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The Wave of Incitement by Jihadist Activists Continues: Defaming France on the Social Media Sites

The social media sites serve, without a doubt, as important platforms in the hands of jihadist activists for transmitting messages about recruitment, for indoctrination, and for other uses. The serious terror attacks that occurred on November 13 in Paris significantly enhanced the impassioned and inciting discourse fueled by jihadist activists, and specifically by the Islamic State, denouncing France. For example, a new Twitter hashtag was launched on November 15, called “Paris Before Rome” (#?????_???_????). The discourse is mainly characterized by praises for the recent terror attacks, and calls for intensifying the acts against France and its institutions around the world.[1]

 A graph depicting the exposure of Twitter users to the hashtag “Paris before Rome”

A graph depicting the exposure of Twitter users to the hashtag “Paris before Rome”[2]

A prominent trend on the social networks is the call for imitating the methods of actions taken during the terror attacks in Paris, and to embrace the “lone wolf” method – terror attacks involving lone perpetrators. That is due to the great difficulty intelligence agencies have in identifying lone terrorists, a minimal investment on the part of the terrorist in preparing for a lone attack, and the extensive media coverage such attacks merit. On November 16, a supporter of the Islamic State offered to contact jihad activists in order to receive guidance and assistance in preparing a “lone wolf” attack.[3] On that same day, a visitor by the name of Abu Ziyad published a list of suggestions for lone wolves, including:

  • “I told one of the lone wolves: ‘Your area is full of Crusader targets. Why are you delayed, and not going out to hunt?’ He wrote me on a note and stuck it to the camera: ‘Soon, soon, you will see [wonders]…’”
  • “Truthfully, many lone wolves think that hunting requires preparation, a plan, and a commander. In fact, the issue is much simpler than all that: Plan, place bait, and then carry out your mission quietly.”
  • I was in contact with a lot of lone wolves from a lot of countries, in order to send my good wishes and blessings in honor of the ‘Paris is Burning’ attack. I liked the discussion about the most violent ways to hunt tourists.”
  • “Lone wolves, if it reaches a point where you have no other means, throwing acidic liquid on a target is a simple attack but very affective, as it causes blindness.”
  • “The lone wolves must know that the preferred place of tourism is Morocco, according to 91% of the Italians surveyed, and 82% of the French. Just open Wikipedia to see for yourselves.”
  • “The lone wolves must share their tourism with the Crusader tourists, and must draw a smile on their faces. The largest number [of tourists] is in the Crusader France.”
  • “The lone wolves should know that French Crusader Consulate and Embassies throughout the world have opened their gates to receive people who want to console the mourners. Oh Wolf, it would be fitting for you to go and console them for their injuries.”
  • “The lone wolves must know that Crusader France has about 280 diplomatic representatives throughout the world.”[4]