Extremists of all stripes have been trying to capitalize on the current global health crisis. Jihadist groups and chat rooms have been touting the Coronavirus as a "soldier of Allah" and a divine punishment for infidels. Neo-Nazi militants have been similarly discussing ways to spread panic and purposely infect members of the law enforcement and Jewish communities. Parts of the internet are rife with conspiracy theories and discussions on how to take advantage of the spread of COVID-19.
To discuss these dynamics, the Program on Extremism at The George Washington University hosted a digital event, 'Extremism and the Global Health Crisis,' on Monday, March 30. The event, held via Zoom Webinar, featured a panel discussion of experts including Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, Researcher and Program on Extremism ISIS Files Fellow; Chelsea Daymon, Researcher and PhD candidate at American University; and Oren Segal, Vice President of the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism. The panel was moderated by Program on Extremism Director of Research Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens.