December 17, 2010 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 649

Part V: YouTube - The Internet's Primary and Rapidly Expanding Jihadi Base: One Year Later on YouTube - Anwar Al-Awlaki's Presence Expands, Al-Qaeda Goes Viral, Jihadists Post Thousands of Videos of Killing of U.S. Troops; European Jihadists Also Embrace YouTube

December 17, 2010 | By Steven Stalinsky*
Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 649


Over the past year, as part of MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor Project, we determined that YouTube has emerged as the leading website for online jihad. It has replaced – and surpassed – websites administered by jihadists themselves, which were previously the leaders in online jihadist efforts.

MEMRI has briefed members of the U.S. government and Congress on this issue, and has also directly offered its assistance to YouTube in identifying videos that incite violence and terrorist acts for possible removal.

MEMRI's research reveals that the use of YouTube by terrorists worldwide is a grave national security issue, as proven by U.S-born Al-Qaeda sheikh Anwar Al-Awlaki, and his followers.

For more on this topic, see:

· Part I Deleting Online Jihad and the Case of Anwar Al-Awlaki: Nearly Three Million Viewings of Al-Awlaki's YouTube Videos – Included Would-Be Christmas Airplane Bomber, Fort Hood Shooter, 7/7 London Bomber, and Would-Be Fort Dix Bombers

Deleting Online Jihad and the Case of Anwar Al-Awlaki: Nearly Three Million Viewings of Al-Awlaki's YouTube Videos – Included Would-Be Christmas Airplane Bomber, Fort Hood Shooter, 7/7 London Bomber, and Would-Be Fort Dix Bombers

· Part II The Internet's Primary and Rapidly Expanding Jihadi Base: A Look at Al-Awlaki's Followers YouTube Pages

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

· Part III The Internet's Primary and Rapidly Expanding Jihadi Base: Taliban YouTube Page Remains Active

YouTube – The Internet's Primary and Rapidly Expanding Jihadi Base – Part III: Despite Removal Efforts, Taliban YouTube Page Promising Terror Attacks on U.S. Cities Remains Active

· Part IV The Internet's Primary and Rapidly Expanding Jihadi Base - Part IV: Young American YouTube Follower of Anwar Al-Awlaki on the Ground Zero Mosque and 9/11: 'America Reaps What It Sows'; 'You Pretend Like the World Trade Center and the Pentagon Was a Daycare Center or a Maternity Ward; If the People Who Did 9/11 Wanted To Kill Innocent People, They Would Have Bombed a School… Church… Daycare Center'

YouTube - The Internet's Primary and Rapidly Expanding Jihadi Base - Part IV: Young American YouTube Follower of Anwar Al-Awlaki on the Ground Zero Mosque and 9/11: 'America Reaps What It Sows'; 'You Pretend Like the World Trade Center and the Pentagon Was a Daycare Center or a Maternity Ward; No - The World Trade Center Was the Epicenter of American Economy That Funds So Much Death And Destruction... If the People Who Did 9/11 Wanted To Kill Innocent People, They Would Have Bombed a School... Church... Daycare Center'

The following report, Part V of the series, focuses on the ongoing use of YouTube by Al-Qaeda, its affiliates, and Islamist groups in the West, and on the growing numbers of young Westerners who have been incited to acts of terrorism by viewing jihadi clips on YouTube – particularly those related to Anwar Al-Awlaki. It also focuses on another way jihadists are using YouTube - posting an increasing number of videos of American soldiers being killed by IEDs and snipers in Afghanistan and Iraq. Finally, this report will trace developments related to the effects of recent pressure on YouTube by Western countries, which has led to some preliminary measures to clean up the website.

Note: All information in this report was current on YouTube during the week of October 25, 2010.

Capitol Hill to YouTube: Remove Al-Awlaki Clips

The concern over Anwar Al-Awlaki is so critical that in early November the U.K. government contacted the U.S. government to express alarm about the jihadist presence on YouTube, noting that of Anwar Al-Awlaki in particular.[1] This followed letters from multiple members of Congress to YouTube's CEO requesting the removal of jihadi videos.

On September 29, 2010 U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, along with Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Ed Royce and Donald Manzullo, wrote: "We are writing to you to express our deep concern regarding the increasing rise of terrorist groups using YouTube to spread their propaganda and violent ideology… Recent reports reveal that YouTube has become the largest clearinghouse of jihadi videos. One of the most frequently featured jihadists on YouTube, with some 1,910 videos, i[s] Anwar Al-Awlaki. Al-Awlaki is a U.S.-born imam who is credited with inspiring – through his online activities – 2007's attempted terrorist attack at Fort Dix, November 2009's terrorist attack at Fort Hood, and this past Christmas's attempted airplane bombing near Detroit... We would like to know what YouTube's strategy is for dealing with terrorist videos posted on its site and why it has continued to allow videos like Al-Awlaki's to remain."

On October 24, 2010 Rep. Anthony Weiner wrote: "A known terrorist named Anwar al-Awlaki, dubbed the 'bin-Laden of the Internet,' has been using YouTube to promote his extremist ideology and recruit a new generation of terrorists. I am asking that you remove all videos featuring Anwar al-Awlaki from your website and set up safeguards to prevent future videos of from being posted… I understand that YouTube is a clearing house for ideas and that your company aims to not infringe on free speech, but al-Awlaki's message, promoted via YouTube, has caused violence and is a threat to American security. I request that you remove this man and his hateful rhetoric from your website, as he poses a clear and present danger to American citizens."

Following growing pressure, YouTube issued a series of statements to the media regarding Al-Awlaki videos. On November 3 YouTube told The New York Times that it had removed videos that violated the site's guidelines prohibiting "dangerous or illegal activities such as bomb-making, hate speech, and incitement to commit violent acts," that came from accounts that were "registered by a member of a designated foreign terrorist organization," or that were being used to promote such a group's interests.

YouTube went on to say that its owner, Google, seeks to balance freedom of expression with avoiding posting calls to violence: "These are difficult issues… and material that is brought to our attention is reviewed carefully. We will continue to remove all content that incites violence according to our policies. Material of a purely religious nature will remain on the site."

Anwar Al-Awlaki, The Sheikh of YouTube: A Summary of Recent Activity

As Parts I-IV of this series highlighted, in the past year over 2,000 clips of Anwar Al-Awlaki's lectures and sermons were counted by MEMRI staff on YouTube. Al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born imam currently in hiding in Yemen, has ties to a number of terrorists, including Maj. Nidal Hasan (the Fort Hood shooter), Omar Farooq Abdulmutallab (the Christmas Day 2009 airplane bomber), and Faisal Shahzad (the Times Square bomber), among others. His videos have been viewed more than three million times, and that number increases by the day. Some of these clips include Al-Awlaki calling on Muslims to wage jihad, expressing support for martyrdom attacks, encouraging the killing of American soldiers, and more. Between August and October 2010, an additional 250 videos of Anwar Al-Awlaki were posted.

Recent Examples of Clips of Al-Awlaki and His Supporters

On November 8, 2010, Al-Awlaki appeared in a video instructing the mujahideen to fight the West. He added that there is no need for a special fatwa or for consultation to fight and kill Americans – since "killing Satan does not require any fatwa." The 23-minute video was posted on the Shumukh Al-Islam jihadi web forum, and Al-Awlaki spoke in Arabic throughout. The title of Al-Awlaki's speech, "To Make [The Truth] Clear to the People and Never To Conceal It," was taken from a Koranic verse in which Allah spoke to Muslim scholars and told them how to act. The video was re-posted almost immediately on multiple YouTube pages.

Al-Awlaki Supports "The Blessed Operation" of Fort Hood

On August 14, 2010, the YouTube page of "TheSecretNews" posted an interview with Al-Awlaki by the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) media foundation Al-Malahim, in which Al-Awlaki called on American Muslim soldiers to engage in acts of jihad and terrorism. In it, Al-Awlaki said: "Yes, Nidal Hasan was a student of mine, and I am honored by this. I am honored of the fact that the likes of Nidal Hasan are from my students. What he did was a heroic act, a wonderful operation… I support what he did, and I call upon anyone who claims to be a Muslim serving in the US army to follow in the footsteps of Nidal Hasan. Good deeds erase bad ones. In addition, I call upon all Muslims to follow in his footsteps and wage Jihad by speech or by action. Nidal Hasan set a wonderful example…" Since August, this video has been posted on dozens of other YouTube pages. In addition, some YouTube users have created videos on this topic in compliance with Al-Awlaki's call.

The YouTube page of "AIMMedia"[2] posted a video of a Muslim American, who did not provide his name, justifying the Fort Hood attack and expressing sentiments identical to Al-Awlaki's. His user comment states: "Al salaam alaykum, everyone has heard by now of the shootings that took place in Fort Hood, Texas. How should Muslims view this event? Is what many of the Muslim organizations in the US saying correct in that this is murder? Was this in fact as some Muslims have stated: 'A treacherous attack on those soldiers who protect our country?'"

"The wanted Hasan [the Fort Hood shooter] has been said to be against these two wars… Perhaps his intention was to stop other forces, additionally forces, from reaching the battlefields and killing more Muslims because that is exactly what happened…" He continued, "Is it okay to attack the enemy when they are still in their own home country because this was a processing center for soldiers going to Afghanistan and Iraq."

Al-Awlaki's "Constants on the Path to Jihad"[3]

As earlier parts of this series highlighted, of the thousands of Anwar Al-Awlaki audio, video, and other assorted clips, several have been of great significance in multiple terrorism cases. Many Al-Awlaki followers have taken his most well-known writings, sermons, and teachings and put them into video format, and then uploaded them to YouTube. One of these is "44 Ways to Jihad," a document penned by Al-Awlaki on January 5, 2009; it has been posted on dozens of YouTube pages.

This document, as well as the videos made with it, includes a list of instructions for Muslims to follow in order to support jihad: "praying to Allah to award you with martyrdom"; "fundraise and finance for mujahideen"; "encourage others to jihad"; "preserving the secrets of mujahideen"; "follow news of jihad and spreading it to scholars and Imams"; "raising children on the love of jihad"; "joining groups that work for jihad"; and "translating jihad literature into other languages."

"44 Ways to Jihad" also calls on Muslims to support "," that is, "establishing discussion forums that offer a free, uncensored medium for posting information relating to jihad," including the following – all of which are methods currently used by Al-Awlaki and his followers on YouTube:

· "Establishing email lists to share information [related to jihad] with interested brothers and sisters.

· "Posting or emailing jihad literature and news.

· "Setting up websites to cover specific areas of jihad, such as: mujahideen news, Muslim POWs, and jihad literature."

In addition to "44 Ways to Jihad," the second most significant jihadi lecture associated with Anwar Al-Awlaki is the now infamous "Constants on the Path to Jihad"; it was authored by Sheikh Yusuf Al-Uyayree, translated into English by Al-Awlaki, and subsequently posted on YouTube multiple times. For example, on the YouTube page of "Shani985," the video is divided into 25 parts. The lecture has been cited in numerous cases of homegrown terrorists. According to The New York Times[4] and The Christian Science Monitor,[5] Zachary Chesser, Paul and Nadia Rockwood, Major Nidal Hasan, Mohamed Alessa, and Carlos Almonte (see below) all viewed and were influenced by clips on YouTube of Al-Awlaki's "Constants on the Path to Jihad." This video is also referenced in proceedings in the U.S. District Court – New Jersey, in United States of America v. Mohamed Alessa and Carlos Almonte.[6]

Sheikh Al-Uyayree, the author of "Constants on the Path to Jihad," was a Saudi who left his studies at age 18 to train at the Al-Farouk camp in Afghanistan. He was a personal guard to Osama bin Laden and spent four months in Sudan with him. He also fought Americans in Somalia. He has written other books, including, "The Role of Women in the Jihad Against the Enemy." He was killed by Saudi authorities in June 2003. Al-Awlaki has translated Al-Uyayree's teachings into English and disseminating them extensively via YouTube.

Anwar Al-Awlaki's Young YouTube Followers Involvement in Terrorism

It was revealed on November 3, 2010 that the May 14 attack on British MP Stephen Timms, in which a woman named Roshonara Choudhry repeatedly plunged a knife into his abdomen, was, as Ms. Choudhry's family stated, directly connected to her spending countless hours listening to Al-Awlaki's calls to jihad. According to a report in The Telegraph, within a period of six months Choudhry metamorphosed from a moderate Muslim with a degree in English into an Al-Qaeda operative "as a result of simply sitting in front of her computer and listening to the sermons of Anwar Al-Awlaki [that are] readily available on YouTube."

Al-Awlaki's emerging worldwide army of young followers incited by viewing him on YouTube must be taken seriously. Some of these followers have already attempted to assassinate political figures, murder U.S. soldiers, blow up planes over metropolitan areas, and detonate truck bombs. In addition to Choudhry, other Al-Awlaki YouTube disciples, most of them now behind bars, include:

· Zachary Adam Chesser, a 20-year-old Northern Virginia suburbanite, who was arrested in July 2010 attempting to carry out jihad with Al-Qaeda in Somalia. He allegedly communicated with Al-Awlaki.

· Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, a 21-year-old described by his family as an "all-American kid," and who was arrested in Hawaii on October 21, 2010 for making false statements in a terrorism case. He exchanged emails with Al-Awlaki and helped spread his, and other, jihadist videos online.

· Samir Khan, a 24 year-old North Carolina resident, believed to have fled to Yemen this summer, who assisted Al-Awlaki

· Paul and Nadia Rockwood, an Alaskan convert couple, who reportedly created a hit list of local media, religious officials, and military who "desecrated Islam." They pled guilty on July 21, 2010.

· Sharif Mobley, a 26-year-old Somali-American from New Jersey, who is to stand trial in Yemen on capital murder charges for killing a Yemeni soldier. He previously worked at nuclear plants in New Jersey.

· Barry Walter Bujol, a Texas resident, who was arrested in June 2010 at the Port of Houston while boarding a ship bound for the Middle East.

· Mahmood Alessa and Carlos Eduardo Almonte, both from New Jersey, who were arrested June 3, 2010 en route to join Al-Qaeda forces in Somalia, hoping to kill U.S. troops.

· Omar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the would-be Christmas Day 2009 airplane bomber.

· The "Fort Dix Six" would-be bombers.

· Major Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter.

· Faisal Shahzad, the would-be Times Square bomber.

· The 7/7 London bombers.

21 Year-Old Baltimore Convert and Al-Awlaki Follower Arrested December 8, 2010

Muhammad Hussain (real name Antonio Martinez), a 21-year-old naturalized citizen from Mexico, was arrested December 8, 2010 on charges of attempted murder and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction against property used by the United States. His intended target was a military recruiting center. According to a court affidavit and media accounts, he was a frequent visitor to the website of the New York based Islamist group Revolution Muslim, where he viewed videos by Al-Qaeda, including some of terrorists training for attacks, as well as videos of Islamist Sheikh Omar Bakri. Postings on Martinez’s Facebook page referred to Al-Awlaki as "my beloved sheikh."[7]

Martinez’s Facebook page also included multiple links to jihadi videos on Youtube. These videos include attacks and killing of U.S. soldiers, as well as inspirational messages with images of Al-Qaeda fighters.

While not all of Al-Awlaki's followers have gone operational, many can easily be found on YouTube making threats and statements in support of terrorism. One, "Jihadi Fan Club," is a young African-American convert whose YouTube videos include expressions of support for the 9/11 attacks, fighting the American government, and praising Al-Awlaki and Americans joining Al-Qaeda.[8]

Another Anwar Al-Awlaki follower is Tampa-based Abdullah Abdul Malik, a white convert to radical Islam. His YouTube page contains multiple Al-Awlaki video clips, and his user avatar is a picture of Al-Awlaki with an Al-Qaeda flag behind him.

Malik's YouTube videos express love for Al-Awlaki, as well as for Osama bin Laden. "May Allah destroy all you evil dirty mouth immoral cross-worshippers, prepare for the hellfire! The end is near…" was a recent comment on his page.

One of Malik's YouTube friends posted a message on his page titled "Message to All Atheist Christain [sic] Jew Hindu Pagans" on November 15, 2010. In his rant, Abdul Samia, another white American convert, promised that Muslims will "fight the Christians, to close down the churches, to divide, to destroy, [and] take down the cross, to kill all the swine."

On November 3, 2010 a video titled "An urgent request for Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki" by user '"abdul '123231" stated, "The Kafir American Government and Media… are spreading their lies against the Imam [Al-Awlaki] and slandering him because of his support of the Mujahideen and the Jihad of the 21st century to Reestablish Khilafah…" He went on to call for America's wealth to be "obliterated" and for her to be dealt "painful punishment."

The YouTube Presence of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

AQAP, the wing of Al-Qaeda to which Anwar Al-Awlaki belongs, continues to use YouTube to recruit and radicalize American youth. Over the past two years, the AQAP media division Al-Malahim has released videos with English subtitles. Many of these videos and other publications are posted directly to YouTube. Its English-language Inspire magazine, which has published two issues so far, is geared towards American converts and can be found on many YouTube pages; the magazine's star is Anwar Al-Awlaki.

YouTube Video By AQAP Leaders In Support of Al-Awlaki Includes Threats Against White House

The Global Islamic Media Front took an AQAP video of AQAP leader Sheikh Abu Basser Nasir Al-Wuhaishi, "In Defense and Support of Sheikh Anwar Al-Awlaki," and added English subtitles. One of the YouTube pages it was posted on is that of user "Shani985." The following are excerpts from the video: "A decision was made by the US administration to add the heroic Islamic preachers who stood up for the truth, Sheikh Anwar Al-Awlaki, may Allah protect him, to their most wanted list, dead or alive... With the likes of these decisions, Obama is leading you and forcing you to your own destruction, not serving the interests of your security. People from your own selves have lost it for you. These types of risky political moves help us to bring about your tragic end. Due to them, we reached the doorsteps of the White House before, and today the heroic Mujahid Omar Al-Farouq reached them as well. Your leaders are trying to play ignorant of the events of their losses, calling the operation a failure. Tell us by your Lord, if this operation was a failure, then what is a success? It must be one with catastrophic results! Indeed we still dwell in the losses of September 11th, and by it we measure our profit and loss… Stop your oppression and we will stop targeting you. As for the latest decision regarding the Islamic preacher, Sheikh Anwar Al-Awlaqi, its mere reiteration of the facts and it will not get you anywhere…" This video can be found on multiple YouTube pages.

Al-Qaeda Media Strategy: Releasing Al-Qaeda Leaders' Videos Directly On YouTube

Over the past few months, Al-Sahab, Al-Qaeda's media wing, has released videos by the terrorist organization and its leadership directly on YouTube. These include videos by Osama bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Adam Gadahn, and others. The following are some examples of such videos:

Osama bin Laden: Climate Change Kills More People Than War; Muslims Should Step Up Relief Efforts for Pakistan – October 1, 2010[9]

In a New Message, Al-Qaeda Deputy Leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri Warns of Revenge Against the U.S., Calls on Muslims of Pakistan to 'Join the Mujahideen…' – November 4, 2010[10]

American Al-Qaeda Spokesman Adam Gadahn Continues Group's Focus On Encouraging Lone Wolf Attacks in West, Calls On Muslims In Detroit, London, And Paris To Carry Out Terror Operations – October 24, 2010[11]

Somali Al-Qaeda Affiliate's Latest Video Calling Followers to Jihad – Released on YouTube

On November 23, 2010, the Somali jihad group Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen released a 35-minute video titled "And Inspire the Believers: An Invitation to the Land of Jihad and Ribat," which was posted on jihadi websites, including Al-Shumukh. A day after its release, the video was posted on multiple YouTube pages, including the page belonging to The Muslim Defense Force.[12] The film, subtitled in English and Swahili, glorifies the jihad in Somalia and calls on Muslims around the world to join it. Accompanied by jihadi songs, it combines footage of Al-Shabab fighters in action, videotaped messages by foreigners who are fighting with the mujahideen in Somalia, and excerpts from recorded addresses by global jihad leaders, such as Osama bin Laden and 'Abdalla 'Azzam, and Al-Shabab commanders Abu Saleh Al-Nabhani and Mukhtar Abu Zubair. It ends with a direct appeal by Al-Shabab spokesman 'Ali Muhammad Raji to the Muslims in East Africa to join the jihad.

How Jihadists Use YouTube As A Weapon

Al-Qaeda and its affiliates use YouTube to spread propaganda online and to train followers for various actions. Most jihadi websites now post links of major terrorist videos directly to YouTube. Below is a list of YouTube links that were included in a list of links for downloading the most recent video by U.S.-born Al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn, along with a screen capture from another jihadi website, Ansar-Dawlat-AlIraq-AalIslamiyah, which frequently posts YouTube links.

On October 24, 2010, the YouTube page of "mojahedtube" posted a message with instructions on how to spread jihad online.[13]

The YouTube page for "Call2IslamMovement," a British Islamist group, focuses on creating "the Caliphate" and supporting jihad. Following the recent shutdown of its YouTube page, the group created another, temporary page on YouTube, with a video of instructions on how to find its new page.

The following is the text from this "Call2IslamMovement" YouTube video: "The CALL2ISLAMMOVEMENT has been at the forefront of challenging the ideas of the Kuffar such as freedom and democracy. For this very reason of challenging the oppression by USA, Britain and their allies against Muslims around the globe – YouTube have suspended our channel: TheCall2Islam. It seems that the kuffar can't handle the truth! Whether the Kafiroon like it or not, we at Call2Islam Movement will not stop our struggle to expose the tyrants and the fallacies of the religion of freedom and democracy which is opposed to the deen of Islam. Neither will we stop calling for Islam to be implemented on state level, whether it be in Afghanistan or even the USA and UK. To stay updated with the Call2Islam Movement, please subscribe to our new channel Insha'Allah:" It should be noted, their YouTube page includes multiple Anwar Al-Awlaki clips.

Targamh: An Egypt-Based Translating Service Used By Islamists on YouTube For Adding English Subtitles To Arabic-Language Videos

Videos can be uploaded to Targamh ( ) for translation into English, Arabic, and French. The website has been used recently by jihadists to translate videos which are then posted to YouTube. Targamh clients post videos of Islamist sheikhs speaking in Arabic with English subtitles. Many of these videos support martyrdom and jihad. The following are examples:

"I swear by God, the rewards will be incomparable to anything else. He who enters Paradise will enjoy an everlasting bliss; free of misery"[14]

"And agony is heaped on agony"[15]

"Hell will be brought on that day (the Day of Judgment) with seventy thousand brides, each of them will be drawn by seventy thousand angels." [16]

"If your deeds are good then you will have a white dress and enjoy a sweet-smelling fragrance that accompany you till the Day of Judgement [sic]."[17]

"You should know for sure that you will never enter Paradise unless your parents are pleased with you!"[18]

In YouTube Video, London Islamist Discusses His Favorite Jihadist Websites and YouTube Pages – And How to Use Pass Codes For These Sites

In one of his videos, "What Makes Akeemhaleem a Kafir (Murtad)? Part 1," YouTube user "ismailzd," a London Islamist, discusses two YouTube channels that were suspended by the "kuffar." One of the channels, "Shakhya," had 15,000 subscribers and 70 videos, all removed. According to "ismailzd," "Shakhya" created a new channel – "SisterShaykha." The other channel, "Hoor al3an 72," contained videos related to jihad and martyrdom operations.

The following is an excerpt from the "ismailzd" discussion of these jihad YouTube pages: "So what I want you to do is I'm going to put a link down there and subscribe to a new channel. And the other channel is, you know, is a good channel, hopefully, is Hoor al3an 72. This channel is you know, concerning Huralein and ashid, jihad, martyrdom operations etc. You know, videos of Shaheeda dying and all that stuff. So what I want you to do is go to the link, I'm going to put the link, and subscribe to the new channel."

Shakhya Channel:

Hoor al3an 72 Channel: [UshaaqAlHoor's account "has been terminated due to multiple or severe violations"].

Jihadist Groups Posting Videos of U.S. Soldiers Being Killed

Videos of U.S. soldiers being killed by jihadist groups are posted every day to YouTube; they number in the thousands. The following are some examples.

The YouTube page of "inconnu460" featured a video titled "Taliban Attack," dated October 23, 2010; it showed Al-Qaeda ambushing U.S. Marines in Afghanistan.

Before the attack:

After the attack:

The YouTube page of "mujahidRPG"[19] featured a video titled "The Mujahideen of Khurassan," on October 10, 2010; it shows a U.S. soldier shot by jihadists and videos of a decapitated U.S. soldier (warning: disturbing images).

The YouTube page of "inconnu460"[20] includes a video titled "Martyrdom operation against an American base," dated September 11, 2010; it shows the destruction of an American base in Afghanistan and the killing of American soldiers.

Another video on the YouTube page of "inconnu460"'s channel[21] includes Al-Sahab videos of ambushes of U.S. soldiers and convoys in Afghanistan, as well as other related jihadi videos. The user profile includes a link to, which documents all casualties from U.S. and NATO allies in Operation Enduring Freedom.

The YouTube page of "inconnu460"[22] features a video titled "Taliban Sniper," dated August 27, 2010; it shows a Taliban sniper and includes a caption claiming that the sniper "shot dead" seven British soldiers during a five-month killing spree.

The YouTube page of "maafiaa2002"[23] includes a video titled "Al Qaeda/Taliban sniper kills a Marine with his draghanov rifle," dated August 10, 2010.

The YouTube page of "0Aking0"[24] has a video titled "Tajik Taliban kill American & British near China Border," dated August 8, 2010; it shows Afghan Taliban Army (ATA) killing U.S. soldiers in Badakhshan Provinces near the China-Russia border.

The YouTube page of "maafiaa2002"[25] features a video titled "US special forces killed by kids," dated June 30, 2010; the video shows Al-Qaeda propaganda of children throwing grenades at U.S. soldiers.

The YouTube page of user "ahmedsaidat2007" includes videos of dead U.S. soldiers and of U.S. soldiers being killed (warning: disturbing images).

The YouTube page of "mc349"[26] includes a video titled "US Soldiers truck in Iraq hit by IED."

Other videos on "mc349"'s page[27] include videos of a Taliban ambush on U.S forces.

The YouTube page of "ReSisStance2KuFr"[28] includes a video on American soldiers weeping as mujahideen attack their patrol.

The YouTube page of "ahmedsaidat2007" also contains many images of dead U.S. soldiers (warning: disturbing images).

The YouTube page of "Super1atal" includes a video from October 18, 2010, with images of dead or severely wounded soldiers (warning: disturbing images).

Jihadists in Europe Embrace YouTube

The use of YouTube by terrorist and Islamist groups worldwide, particularly in Europe, increasingly includes clips of individuals speaking directly on videos calling for attacks and terrorism. Interestingly, many of the speakers issue identical statements, such as threats that "Islam will conquer Europe," "the White House will become the house of Islam," and calls to jihad.

Shariah 4 Belgium's Page of YouTube Clips

On November 23, 2010, media reports from Belgium reported that three members of the group "Sharia 4 Belgium" had been arrested in connection with online terrorist recruitment. Prior to the arrests, on November 6, an interview with Sharia4Belgium leader Abou Imran was posted on the group's YouTube page.[29] In the video, Abou Imran discusses his views of Belgium, the West, Islam, and Islam's place in Belgium and in European society. In one part of the interview, filmed in Belgium, Abou Imran talks about how Islam will rule the world "We will rule over Europe… we ask Allah to give us the power, to give us the victory to conquer Europe and conquer the White House." The Sharia 4 Belgium YouTube page includes an entire subpage of Anwar Al-Awlaki videos.[30]

UK Islamist Group "Salaf Media" In Video Titled "Cry From Within"[31]

On October 19, 2010, a video was posted on YouTube featuring members of the group "Salaf Media" threatening the West and promising that the flag of Islam will fly over the White House and Downing Street, and praising jihad against the West.

The following are excerpts from the video:

Abu Waleed: "My dear brothers and sisters, for us, nowadays is the greatest jihad that we can engage in. Allah has given us the opportunity to make that jihad with the West… By Allah, you will lose – you will lose in the East and you will lose in the West. And the victory that I have for Islam, that I have for the flag... they will be flying on Downing Street, they will be flying over the White House."

Salaf Media's YouTube page also includes dozens of Al-Awlaki videos.

Another British Islamist Group With A YouTube Page: "Muslims Against Crusades (MAC)"

"Muslims Against Crusades (MAC)"[32] was founded by Anjem Choudhary, who also founded the now-banned "Islam4UK." The group is known for harassing British soldiers and holding anti-Western rallies. This group often posts videos of anti-West rallies it holds in London. One such video, of a protest on September 11, 2010 outside the U.S. Embassy, shows burning U.S. flags; in an interviews, a protestor promising another 9/11 attack in the U.S.

In this video, "Asadullah – Ameer of Muslims Against Crusades" says: "But when it comes to one of the Western countries, we bomb them all together and finish them in one small incident. This is how we fund it, something happened in America, so you know we can wipe out the whole population. Be it with daisy cutters, cluster bombs or whatnot."

The following is a quote from another video from the London 2010 9/11 protest: "We see [in] America and other countries of the West a culmination of dishonor and disrespect of Islam. We see this Kuffar, they disrespect our Quran. We see these Kuffar, they disrespect the Almighty Creator. And we will destroy every single one of you together. And then we will throw you into the fire for dishonoring the Muslims and its religion. '"Murder USA,' 'Down, Down USA'… The Shari'a will dominate and we will conquer the White House. 'Burn burn Obama,' 'Obama go to hell.' Do not underestimate the Muslim people. By Allah, this ummah is ummah conquering. By Allah, we have dealt with many nations in the past, and by Allah we will deal with you. We will deal with you the way it has been mentioned in the Quran, because the solution is there to deal with you."

"Let American know, as foolish as you may be, as ignorant as you may be, look what happened to them. Today, 9/11 took place how many years ago. We're calling for another 9/11. 'USA watch your back, the mujahideen are coming back.'"

The YouTube Pages of Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad and Izharudeen[33]

Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad, a militant Islamist leader, was instrumental in developing Hizb ut-Tahrir into a major organization in the U.K.. He left the group to head Al-Muhajiroun, an Islamist group close to Al-Qaeda. In November 2010, Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad was arrested in Lebanon and sentenced to life in prison.[34]

Bakri, and one of the current organizations with which he is affiliated, Izharudeen, have their own official YouTube pages. In a video by Bakri posted on YouTube on October 6, 2010, he speaks about Muslim prisoners in U.S. prisons, including those connected to Al-Qaeda such as the "blind sheikh" Omar Abdul Rahman and others at Guantanamo. He says: "Indeed, what is the solution? [It is] by the jihad for the sake of Allah only… The only way we could free our brothers and sisters from captivities, from the prisons of those apostates… is by jihad, jihad for the sake of Allah…"

Revolution Muslim on YouTube

Revolution Muslim, a New York-based radical Islamist organization, was founded by Yousef al-Khattab and Younes Abdullah Mohammed. The group comprises many young individuals who have been arrested on terrorism charges. Three members were stopped trying to board a flight to Somalia; member Colleen LaRose, aka Jihad Jane, was arrested in 2009.[35]

Mohamed Mahmood Alessa and Carlos Eduardo Almonte, both of New Jersey, attended Revolution Muslim events prior to their June 5, 2010 arrest for planning to kill American soldiers and to join the Somalia Al-Qaeda-affiliated group Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen. Zachary Chesser was an emerging leader in Revolution Muslim until his arrest in July 2010. Revolution Muslim has clear connections to terrorist activity, and hundreds of its self-produced clips have been disseminated throughout YouTube.[36]

In an interview with NPR on October 13, 2010, Yousef al-Khattab, 42, said, "Their [Revolution Muslim] blog receives 1,500 hits a day, while the Revolution Muslim YouTube channel has almost 1,000 subscribers."

On November 5, 2010, The New York Times reported that the website for Revolution Muslim had been shut down, after British authorities complained about a recent post praising Roshonara Choudhry for stabbing MP Stephen Timms. Ms. Choudhry cited and YouTube videos of Anwar Al-Awlaki's sermons as her inspiration. Revolution Muslim labeled Roshonara Choudhry a "heroine" and expressed "hope for her action to inspire Muslims to raise the knife of jihad against those who voted for the countless rapes, murders, pillages, and torture of Muslim civilians as a direct consequence of their vote."[37]

Revolution Muslim YouTube Clips – October 2010

The following are some of the clips added to Revolution Muslim's YouTube page during a one-week period in October. Many are devoted to martyrdom, jihad, attacks against U.S. troops, and Al-Qaeda videos.

October 25, 2010

"The Last Words of a Shaheed"[38]

"Ruling on Jihad – Ibn Uthaymeen"[39]

October 24, 2010

'The Arabs and Muslims: Between the Conferences of Desertion… and the Individual Duty of Jihad' by Adam Yahiye Gadahn (hafidhahullah)"[40]

October 23, 2010

"Legitimate Demands 2- Barack's Dilemma' by Adam Yahiye Gadahn (hafidhahullah)"[41]

October 20, 2010

"War in Afghanistan – An Operation of Freedom or a Terrorizing Operation"[42]

October 19, 2010

"Nonmuslim Protection is Treason"[43]

October 18, 2010

"American Soldiers in Marjah Occupation Base Annihilated in Powerful Martyrdom Operation"[44]

The following individuals are subscribers of Revolution Muslim's YouTube page. Many of them are associated with violence, jihad, mujahideen, resistance, martyrdom, snipers, and/or lone wolves, and use the image/avatar of Anwar Al-Awlaki, Osama bin Laden, Abdullah Azzam, and/or other terrorist leaders.

Revolution Muslim is Renamed 'Islam Policy'

After Revolution Muslim's website was shut down, its YouTube page was used to announce its renaming as "Islam Policy," on November 12, 2010.



A series of self-produced videos[47] were posted on the Revolution Muslim YouTube page explaining the new group's goals and missions. The following are some points made in these videos, which begins: "And welcome to, the new home of Revolution Muslim."

The opening statement calls on readers "[t]o have enmity and animosity to towards those who disobey Him (Allah) and to perform a Jihad against those to disbelieve in Him (Allah)."

In the video, one of the group's leaders, Dhul-Hijjah, discusses the impact of "deception" in Islam:

"…Whenever the prophet intended to go out on a military expedition, he would always pretend to be going somewhere else. And we have another example from this religion: The principal of Jihad is indeed deception. And so when the enemy cultivates a trap for you and is working relentlessly to prevent what you did yesterday from working, then you transfer and transition and head off on another route. Indeed, the believer is never bitten by the same hole twice [a reference to Anwar Al-Awlaki] It is a comprehensive struggle that we must continue…"

Within days of the re-launch of the Revolution Muslim YouTube page, clips of Al-Awlaki were added. One clip, "On Those that Remain Behind" received over 500 views within two days.

Thousands of Videos of Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda Can Easily Be Viewed on YouTube

While terrorist groups now use YouTube daily, adding brand new jihadi clips to the website around the clock, countless archival jihad-related videos can easily be found. These include videos from Al-Sahab, the media wing of Al-Qaeda – among them videos celebrating and planning the attacks of September 11, 2001. The following are some examples:

Bin Laden speaking and showing Al-Qaeda training for 9/11[48]

Al-Qaeda training video for 9/11[49]

Bin Laden talking to 9/11 hijackers in Afghanistan, interspersed with training video[50] ago

Abdulaziz al-Omari, a 9/11 hijacker delivering his last will and testament before his suicide operation[51]

Ahmed al-Ghamdi, a 9/11 hijacker, delivering his last will and testament before his attack on the Twin Towers[52]

Videos of Abdullah Azzam, who is known as one of the ideological forefathers of Al-Qaeda and a mentor to Osama bin Laden, can be found on YouTube, as can many other sheikhs calling on their followers to jihad.

"Abdullah Azzam on Jihad Being Fard'Ayn"[53]

"The Promise: The Khilafah is Coming

"Explaining the importance of jihad and Islamic revivalism"[54]

"The Promise (08) Revival Starts With Jihad"[55]

Sermons calling for jihad, with accompanying footage from the battlefield, are also easily found on YouTube.

"The Promise (08) Revival Starts with Jihad"[56]

Worldwide Jihad

The following are examples of videos showing worldwide jihad on YouTube; due to limited space, this report highlights only a few regions. YouTube has thousands of clips from Iraq and Afghanistan devoted to showing attacks on U.S. forces. These clips are posted by dozens of terrorist groups

Jihad in Iraq

IEDs blowing up U.S. forces in Iraq[57]

German Jihad

Over the past year, German jihadists have made headlines. Videos of German jihadists training for Jihad are posted by the thousands on YouTube.

"LABBAYK (German) Part 1"[58]

"Fadl ul Jihad in English Part 1 of 5"

An English translation of "Fadl ul Jihad"[59]

(Showing RPG)

Nasheeds (Songs About Jihad) On YouTube

Tens of thousands of nasheeds – Islamic songs offering inspiration to jihadi fighters and martyrdom seekers – can be found on YouTube. These videos often include images of dead fighters with smiles on their faces, as well as fighters on their way to kill their enemies and carry out suicide and sniper attacks against U.S. soldiers.

When Death Becomes a Wedding

"Abshir Iraq Alazi-Iraqi Hardcore Jihad nasheed"[60]

Jihad Against Christians

In addition to clips of jihad against the West and the Jews, YouTube also has clips by Islamist groups calling for jihad against Christians. In one recent example, dated November 4, 2010, YouTube user "WachdogofAllah1" posted a "message from the soldier of the martyr battalion to the Christians in Egypt." The following are excerpts from this video, which was produced by Ansar al-Mujahadin English Forum (AMEF): "In response to the call of Allah, and the call of the oppressed Muslim women who are imprisoned at the hands of the worshippers of the cross in Egypt, Camilia Shehata and Wafa Constantine, and her sisters: We the soldiers of the Brigade of Martyrs in the Islamic state of Iraq went forth with this action, and our demand is simple and clear: our female prisoners [who] are with your people in Egypt, in exchange for your people who are held by us in the church. And we say to the Vatican: Just as you met a few days before with the Christians of the Middle East, in their different forms, to support and aid them, now put pressure on them to release our sisters, for otherwise death will come to you all, and will bring destruction to all the Christians in the region, if you do not deal with this matter. And know that the era of your solitary oppression and force is finished, for Allah has granted us Jihad, so just as you kill, you will be killed, and just as you imprison, you will be imprisoned, and because you made your churches into prisons for Muslim women, we will make them into graves for you, with the permission of Allah. So you have 48 hours to fulfill our simple and just command, and if you deny it, then blame only yourselves, and the end will not only be the death of the hostages; instead, it will open upon your people a door that you do not wish to open, not only in Iraq, but in Egypt and as-Sham, and the other countries in the region. For you have among us hundreds of thousands of followers, and hundreds of churches, and they will all be our targets if you do not respond."

Conclusion: YouTube Has Taken a First Step in Dealing With Jihad Clips

As this report has shown, jihadists worldwide use YouTube for many purposes. It is no exaggeration to say that hundreds of thousands of assorted jihadi videos can be found on YouTube. They include sermons by terrorist leaders, training videos by terrorists, footage of terrorist attacks, songs (nasheeds) to inspire terrorists, and much more. These videos are not only in English, but in dozens of other languages.

Over the past year, numerous followers of Anwar Al-Awlaki have been found guilty of involvement in terrorism. They all have one thing in common – they were incited by viewing him on YouTube.

In November 2010, YouTube quietly took a first step to address the issue. This move includes the addition of a new "flagging" feature to all videos, and, according to a November 18, 2010 report in The Telegraph, adding extra staff to "tackle Al-Qaeda hate videos." The report stated: "Eric Schmidt, the chief executive of Google, said that the company was 'adding people to do reviews of videos,' as it is very hard algorithmically to monitor inappropriate comments. Talking to a small group of journalists at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, [he said that] it was 'impossible to monitor 100 per cent of the content the site receives, which is why YouTube has to rely upon a mixture of algorithm-driven detection and its community report inappropriate content."

Currently, all YouTube users can flag videos as inappropriate, indicating any of a number of reasons, including sexual content or copyright infringement. On November 10, 2010, YouTube added a separate feature for flagging videos that specifically promote terrorism.

Steps to Flag YouTube Videos For Terrorist Content

Step one – Click the Flag This Video button to report the video

Step two – Select the reason for flagging the video

Step three – Select the subcategory behind the flag-note 'promotes terrorism' new category

Step four – Click send and the video is flagged for YouTube to review and take down

Islamists Strategize about Circumventing YouTube's Plan to Remove Anwar Al-Awlaki Clips

On October 24, 2010, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) and MEMRI staff spoke at Times Square in New York City and called on YouTube to remove clips of Anwar Al-Awlaki. Following the press release, jihadi websites and chat rooms began to discuss the need to come up with a strategy to circumvent YouTube's moves.

On October 26, 2010, a member of the Al-Shumukh Al-Islam jihadi forum claimed that YouTube had begun to delete Al-Awlaki's English-language videos from its website, and claimed that not only had YouTube deleted Al-Awlaki's sermons in English, but that the Saudi government had blocked access to his remaining videos in Arabic.

The announcement about the alleged crackdown on Al-Awlaki's videos generated a response from other forum members. One suggested uploading to YouTube 10 Al-Awlaki videos for every video deleted. Another suggested limiting the description of the video being uploaded to 15 words or less, claiming that this would make the video more searchable .

In another post on Shumukh, dated November 4, 2010, user "abuReuter1" (who also goes by the name of "Jon of Terror") told his fellow online jihadists to follow instructions in a post about Al-Awlaki. He also discussed one Al-Awlaki video: "… [T]his video is really very helpful to bring more sympathizers to the Jihadist ideology… also we are expecting to see a rise of the YouTube views because of the YouTube's algorithm (more comments = more views). So please share your point of views on the video page as this will have huge impact compare to threads on the Samikh forum that US people can't see or understand… the sheikh is really providing some genius answers to those who don't really understand why the mujahedeen are targeting US and EU countries (despite the bad comments on the video). I think that by distributing this kind of video interviews, we will bring more sympathizers…"

While YouTube should be applauded for adding new staff and a new function to identify and remove jihadi videos, this is only a beginning. The removal of content is one part of the problem; the other part is keeping these videos from being posted in the first place – as shown by the recent removal of hundreds of Anwar Al-Awlaki videos that were quickly reposted to other pages.

*Steven Stalinsky is the Executive Director of The Middle East Media Research Institute







[7] Baltimore Sun, December 8, 2010



[10], "Who Will Help the Scientist Aafia Siddiqui?", November 4, 2010.































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[48]Posted on Sept 22, 2009 by milanraoh,

[49]Posted on Oct 29, 2009 by fabudujana,

[50] Posted on Sept 9, 2010 by alemarahmedia. -

[51] Posted on Nov 8, 2009 by sbandat90,

[52] Posted on Sept 20, 2008 by sbandat90,


[54] Posted on Sept 11 2010 by theummahnews,

[55] Posted on November 21, 2008,


[57]Posted on September 23, 2010 by inconnu460.

[58] Posted on August 27, 2010 by mujahidmedia1,

[59]Posted on June 08, 2010 by AbuKhaled759,

[60]Posted on October 12, 2010 by JihadPrincezz,

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