "New Al-Qaeda Al-Sahab Video Reiterates: Carry Out One-Man Jihad Operations in the West", June 3, 2011, http://www.memrijttm.org/content/en/report.htm?report=5339%C2%B6m=APT; MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 3905, "Al-Qaeda Al-Sahab Video Focuses On E-Jihad, Calls On Next Generation of Jihadi Hackers To Attack Major Corporations, Governments", June 10, 2011, http://www.memrijttm.org/content/en/report.htm?report=5361¶m=APT.
 The first part of the video, 54:46 minutes in duration, is at dailymotion.com/video/xj55ly_yyyyy-yyyyyy-yyyyyyy-yyyyyyyy-yyyy-yyyyyyy-yyyyyy-yyyyyy-yy-yyyy-yyy-yyyy-yyyyy-yyyyy_shortfilms?search_algo=1; the second part, 45:18 minutes in duration, is at dailymotion.com/video/xj5cfq_yyyyy-yyyyyy-yyyyyy-yyyyyyyy-yyyyyyy-yyyyyy-yyyyyy-yyyy-yyyyyyy-yyyyyy-yyyyy-yy-yyyy-yyy-yyyy-yyyyy_shortfilms?search_algo=1
 See MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 657, "Islamist Websites in Europe – A General Review Part 2: Sites and Forums in French", January 24, 2011Islamist Websites in Europe – A General Review Part 2: Sites and Forums in French.