While social media giants were too preoccupied with “’policing” conservatives, they may have overlooked who’s really posing a clear danger online.
A Muslim migrant was using social media all along to help recruit members and sympathizers for terrorist group ISIS.
34-year-old Ashraf Al Safoo, a Chicago computer engineer, was in federal court on Friday afternoon to face charges of using social media to aid ISIS recruit operatives, also encourage people to carry out terrorist attacks and to spread propaganda to advance “violent jihad.”
Federal prosecutors said Al Safoo faces one count of conspiracy to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization.
FBI agents said Al Safoo is a naturalized citizen who was born in Iraq and moved to Chicago in 2008. Federal authorities also accuse Al Safoo of being an active member of the Khattab Media Foundation which serves as a propaganda outfit with an oath of allegiance to ISIS.
Agents said Al Safoo worked with several unindicted co-conspirators in the propaganda outfit.
Khattab spreads ISIS propaganda across several social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and another one which for an undisclosed reason federal authorities also declined to identify.
Al Safoo operations were further uncovered when he invited a purported ISIS sympathizer in March who was actually an undercover federal officer to join a Khattab discussion group. The undercover officer discovered a veritable trove of ISIS propaganda then. Al Safoo is alleged to have contributed in the creation and dissemination of ISIS propaganda.
Federal authorities also say that in December 2017, the propaganda machine Khattab also created and published a computer-animated video titled “Our gifts are ready” which showed families standing around a Christmas tree with a castle. The castle looks strikingly similar to Walt Disney World’s “Cinderella Castle.”
The affidavit further says: “The video cuts to all black with the word ‘Now listen you dogs of hell. This is a message and more are going to follow. This is just the beginning. Our gifts are now ready.”
The video also shows a gift under the Christmas tree that contains a bomb with a timer ticking down before cutting to a news clip of a terrifying mass shooting taking place.