(New York, NY) – The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) said that the trove of ISIS images and videos found on the cell phone of New York City terror suspect Sayfullo Saipov demonstrates the ubiquity of online radicalizing materials and the ongoing unwillingness of tech companies to take necessary steps to seriously address the issue.
According to law enforcement officials, one of Saipov’s cell phones contained almost 4,000 images and approximately 90 videos, many of which appeared to be ISIS-related propaganda, such as ISIS fighters killing innocent prisoners and running over them with a tank.
“The murders in New York are but the latest in a sad series of tragedies fueled by the pervasive presence of horrific and dangerous extremist content online,” said CEP CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace. “In the interest of public safety, it is important that tech companies be held accountable if they refuse to act upon the clear and knowing misuse of their platforms, regardless of whether it concerns Russian meddling or extremists and terrorists spreading their calls to violence. Tech companies’ soaring profits clearly show they have the resources necessary to address this issue. For example, Facebook’s profits climbed 79 percent year-over-year to $4.7 billion. It is past time that tech giants put the interests of the public and our safety first.”
Since its founding in 2014, CEP has documented the surging presence of extremist and terrorist materials online and has advocated for the permanent removal of violent and dangerous extremist content.