UNBELIEBERS: ISIS hijacked Justin Bieber fan account to radicalise youngsters as huge cache of sick extremist material is discovered

The Sun, UK/September 4, 2020

By Henry Holloway

ISIS hijacked a Justin Bieber fan account in a twisted bid to recruit teenagers as experts unearthed one of the biggest ever troves of the group's twisted propaganda.

The terror group were also using #JustinBieber to spread its vile message in an attempt to piggyback on the 26-year-old popstar's fame and tap into his young fanbase.

Bieber has more followers on Twitter than anyone except for Barack Obama, with 112million users plugged into his feed - 26million more than Donald Trump.

The hashtag based around his name is used hundreds of times every hour and is a haven for fans looking to share pictures or chat about their favourite singer.

ISIS creeps saw this as an opportunity as they are reported to have attempted to hijack the social channel to push propaganda to teenage girls.

And the terrorists also stole a fan account dedicated to the singer and used it to promote material from a huge online library of propaganda, reports the BBC.

Parents have spoken of their horror as it is feared children as young as nine could have been exposed the terror group.

ISIS has collapsed in the Middle East but is said to be regrouping, continuing its efforts online to try and spread hate and recruit more followers.

Using the Bieber hashtag, terrorists uploaded a video of an ISIS fighter with a British accent speaking alongside scenes of rotting bodies and fierce battles, reports the Daily Express.

It was accompanied by the caption "For the sake of Allah" and also included hashtags for other popular topics such as Hollywood and Bollywood.

The revelation comes as the Institute of Strategic Dialogue (ISD) revealed they found a huge digital library dubbed the "Caliphate Cache".

The file dump contained more than 90,000 items and was receiving more than 10,000 unique visitors a month.

Experts made the discovery after ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a US special forces raid last October.

Revealing their findings today, the ISD said the cache contained documents and videos in nine different languages.

It included instructions of how to be a "better terrorist" including intricate details of previous attacks such as the 2017 bombing of Manchester Arena and the 7/7 attacks on the London transport network in 2005.

ISD deputy director Moustafa Ayad told the BBC: "[There's] everything you need to know to plan and carry out an attack.

"Things that teach you how to be a better terrorist essentially."

ISD officials traced the materials were being shared online using several shell accounts - including the one linked to Bieber.

One mum, who has a nine-year-old, told the Express: “I do let my daughter use Twitter and she knows all about using hashtags to search for Justin Bieber news and pictures."

The parent, 40, from Surrey, added: “I would be horrified if she ever saw images such as those in the video.

“Many of Bieber’s fans are so young and to target children in this way is typically horrific of ISIS."

Researchers believe it is this type of material - along with religious texts and propaganda about the ISIS "lifestyle" - that would help convince young runaways such as Shamima Begum.

Most of those who get lured into viewing the Caliphate Cache are males aged 18 to 24 in the Arab world with 40 per cent of traffic coming from social media.

Despite using Twitter, YouTube appears to be the cult's most successful source of attracting potential brainwashing victims.

Met Police officials said they had received the data from the ISD are said it was being assessed by officers.

It comes after ISIS were found to be flogging fake face masks as it attempts tries to drum up funds online.

Experts fear the jihadis could exploit the global pandemic to regroup, recruit and potentially even carry out attacks.

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