Tech Censorship

CEO Admits that Tik Tok Tracks Users’ Keystrokes


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The Extremism Roundup

Promoting Civil Discourse and Marginalizing the Extremes
A weekly compilation of the most important developments in the struggle against radical ideologies

Islamist Extremism

ISIS matchmaker Abdullah el-Faisal – Shutterstock via The National screenshot
ISIS Matchmaker Sentenced

  • Trevor William Forrest a.k.a Abdullah el-Faisal, 59, a Jamaican preacher, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for conspiracy and supporting terrorism after helping ISIS by praising its ideology in lectures, publishing propaganda online, and acting as a marriage broker for its fighters.
  • The investigation into Faisal began in 2016 when a male detective sent him an email claiming to be a 24-year-old Turkish-American woman from Long Island named Rojin Ahmed.
  • During Faisal’s trial, prosecutors played lectures in which he called for violence and promoted ISIS, and presented emails in which he gave out phone numbers to contact the group. Read More

How US Aid to Palestinians Leads to More Violent Terror

  • A comparison of U.S. aid to the Palestinians shows an insight that the aid fuels terror, not peace.
  • From 2011, aid to Palestinians dropped under the Obama and Trump administrations but spiked in the Biden administration.
  • The number of people murdered as a direct result of Palestinian terror shows a parallel trend, with numbers dropping during years when U.S. aid was reduced and rising when aid was increased. Read More

CENTCOM Commander Warns of Potential ISIS-K Attacks

  • Army Gen. Michael Kurilla, who leads U.S. Central Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Islamic State’s Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) is developing the ability to conduct “external operations” in Europe and Asia.
  • Kurilla said that ISIS-K would be able to attack American or Western interests outside Afghanistan in less than six months “with little to no warning.”
  • The commander confirmed that the U.S. has only conducted one “kinetic” counterterrorism operation so far, a drone strike last year that killed al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul.
  • Kurilla acknowledged that the quality of U.S. intelligence has degraded since the pullout from Afghanistan and said his command is working to close the intelligence gap by increasing investment into long-duration, high-altitude technology.  Read More

Alt-Right & Alt-Left Extremism

William McDonald, via Fox6 Milwaukee screenshot
Wisconsin Man Pleads Guilty to Racially Charged Threats

  • William McDonald, 45, of West Allis, Wisc., pleaded guilty to one felony count and one misdemeanor count of intimidating and interfering with Black residents because of their race.
  • McDonald vandalized a Black woman’s vehicle parked outside her apartment by slashing her tires and smashing her windshield. He left a note filled with racial slurs and threatening to slash her throat and demanding she move out of West Allis. He also slashed two of her car tires and left another note with racial slurs and an ultimatum to move out or suffer violence. Later, he vandalized a Black woman’s front door with racial graffiti and left a note calling her family a racial slur and demanding she get out of the building.
  • McDonald faces a maximum sentence of up to 11 years in prison, and a sentencing date has been set for June 29. Read More

California White Supremacist Arrested for Threats to New York Journalists

  • Nicholas Welker, the San Jose leader of the international extremist group Feuerkrieg Division, was arrested for allegedly making death threats against a journalist in Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Feuerkrieg Division promotes violence against racial minorities, the Jewish community, the LGBT community, the U.S. government, journalists, and critical infrastructure.
  • The complaint states that Welker posted the threats against the journalist in a public online forum, which was later tweeted by his co-conspirators to intimidate and stop the journalist from reporting on the extremist group.
  • Welker could face a maximum sentence of five years in prison. Read More

Antifa Activists Disrupt Pro-Life Event

  • Anti-fascist and abortion access supporters disrupted the Gift of Life pro-life march in New York City by blocking the path with garbage.
  • NYPD officers escorted the Gift of Life march and issued arrest warnings against counter-demonstrators.
  • Some scuffles broke out in the outskirts of the march, but police did not intervene.
    One counter-protester was arrested, but was later released. Read More

Protestors Disrupt Purdue Speaker

  • Far-left protesters at Purdue University disrupted a speech by Michael Knowles, who was invited to speak by Purdue College Republicans and Young America’s Foundation.
  • Protesters chanted “f**k off nazis” while holding up banners reading “death to fascists.”
  • Knowles spoke for over an hour in front of a crowd of over 400 attendees, while another large crowd gathered in the South Ballroom to watch the speech on televisions.
  • Hours before Knowles began his address, hundreds of far-left protesters gathered in front of the Purdue Memorial Union and continued to chant inside a hallway outside of where Knowles would be speaking. Read More

School Threats

A child cries on the bus leaving school following a school shooting that left 7 dead – Nicole Hester via The Tennessean screenshot
7 Killed in Nashville School Shooting

  • Three adults and four children were confirmed dead after a school shooting at The Covenant School, a private Christian school in Nashville, Tenn.
  • The shooter was identified as Audrey Elizabeth Hale, a 28-year-old transgender former student.
  • Hale was on the second level of the building and was fatally shot by a five-member team, after firing with two assault rifles and a handgun.
  • The incident occurred on Monday, March 27, and was the fifth school shooting in the Nashville area since 2011, and the first since 2018. Read More

Manhunt for Denver School Shooter

  • A manhunt is underway in Denver for 17-year-old Austin Lyle, a student at East High School, who allegedly shot two school administrators while being patted down during a daily search.
  • The shooting occurred during a daily search as part of a “safety plan” that Lyle had agreed to in order to attend school. The handgun used in the shooting has not been located yet.
  • The police have offered a $2,000 reward for information leading to Lyle’s arrest.
  • Both school administrators were taken to the hospital, one in stable condition and the other in critical condition. Read More

 Two Arrested for Threats to California High School

  • Coty Kennedy, 20, has been arrested for making a bomb threat against Myrtle Beach High School in South Carolina.
  • The Myrtle Beach Police Department received a written note threatening to “blow up the school.” Kennedy admitted to writing the note.
  • He is being charged with a bomb threat, conspiring to threaten, and threatening to damage or destroy a building.
  • Kennedy was released on a $5,000 bond. The date of the threat has not been made available. Read More

Hostile Foreign Influence Operations

U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) speaks as Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA) and TikTok supporters listen during a news conference in front of the U.S. Capitol – Alex Wong/Getty Images
Members of Congress Defend TikTok After Receiving Donations

  • Members of the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Hispanic Caucus defended TikTok as it faces accusations that it is a spyware tool for the Chinese government.
  • It has been recently revealed that the Chinese-owned parent company ByteDance gave six-figure contributions to nonprofits aligned with the congressional Black and Hispanic Caucuses.
  • The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute both received a $150,000 donation from ByteDance in December 2020.
  • ByteDance made the donation while facing national security concerns and threats of a ban in the U.S. Read More

CEO Admits that Tik Tok Tracks Users’ Keystrokes

  • In a Congressional hearing Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) got TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew to admit that the Tik Tok app tracks users’ keystrokes.
  • Chew noted that other social media companies do the same thing. The difference is that unlike U.S.-based social media companies, Tik Tok is under the authority of the Chinese Communist Party and is not subject to U.S. laws or regulations. Read More

Research and Trends in Extremism

Rapper Kanye West’s Twitter account was suspended after posting repeated antisemitic remarks – OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images
Antisemitism Surges on Twitter

  • According to research conducted by the tech firm CASM Technology and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue think tank, antisemitic tweets have more than doubled over the months since Musk took charge.
  • Between June and October 26, 2022, the day before Twitter’s acquisition by Musk, there was a weekly average of 6,204 tweets deemed “plausible antisemitic.” But from October 27 until Feb 9, 2023, the average was 12,762 – an increase of 105 percent. Read More

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

– Benjamin Franklin

NOTE TO OUR READERS: We have pulled out the salient points of the articles in this newsletter to keep you informed and focused on the most relevant, important and timely news in national security and extremism. While our national security experts stand behind the summary bullets and deem them trustworthy, Clarion Project does not endorse all the views expressed in the articles linked.

Categories: Tech Censorship

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