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Caliphate Cache: Researchers discover Islamic State 'digital library' Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff

Caliphate Cache: Researchers discover Islamic State 'digital library'

A social media link led researchers to material in nine different languages [AFP]

Date of publication: 4 September, 2020

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Spread across servers, the digital library contains 90,000 items and has an estimated 10,000 unique visitors monthly.
Researchers have discovered one of the largest collections of online material linked to the Islamic State group, according to a BBC report. 

Spread across servers based at multiple locations, the digital library contains 90,000 items and boasts an estimated 10,000 visitors monthly.

The Institute of Strategic Dialogue (ISD), whose researchers made the discovery, have called it the 'Caliphate Cache'.

Mostafa Ayad, the organisation’s deputy director, said the material contained "everything" needed to know in order to "plan and carry out attack".

Following the death of prominent IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in October 2019, social media posts by IS sympathisers featuring a short link began to emerge.

This led researchers to documents and videos in nine different languages, covering details of major attacks, including the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing, 7 July 2005 London bombings and the September 11 attacks.

The researchers, who studied the library's development and application, say the data is decentralised and not based at a single server.

According to the researchers this hampers authorities' efforts to combat proliferation of the material, which is disseminated using various techniques, including in comments to social media posts as well as via bot accounts.  

Accounts linked to famous celebrities and athletes have also been hacked and used to promote material from the cache, including a Justin Bieber fan accounts and an England rugby supporter’s page.

Aside from explicitly violent content, the body of material also includes IS philosophies, religious texts and idealised visions of life under the self-styled caliphate.

Read also: Tunisian families battle to repatriate children of jihadists

According to researchers, the overwhelming demographic of those who access the material are 18- to 24-year old men in the Arab world.

Authorities in New York specialising in counterterrorism were alerted about the repository but have yet to comment. The UK Metropolitan Police have acknowledged the researcher's findings and said they have launched an assessment.  

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