YouTube has pulled the majority of videos of Anwar al-Awlaki, an extremist American cleric who has influenced a generation of American terrorists, The New York Times reported Sunday.
The jihadist propaganda of Awlaki influenced the Fort Hood gunman, the Boston Marathon bombers and those responsible for massacres in San Bernardino, Calif., and Orlando, Fla., the Times reported. Earlier in the fall, a YouTube search produced more than 70,000 results for Awlaki, who was killed six years ago in the U.S. by a drone strike.
Now, a search turns up just 18,600 videos, most which are news reports about his death, debates over the legality of his killing and various other material about him.
The move to remove the videos comes after pressure from governments and counterterrorist advocates, the article explained.
"It's a watershed moment on the question of whether we're going to allow the unchecked proliferation of cyberjihad," said Mark D. Wallace, chief executive of the Counter Extremism Project, a research organization that has worked to remove Awlaki's videos from the web. "You just don't want to make it easy for people to listen to a guy who wants to harm us."
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