Jihadis co-opting social media to spread graphic message

JIhad Social
Photo Credit Owni.eu

It looks as if terrorists have discovered the trendy photo-sharing service Instagram that has long been a favorite of the cool and hip.

With some 90 million monthly users, Instagram is the latest social network to be co-opted by Arab extremists who are looking to broadcast their radical ideology across the globe, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute.

As reported by Washington Free Beacon:

The social media app has experienced a “tremendous increase of its use by online jihadis” who have littered Instagram with radical propaganda depicting dead “martyrs” and armed terrorist combatants, according to a recent report issued by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a nonpartisan research organization.

Free Beacon notes that Twitter, Facebook, and other social media networks have had to address the issue in recent months and anti-Semitic terrorist manifestos have also been seen in online marketplaces affiliated with Apple and Google.

Statigram screenshot / memri.org

“Since MEMRI first began monitoring the site [Instagram] four months ago, there has been a tremendous increase of its use by online jihadis,” the report states. “A common theme of the photos that they post is images of and quotes by al Qaeda leaders such as Osama bin Laden, Anwar Al-Awlaki, Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, and many others.”

You will also see the glorification of imprisoned jihadis and others who have successfully attacked Americans, graphic pictures of dead jihadi fighters and even a picture of someone supposedly murdered by jihadi fighters in Somalia.

With the role social media played in the success of the “Arab Spring,” it seems Arab extremists have realized the advantages of embracing modern technology in shaping public opinion. Of course, they could also be learning this lesson from the progressive left in America, who seem to have an affinity for their cause.

See full Washington Free Beacon report here.

Tom Tillison


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