Counter Daesh Insight Bulletin 19-25 March


In the week of 19 to 25 March, propaganda outlets covered claims of attacks in France, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Jordan, Yemen, Iraq and Syria. Threats were made against the West, Russia and a festival in Argentina. Pro-Daesh channels launched an online anti-democracy campaign in advance of the Egyptian elections. Daesh’s endorsement of the attack in a French supermarket generated a lot of online activity calling for more violence. This week’s insight bulletin focusses on the attack in France, the anti-democracy theme and Daesh’s call to prepare for a long war against Russia.

Supermarket attack in France

Last Friday, a man claiming to be a Daesh supporter attacked a supermarket in south west France, killing three people. Daesh issued a short statement via Amaq News Agency claiming, with no evidence, that the attacker was a ‘soldier’ of the group and had acted in response to its calls for attacks. Following this, supporters launched an online campaign celebrating the attack, coordinated by a newly created Telegram channel that circulated prepared tweets and urged supporters to spread them widely. The messages called for violence and encouraged supporters to carry out more attacks.

Daesh’s anti-democracy theme.

Pro-Daesh channels have launched a hashtag campaign urging supporters to oppose democracy and the upcoming elections in Egypt. A previously seen poster was re-circulated, vilifying democracy and claiming that it promotes corruption and immorality, and violates Islam. The campaign may be in response to recent articles in al-Naba, which last week printed an infographic describing democracy as a “religion” that is not compatible with Islam. Supporters circulated the infographic on Twitter.

Preparation for long war with Russia.

Al-Naba carried an editorial on 22 March instructing Daesh followers to prepare for a long war against Russia and its allies. They vowed to defeat Putin and portrayed the US and Europe as incapable of confronting him. Daesh describes the conflict between Russia and the West as a rivalry for influence in Asia and Europe.

Read previous versions of the insight bulletin here

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