Weekly Analyst Review
BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT: This past week we watched as Domestic Violent Extremism played out on another Telegram channel. On 27 July, a known QAnon Telegram channel posted a poll: "A political solution can fix our problems." with a simple yes or no vote. Within a few hours of releasing the poll had 19,569 votes and 1,441 replies.  The vast majority of responses were 'no' but other common replies included concepts of a Military solution, Jesus/God religious solution, and a political dictator such as a modern-day Hitler solution. With 332,789 subscribers, this Telegram Channel is highly influential. The phrase "There is no political solution" automatically implies that only the opposite is true, violence is the only option. The phrase is commonly used among white nationalists who support the acceleration - the impending collapse of Western society. Racist circles on Telegram continue to intermix other fringe ideologies such as QAnon, disenfranchised US voters, and anti-vaccination movements in the hopes of inspiring more people to attack soft targets. Until now, it was unclear the effects that these efforts had made on QAnon groups on Telegram. The Terrorgram Collective Telegram network of channels immediately noticed the poll with the reply "QAnon have just activated, Sedatives wearing off?" Suggesting that QAnon supporters may be willing to join the accelerationist movement.
Images (above): Poster: "There Is No Political Solution. White Revolution Is the Only Solution", an example of the white first ideology. (below) Christianity First Ideology complain that they are being targeted.
TRAC Insight: White First Telegram Channels: PSYOP "Total War Upon Degenerates";Target White Christian Women in Chats To Demoralize Males
On 26 July, a White First Telegram channel published a poster advocating for the "total war upon degenerates" and lists six categories of people that qualify as degenerates. A comment on the poster claims that they've already completed more than twenty-one PSYOP "raids" on what they consider degenerate Telegram channels. The successful PSYOP tactics to cause chaos among what they consider degenerate chat rooms target Christian women first they are easier targets which will subsequently "demoralize"  the men of the group. Another White First Telegram channel elaborates on these instructions, explaining that they should post graphic, violent images directed at white Christian women, followed by Nazi memes and imagery so the women get scared away from their current ideology and delve deeper into white nationalist movement. This idea coincides with the pagan belief that white men and women who put God before the white race will eventually betray the movement when it goes against their Christian beliefs. As the original post states, they believe in "zero tolerance for any deviation" from the goals of the white supremacist movement, and place the white race above all else. Recently, these raids between White First, or Race First, Telegram channels and Christianity First Telegram channels have escalated. The Race First Telegram channels, identifiable by a pine tree symbol in their name, have been filling the comment sections in Christianity First Telegram channels with pornographic images of gay men in their most recent raids in an attempt to scare away users they view as "deviators" from the white nationalist movement.
TRAC Incident Report: United Nations Office Assaulted, Afghan Policeman Wounded and Others Wounded During Ongoing Taliban (IEA) Ground Attack on Herat, Afghanistan
The Taliban entered southern neighborhoods of Herat city for the first time in twenty years, taking over Guzara district and pushing government forces toward the city center. Flights into the city were suspended yesterday, with good reason as the airport is located in Guzara district that the Talibs now control (note: unverified reports indicate that the Afghan Security Forces have resumed control of the area, but running gun battles are ongoing). The fighting spread to the area of the city housing the United Nations office, and rocket-propelled grenades and gunfire were reported near the facility. At least one policeman of the Afghan Directorate of Protection Services charged with defending the office was killed, and preliminary reports indicate that several others were wounded in the fighting. The UN will conduct an investigation to ascertain the extent of the attack, but at this time no UN personnel were harmed during the fighting. The Taliban currently control the immediate environ surrounding the office. Airstrikes cannot be carried out on the advancing Taliban cadres due to the civilian population. The Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid somewhat dismissed the attack as a byproduct of heavy fighting between ANDS and Taliban forces, and that the security personnel stationed at the United Nations office were caught in the crossfire. The Taliban seek to portray themselves as the legitimate Afghan government in the eyes of the international community, and any attack on UN assets, crossfire or not, will not serve that purpose. The possibility that the attack could be considered a war crime and a violation of international law is emphasized in the UN statement.
Images (above): Statement by Taliban; (middle) UNAMA condemnation via Twitter; (below) text of UN statement on attack.
Images (above): On 02 August 2021, unofficial photos circulated from JNIM accounts of purported weapons seized in the ambush.(below) location map.
TRAC Incident Report: Suspected Jama'a Nusrat al-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM) Elements Ambushed a Nigerien Army Supply Mission in Torodi, Tillaberi Region, Niger
On 31 July at 11:00 pm local time, suspected Jama'a Nusrat al-Islam wa al-Muslimin elements ambushed a Nigerien army supply mission in Torodi, Tillaberi region, Niger reportedly in route to resupply the garrison in Boni, Mali. After the initial ambush the reinforcements' vehicle evacuating the injured soldiers was hit by an IED. As a result of the ambush and the IED attack 18 soldiers were killed, 7 were injured and 6 went missing. Although Islamic State Greater Sahara (ISGS / ISWA) is active in the Tillaberi region. Jama'a Nusrat al-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM) is likely responsible for the attack. Mere days after a reported reunion between JNIM units operating in Yagha and Komondjari in Burkina Faso and units operating in Torodi in Niger; they likely are collaborating and coordinating operations with each other.
The double-tap ambush was well planned because the original attack was force-multiplied by the IED targeting the first responders. The ambush occurs under the back drop of "Operation Taanli" a joint military operation between Nigerien and Burkina armies. On 26 June 2021, "Operation Taanli" announced that it had killed 100 jihadist, without mentioning which group they belonged to, and seized weapons, vehicles, motorcycles, and IED components over the past 15 days in the localities of Dori, Mansila and Diapaga on the Burkinabè side and the localities of Téra and Torodi on the Nigerian side.
On Our Radar:
Our integrative platform helps organizations assess and manage the risk environment. TRACFusion combines the contextual power and data of TRAC’s award-winning online digital repository with direct encrypted chat access to an assigned analyst, we extend an organization’s collection capabilities and expertise. We become partners who are able to provide “red cell” thinking and “outside” perspective. Contact us for more information.
Attend Weekly Analyst Briefing
As many of our clients know, we invite one organization a week to sit in on our Analyst Briefing. The briefings take place at 10 AM US eastern time and last an hour. We meet virtually in TRAC's online conference center.
If your organization is interested in attending, please schedule with the link below. We look forward to having you join us and ask questions.
2021 Past Newsletters