Islamic State Promises More Attacks Like Garland

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CSP, by Sean MacCormac, May 6, 2015:

In the wake of the foiled attack in Garland, Texas, Islamic State has released a statement promising further attacks in the United States, as well as the assassination of Pamela Geller, the lead planner in the Mohammed cartoon contest. The authenticity of the post remains in question, although Islamic State has frequently used JustPasteIt to publish propaganda and messages for the general public.

The document states that Geller was the focus of the attack, stating “Our goal was the khanzeer (pig) Pamela Geller and to show her that we don’t care what land she hides in or what sky shields her; we will send all our Lions to achieve her slaughter.”

If authentic, the terrorist group appears to be doing damage control for the failed attack, claiming that, “Our intention was to show how easy we give our lives for the sake of Allah,” and “they gave you their bodies in plain view because we were watching” thereby seeking to downplay the fact both terrorists at the event were killed without killing any of their targets.

Islamic State has a long history of claiming responsibility for terror attacks conducted by sympathizers not directly orchestrated by the organization’s leaders. Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi were both sympathizers of Islamic State and reportedly in contact on social media with individuals connected to the Islamic State, who had urged attacks against the Garland, Texas event. Simpson and Soofi swore allegiance to al-Baghdadi in a tweet posted by Simpson prior to the attack.

Despite the propaganda claim regarding IS’ ,”71 trained soldiers 23 have signed up for missions like Sunday…” the skilled pre-planned deployment of sleeper cells appears to be outside of the Islamic States’ standard operating method at the current time. Unlike terror groups such as Hezbollah, or Al Qaeda, which have conducted such pre-planned operations, the Garland attack is more typical of Islamic State’s methods,where self-declared Islamic State supporters take to heart encouragement and propaganda and attempt to strike from a broad list of suggested targets. A change in this capability to a more sophisticated model, would be highly worrisome.

That said, it is highly likely that Islamic State can find far more than just the “71” soldiers it claims to possess, among those who are ideologically committed enough to engage in terror attacks on it’s behalf.

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Senior female ISIS agent unmasked and traced to Seattle

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Channel 4 News, April 28, 2015:

She’s one of the final people that would-be jihadis might speak to before crossing the border to join the Islamic State group in Syria. The woman that the world’s media claim is Dutch or British and in the group’s de facto capital of Raqqa, with considerable online and offline influence.

Flick through the group’s new online “travel guidebook” and her contact details are listed, alongside 17 other agents and middlemen. Recruits are told to get in touch with these people when they make it to Turkey and want a contact in ISIS to help them cross the border.

This is the mysterious but influential woman until now known only as@_UmmWaqqas. Her real life is seemingly obscured from view, with her face completely covered in pictures posted online. As one of the most influential ISIS-linked women online, she describes to her 8,000 followers the religious duty for Muslims to join the Caliphate. She has been in personal contact with Brits and Americans on the eve of their departures, and she is close to fighters and jihadi brides in Syria.

@_UmmWaqqas is today revealed by Channel 4 News to have been set up and operated by Rawdah Abdisalaam, a twenty-something female believed to be from Seattle. She advocates mass emigration to Islamic State while seemingly enjoying the creature comforts of the American lifestyle, watching the Denver Broncos on a super-widescreen HDTV and tweeting pictures of double cheeseburgers.

Her Twitter account was recently accessed from Seattle, though friends say she has moved away, and her exact location remains unclear.

“I’m actually lost for words”, one school friend who wished to stay anonymous told Channel 4 News. “The Rawdah you are referring to is a childhood friend.” She said that the @_UmmWaqqas tweets, “sound a little to extreme to be honest … this is so weird.” Friends confirmed it is her account.

ISIS cheerleaderThose doing the radicalising deliberately hide who they are. But they are altering lives one by one, in the US, in Europe and in the Middle East. They are generating support for the Islamic State group with such success, leaving intelligence agencies and families scrambling to cope.

The Brookings Institute says that social media is used “to spread and legitimise IS’s ideology, activities, and objectives, and to recruit and acquire international support”.

The intelligence community says that the way ISIS uses social media and online presentations has also been a game changer for recruitment. And the FBI last week declared that the US has a terror recruiting problem, with 25 people detained this year, a surge compared to last year.
The @_UmmWaqqas Twitter account has been one of the more popular pro-Islamic State accounts, particularly among women, with 8,000 followers. Her account defends ISIS brutality; she justifies the burning to death of the Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh as “an eye for an eye”.
While Twitter has moved aggressively in recent months to shut down ISIS-linked accounts, Umm Waqqas shared multiple ISIS documents on emigration months before her account was finally suspended earlier this month.

Bring two flashlights. Expect to be robbed. And don’t take taxis that will rip you off.

This is advice offered within the ISIS travel guide linked to by Umm Waqqas; a practical guide to making ‘Hijrah’ (emigrating) to join the Islamic State group. She is herself referenced within its pages as a key ISIS contact – someone who can help you join the Islamic State group.
So it’s no surprise that she is regularly sent requests for help on Twitter from people eager to sign up. Not only does she share guides written by others, she also posts her personal advice on how to emigrate successfully; she states the importance of having someone to vouch for you, for instance.
She also uploaded screenshots of four pages of the official ISIS magazine, which explain the importance of Muslims joining the Caliphate, accompanied by the word “enjoy”.
The pages give advice to those considering emigrating to the Islamic State, on how to accomplish it and the spiritual justification for doing so. She says there are “swarms of families flocking to [Islamic State].”
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Australian Doctor joins ISIS – in video encourages others

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By Cultural Jihad, April 28, 2015:

Dr Kamleh, who refers to himself as Abu Yusuf, urges other Muslim medical professionals to travel to IS-controlled territory and join in the Islamic State Health Service.

Australian Islamic State doctor Tareq Kamleh’s sudden change after mystery trip in 2013

From: Sydney Morning Herald
By:  Tammy Mills, Patrick Hatch and Rachel Olding, April 28, 2015

Australian jihadist doctor Tareq Kamleh morphed suddenly from a partying “playboy” doctor to a strict Muslim after a mysterious camping trip, former colleagues say.

Dr Kamleh, who up until recently was working in the health system in Perth, appeared in a propaganda video for Islamic State released this week where he spruiked its health services and asked other Muslim clinicians to join him.

But before this recent infamy, he was working as a pediatrician at a Mackay hospital in north-east Queensland and it is here that former colleagues say he underwent a seismic shift in his personality.

Known as a partying and drinking playboy who constantly cheated on his girlfriend, Dr Kamleh embraced a fundamental interpretation of the religion of his parents in a few short days in 2013, colleagues said.

FULL STORY: http://www.smh.com.au/national/australian-islamic-state-doctor-tareq-kamlehs-sudden-change-after-mystery-trip-in-2013-20150427-1mui3m.html

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COMMENT/ANALYSIS:  This story is consistent with other reports that the Islamic State appears to be establishing a social infrastructure, something we reported in September 2014.   Earlier this week there were news reports of the first Islamic State birth certificate.

The media response to this has resulted in a variety of news stories.  One painted the doctor as a “sexual predator“.  Another interviewed a former classmate who stated the doctor was “attracted to violence”.

Dr Kamleh could be charged with a range of criminal offenses for joining/supporting a terrorist organization.  If convicted, he would face maximum sentences of between three and 25 years in prison.  He could also be imprisoned for up to 10 years for travelling to the Al-Raqqa province in Syria,   a proscribed area under the Crimes Act.   A criminal investigation has been initiated and the doctor’s home was searched.

Michael Gannon, president of the WA branch of the Australian Medical Association, told the West Australian on Monday that he was “appalled” and …

It’s mind-boggling that the death cult could hold appeal for an educated man.

He’s involved in an evil, evil cult and I think he should face much greater sanction than just being told you can’t be a doctor in Australia any more.

It was reported that Dr. Kamleh had mentioned in December that he was considering joining Doctors without Borders.

***

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ISIS Fighters, Supporters Hijack #BaltimoreRiots Twitter Hashtag, Discuss Race Issues, Urge Attacks On Policemen

MEMRI, April 28, 2015:

The following report is a complimentary offering from MEMRI’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.

On April 28, 2015, Islamic State (ISIS) supporters and fighters took over the trending Twitter hashtags “#BaltimoreRiots” and “#BaltimorePurge,” in order to champion the merits of the Islamic State, criticize democracy, and shed light on the race-related riots currently making headlines in the U.S. It should be noted that ISIS frequently takes advantage of such calamitous events, including those involving race, in the West, in order to promote their beliefs.[1]

For more on this subject, see MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1153, The Issue Of Race In The Discourse Of The Islamic State (ISIS) And Its Supporters, April 16, 2015.

The following is a review of some of the tweets from these accounts.

British Islamist Anjem Choudary tweeted: “#BaltimoreRiots even where they absurdly celebrate a black skinned leader racism still rears its ugly head. Time for change, time for Islam!”[2]

A Jordanian ISIS fighter hijacked the trending Baltimore hashtags to show off his weapons, with a photo of rifles, bullets, grenades and an ISIS flag accompanied by the hashtags “#BlackLivesMatter, #BaltimoreRiots, and #Islamic State.” In Arabic he wrote: “Strife is dormant. May Allah bless whoever awakens it. #America_Burning.”[3]

Female ISIS supporter Muslimah1 shared a meme by the Birmingham, UK-based radical Islamist organization Invite to Islam[4] showing a black ISIS fighter sitting between two white comrades. The text reads, “Our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said in his final sermon: ‘No Arab is greater than a non-Arab, and no non-Arab is greater than a Arab, except in whoever fears Allah most.”[5]

The American-Palestinian “Umm Jihad,” who is an outspoken female ISIS supporter and who currently resides in the West Bank,[6] tweeted a photo of three ISIS fighters of different races posing together with the caption, “Currently in love with this picture. Skin color means nothing in Islam or in Dawlah [ISIS].”

She also tweeted, “Americans are worried about Dawlah who are all the way overseas when they should be worried about their police forces.”

ISIS supporter Abu Al-Mundhir Al-Salafi tweeted a photo of German rapper-turned-ISIS fighter Denis Cuspert sparring playfully with a white fighter, with the comment: “Brotherhood in the Islamic State between blacks and whites #ISIS #BaltimoreRiots #FreddieGray #BaltimorePurge.”

ISIS supporter Rami Allah tweeted photos of orderly scenes from the Islamic State and contrasted them with images of chaos from the riots in Baltimore. His caption read: “Make no mistake: this looting & sabotaging is happening in #Baltimore #BaltimoreRiots #USA not in #Tikrit #Iraq #ISIS.”[7]

Twitter user Abu Tawbah called for attacks on policemen, writing: “Fighting the corrupt police is a good thing. They are guard dogs of tyrants. Hope the protesters kill as many as possible. #Baltimore Riots.”

He further suggested, “They should behead any cops caught & bomb the rest till they retreat. Simple insurgency tacits would defeat the pigs. #Baltimore Riots.”[8]

Female supporter “Umm Qisas Asomaliyah” tweeted, “Shariah implementation of the laws of God is the only answers to this oppression. #BaltimoreRiots.”[9]

User Abu ‘Abdallah tweeted a photo of Australian ISIS suicide bomber Jake Bilardi sitting between two ISIS fighters of different ethnicities, and wrote: “#BaltimoreRiots Different languages different colors different nationality But one god #BaltimorePurge.”

Twitter user Al-Jabali Uthman 15 tweeted: “The evolution of the black man in #America Nothing much changed, from slavery to … #BaltimoreRiots.” Included in the tweet are images of black slaves, blacks fighting with cops during the Civil Rights Era, and current clashes with police.

Twitter user Pray4Sham[Syria] shared a photo of two fighters of differing races, writing, ” This is two best friends from different race, Abu Sa’eed Al Britani & Shaheed Abu Abdulluh Uzbeki. #Noracism.”[10]

User Colonel Shaami advised: “Once a IS video release comes out everyone should use #BaltimoreRiots hash tag Baqiyah needs to take over that hash tag noooow.”[11]

Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan, an American fighting with the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabaab in Somalia,[12] tweeted a photo of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. participating in a civil rights march and commented: “Don’t buy into the Martin story. This man never gave u freedom. Just mental slavery. #BaltimoreRiots #YouNeedShariah.”[13]

Another user, Omar, tweeted a meme of Malcolm X with a quote by him: “America needs to understand Islam, this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem. True brotherhood.”[14]

Why Adam Gadahn’s Killing Matters To Al-Qaeda

Adam Gadahn Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Adam Gadahn Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

MEMRI, by Steven Stalinsky, April 24, 2015:

On April 23, 2015 the White House announced that Adam Gadahn, the first American to be charged with treason since World War II and the man known as Al-Qaeda’s American spokesman, had been killed inadvertently in a U.S. drone attack in January in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region. It seems inconceivable that 35 years ago in California, a little-known Jewish psychedelic musician, himself the son of a prominent Zionist doctor, and his wife brought into the world a son, Adam Pearlman, who would become one of America’s most notorious traitors in the war on terror.

In 2004, at age 26, Gadahn made it to the FBI’s most wanted list. He trained in Afghanistan terrorist camps, and was asked by 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Muhammad to join a plot for a suicide attack outside Baltimore. A sealed indictment dated September 8, 2006 accused Gadahn, aka Al-Qaeda operative “Azzam the American,” of helping the terror organization with communications and propaganda, serving as its English translator, and providing it with information about American culture and vulnerabilities. The following month, the U.S. government formally announced treason charges against him.

Adam Pearlman’s parents converted to Christianity and took the last name Gadahn. Adam’s first contact with Islam came when his father sold meat he had slaughtered to Muslim halal markets. As a pimply, head-banging 17-year-old, Adam embraced Islam at an Orange County mosque. Until the summer of 2006, the University of Southern California’s (USC) Muslim Student Association’s online compendium of Muslim texts included an essay by “Adam Pearlman” titled “Becoming Muslim,” which stated: “Having been around Muslims in my formative years, I knew well that they were not the bloodthirsty, barbaric terrorists that the news media and the televangelists paint them to be.”

His first Al-Qaeda video appearance was in October 2004; a masked Gadahn declared, “Allah willing, the streets of America will run red with blood.” In his next video, which aired on Al-Jazeera on September 12, 2005, he explained, again masked, that Al-Qaeda’s numerous post-9/11 audio and video recordings communiqués had been “released to explain and propound the nature and goals of the worldwide jihad against America and the Crusaders and convey our legitimate demands.”

Both Gadahn’s knowledge of American culture and his media skills played a significant role in the development of As-Sahab, the Al-Qaeda media company; he was one of its key officials. He also laid the groundwork for other homegrown terrorists and for the use of the Internet for cyber jihad. High-ranking members of the Al-Qaeda leadership – even leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri – told Americans to listen to his words.

In his next video appearance, on July 8, 2006, Gadahn, unmasked for the first time, warned, alongside footage of 7/7 London suicide bomber Shehzad Tanweer and of Al-Zawahiri: “When we bomb their cities and civilians… no sane Muslim should shed tears for them.” In a subsequent video, released January 6, 2008, Gadahn renounced his U.S. citizenship as he ripped up his passport.

From 2004 onward, Gadahn starred in nearly two dozen Al-Qaeda videos, producing, narrating, and providing graphics for many more. In most of his appearances, he was seated at a desk, usually with a computer and a rifle; in 12 years, he appeared outdoors only once. Most of his early videos were in English, but over time he began speaking in Arabic.

While some government and counterterrorism analysts have debated Gadahn’s importance, the fact is that he was a trailblazer in inspiring and helping to recruit American youth to join Al-Qaeda. No other Westerner, let alone American, was ever as close to the leadership of Al-Qaeda, including its late leader Osama bin Laden, current leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, and even 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammad.

Gadahn’s importance within Al-Qaeda was confirmed by the May 2012 release of the Abbottabad documents found in the May 2011 raid on bin Laden’s compound; the documents revealed that he had been one of the few people in contact with bin Laden and had actively advised him before his death. One, a 21-page letter, was filled with both media advice and general advice about the future of Al-Qaeda and the direction it should take with respect to its affiliates and their actions.

Not only did Gadahn help Al-Qaeda reach a wider audience, but his appeal to prospective recruits resonated with those seeking a direction and attracted to radical Islam. His personal story showed that anyone in the West, even the grandson of a Jewish Zionist doctor, could become a global jihad leader. In particular, he was influential among the American converts with little Arabic who comprise some of the increasing number of Westerners joining and pledging loyalty to Al-Qaeda and, now, to ISIS; Gadahn recordings have been found on the computers of many Westerners arrested on terrorism charges.

Beginning in 2010, Gadahn, now under the alias of Abu Suhail, regularly provided articles and interviews to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP’s) English-language magazine for jihadis in the West, Inspire, reaching an entire new generation of recruits.

Gadahn last surfaced in October 2014, in the inaugural issue of Resurgence magazine – the Al-Qaeda media company As-Sahab’s English-language mouthpiece for the recently formed Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). In the cover story, “Besiege Them!” he called for the establishment of the Caliphate and focused on economic tactics for combatting the West, concluding with a call to Muslims worldwide to wage jihad and warning the West that Al-Qaeda’s war on it has only begun.

The killing of Adam Gadahn is a significant blow to Al-Qaeda. This is because he was a big part of Al-Qaeda’s media outreach efforts, in particular outreach to potential Western recruits. Following the emergence of ISIS and its proficiency at producing English-language content, including online magazines and videos, and at distributing them via social networks – efforts which far surpassed Al-Qaeda’s – Gadahn’s death will increase the already significant gap in the rivalry between the two organizations. However, like Osama bin Laden and Yemeni-American sheikh Anwar Al-Awlaki, his legacy will live on, on YouTube and other platforms and outlets where his videos are viewed every day by the increasing numbers of Westerners turning to jihad.

Steven Stalinsky is Executive Director of The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). He is the author of the upcoming book release: American Traitor – Inside the Mind of Adam Gadahn – Al-Qaeda’s U.S. Born Leader.

Also see:

Inside a Brit’s ISIS bomb-making factory

IED labDaily Mail, By JOHN HALL and TOM WYKE, April 22, 2015:

A British former car mechanic who joined the Islamic State as an explosives expert and sniper has shared chilling images of his new high-tech bomb-making factory in Syria.

Hamayun Tariq, a divorced 37-year-old who was born and raised in Dudley in the West Midlands, shared four images on Twitter of a room where he claims to make devices known as IEDs.

Components are seen organised on shelves and instruction manuals and bomb-making equipment neatly laid out on work surfaces in the room, which the father-of-two says he hopes will emerge as ‘the best Electronics LAB in the Islamic state’

IED lab 2Tariq’s social media presence rarely last longer than a few days before being suspended as he specialises in posting detailed instructions on how to build bombs.

Despite already doing the same on his latest account, the militant has been able to share images of his bomb-making factory, where he boastfully claims to spend time ‘producing sophisticated IEDs’.

Terror: Hamayun Tariq is a divorced, 37-year-old father-of-two who was born and raised in Dudley

Hamayun TariqTariq – who uses the nom de guerre Abu Muslim al-Britani – has methodically arranged the room into areas for building bombs and areas to check their function.

He clearly uses expensive equipment, including high-tech microscopes, laptops and radiation testers while building the IEDs and detailed bomb-making manuals are dotted around the factory.

After posting photographs of his ‘laboratory’, the jihadi wrote on Twitter: ‘IEDs is my favourite weapon after Sniping, u hit the enemy & disappear in thin air just like a Ghost. Its a Must’.

Tariq served a sentence for fraud in the UK before joining ISIS in Syria late last year.

Shortly after joining the terrorist group he began posting detailed explosive-making instructions and encouraging ‘lone wolves’ still living in the West to carry out deadly bomb attacks.

Tariq has previously posted under various Twitter handles but he is usually suspended rarely quickly thanks to bomb-making guides and sickening calls for terror attacks in the UK.

He regularly posted photographs of handwritten instructions explaining how to assemble crude explosive devices and listing the chemicals needed to create deadly poisons.

Read more

ISIS online strategies and recruiting techniques

Credit: REUTERS/Stringer

Credit: REUTERS/Stringer

CSO, By Ira Winkler and Araceli Treu Gomes, April 17, 2015:

In the inaugural edition or our webcast, tentatively named, The Irari Report, we interviewed Jeff Bardin of Treadstone71, who is one of the world’s top experts in infiltrating extremist online activities. The interview covered a wide variety of details about ISIS online activities, their recruiting strategies, and related topics.

Topics that we cover in our interview with Jeff include:

  • What it takes to infiltrate a terrorist online presence
  • What makes people want to join ISIS and commit acts of terror and barbarism
  • What makes teenagers and twenty-somethings more susceptible to ISIS recruiting strategies
  • ISIS’ tiered approach to identifying potential recruits
  • The ISIS scoring system for determining whether someone should be recruited
  • What characteristics does ISIS avoid in a potential recruit
  • Why companies are looking to engage in online intelligence collection
  • What should parents be on the lookout for regarding their teenagers and terrorist recruiters

Jeff Bardin went into great detail on the subject matter, and provides an incredible context on why world events transpire the way they do. He also helps explain the underlying thought process of what leads people to do the inexplicable. This is one of the most fascinating interviews relating to understanding how social networks lead to terrorist recruitment.

Why ISIS Advises Western Jihadists to Carry Nerf Guns and Condoms

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PJ Media, by Bridget Johnson, April 17, 2015:

A guide for jihadists in the West issued by ISIS late last month urges followers to train with Nerf guns and watch Bourne films as part of their under-the-radar preparation for terrorist attacks.

“Many Muslims are putting alot of effort into showing the world that we are peaceful citizens, we’re spending thousands of Euros to do Da’wah (invitation to Islam) campaigns to show how good we are in society, but we’re miserably failing. The leaders of disbelief repeatedly lie in the media and say that we Muslims are all terrorists, while we denied it and wanted to be peaceful citizens,” the manual, How to Survive in the West, says. “But they have cornered us and forced us into becoming radicalised, and that will be the cause of their defeat and be the cause for the conquest of Rome [1].”

“…Those who go on the offensive earlier on will learn how to react in different situations, and will more likely receive martyrdom (shahadah) instead of long-term imprisonment.”

The author of the book is only identified in the foreword as a male who “has been studying the global Jihad for 10+ years.”

Converts to Islam are encouraged to “hide your Islam as much as possible,” such as quickly leaving after Friday prayers instead of mingling at the mosque. Goatees are encouraged to “fulfill the obligation” without growing a full beard. Women are told to wear colored hijabs instead of black ones.

They’re told to alter their first name — “Al instead of Ali, or a neutral name like Adam” — or make up an alias, as jihadists in the Islamic State “are not allowed to tell their real name to anyone in case their friends are captured and
interrogated and reveal the real name of the brothers to the tyrants.” Plus, they argue, an alias with a non-Muslim name would come in handy if they want to get an “important position” such as work in a power plant.

Then comes the question of cold, hard cash: “Before any real Jihad can be fought, Muslims require money.” Conveniently, “in cases of necessity and for survival, Muslims are permitted to get money from ways which are not normally allowed.”

“If you are an expert in credit card fraud, paypal/ebay scams, Phishing, hacking, or you know the secrets of a big company, then take advantage of your skills,” the book advises, emphasizing the crimes in bold. “If you can claim extra benefits from a government, then do so. If you can avoid paying taxes, then do so.” Taking out a loan you’ll never repay and using the money to immigrate to the Islamic State is encouraged, but if you get caught doing this or other scams don’t say you were raising dough for jihad, the guide cautions.

Followers are instructed to keep their Internet and social media history “clean” by using a secure TOR browser and catching up on their jihad news via sources like Al-Jazeera. “Do not engross yourself with too much info or constant browsing. Otherwise you will always have it on your mind and talk about Jihadi events in front of your family and friends.”

Communications tips include writing “lemon ink letters” with code words.

Since “mujahideen run for a few hours, daily, on mountains before having their breakfast,” Western jihadis are advised to run in the park in “three quarter jogging trousers,” learn to jump off walls on Wikihow, and join a climbing club. “If you keep jumping off your back wall, your neighbor might think you’re doing something suspicious and report you to the police, so small things like this are better avoided to bring the least amount of attention to yourself as possible,” the manual states.

And to train on shooting? “You should buy Toy guns (Nerf guns), or Pellet guns or Paintball guns for target practice” — preferably through a kid who won’t raise suspicion. Then, become a gamer. “Playing games like Call of Duty gives you knowledge of techniques used in warfare on different terrains.”

They’re encouraged to move up to “primitive weapons” such as crossbows, hiding them “like treasure maps,” and go camping for survivalist experience, carrying condoms because they hold a liter of water.

The e-book covers how to make six types of bombs, with tips previously published in AQAP’s Inspire magazine: Molotov cocktail, nail bomb, microwave airbag bomb, gas canister bomb, remote controlled bomb, and car bomb. “Practice them with trial and error on a small scale first to make sure you are doing them right.”

Jihadis are cautioned to see if they’re being tailed by intelligence or law enforcement agencies. “You have seen plenty of spy movies in the past, it’s now time you implemented some things you’ve learnt from them. If you don’t know of any, then watch the Bourne Films (Bourne Identity, Bourne Supremacy, Bourne Ultimatum) for tips,” the book states. They’re warned not to get caught in a sting operation: “The answer is quite simple: if someone recruits you or any of the learning youth and commands them to do an attack – you should leave him and not do it.”

And ISIS jihadists in the West shouldn’t call themselves lone wolves, but an ISIS “special services secret agent.”

They’re encouraged to take advantage of symbolic dates for attacks, to target places like synagogues and gas pipelines, and embrace one- or two-man operations like in France.

If one needs to get the heck out of Dodge and can’t make it to Syria or Iraq, “he can escape to the Islamic State in Libya, or Khorasan (Waziristan in Pakistan), or in Nigeria (under Boko Haram territory).”

“Yes, it is difficult to reach them lands, but it is also difficult for the enemy to be confident enough to search for you there. If a Muslim is in them lands and is caught by non Muslims, he can say he is a freelance journalist, but if he is caught by Muslims – he can prove to them he is a Muslim searching to join the Mujahideen,” the book says.

“Secret Agents have to be masters of disguise. If they are a girl, they may do makeup in a style which makes them look totally different (i.e. to make their face look fatter or thinner). They may wear a different colored hair wig due to the necessity of the situation. They might put a prominent beauty spot or fake freckles on their face with a pen which makes them look totally different to who they really are. They will change their clothes style.” Guys can use bushy fake moustaches. “All this can be done in necessity until you can find refuge and safety and the media attention goes away from you. Once the person is safe in the Islamic State, they might ring the cell phone detonator and the car might explode. But they can’t catch you now.”

As a final word of advice, ISIS followers are urged to share the manual by renaming the file first — “something else safe (i.e. How to make cake).”

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IS Supporters on Twitter Wage Anti-American Campaign of Threats

SITE:

Islamic State (IS) supporters on Twitter have launched a campaign of threats against Americans. Unified by the hashtag, “WeWillBurnUSAgain,” the campaign has prompted references to the 9/11 attacks and past lone wolf attacks in the West along with promises for future ones. Content tweeted, along with written messages, included images, videos, and past IS media releases.

The hashtag was first used by the account of “Rabitat al-Ansar,” a pro-IS media group, on April 8, 2015. The message, made in a long series of tweets, announced the hashtag and established its motivation:

We swear that lone wolves are present in all countries of the world and lurking for you. What happened in France is not far from you and will be repeated, but this time in the streets of American cities. The word will be what you see and not what you hear.

The account then specified the date and time which the campaign would take place:

And let your slogan to be today as “I shall not survive if the worshipper of the Cross survived” and Allah permitting, the Media Campaign will be on Friday from 4:30 through

“In a time of lone wolf attacks, and Americans and other Westerners pledging to the Islamic State, this kind of campaign should not be taken lightly,” said SITE Director Rita Katz. “In recent weeks, about 10 Americans were indicted for attempts to act on behalf of the Islamic State, and there are many with every passing day that the group operates on Twitter.”

Currently, the hashtag has exceeded 15,000 uses—the overwhelming majority of which happening on April 10, the campaign’s designated start date.

Within the campaign has been a steady barrage of threats for lone wolf attacks. User “Abu Khattab Ansari 61,” for example, stated bluntly:

every-American-citizen.jpg

The account of “Raiding Battalion,” among the first to promote the campaign, tweeted a series of similar tweets threatening Americans on April 10:

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Such messages also included an array of images showing the destruction of American buildings and monuments, including the White House and the Statue of Liberty:

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One set of images—which included attribution to Media Front for the Support of the Islamic State, a pro-IS media umbrella group, and Rabitat al-Ansar —showed pictures of fighters along with threats toward Americans at home and abroad:

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Dominant in the “WeWillBurnUSAgain” campaign was a focus on the 9/11 attacks in the U.S., with many tweets referencing Usama bin Laden and the fallen World Trade Center—by both text and picture. One such tweet, posted by user “Umm al-Bara’a al-Ansariah,” read:

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Also tweeted with the “#WewillBurnUSAgain” hashtag were specific threats toward soldiers, deriving particularly from the Islamic State Hacking Division’s March 20, 2015release of 100 soldiers’ alleged addresses. One tweet, made by user “Abu Ubaidah,” showed photos of coffins wrapped in U.S. flags along with the message:

coffins.jpg

IS supporters also used the hashtag to forward past IS media releases from al-Hayat Media, IS’s Western-aimed media arm. Releases circulated within the campaign included IS’s beheading video of American citizen James Foley and the July 11, 2014 posthumous video of Canadian IS fighter “Abu Muslim”:

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“This Twitter campaign, along with other ones like it in the past, shows the Islamic State’s skill in forcing itself into Western conversations,” said Katz. “The planning of the hashtag two days prior and the content tweeted by these accounts shows a unified and structured method of online mobilization by the Islamic State and its followers.”

Also see:

Brookings Study of ISIS Twitter Accounts Reveals US among Top Locations

Forbes _ISIS_Twitter_ statista  graphicNER, by Jerry Gordon, March 9, 2015:

A Brookings Institution examination of a complete data set of 20,000 ISIS Twitter accounts ranked Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria and US as the top four locations of twitter users, The ISIS Twitter Census: Defining and Describing the population of ISIS supporters on Twitter.   The authors of the ISIS Twitter census are J.M. Berger and Jonathan Morgan.  Berger “is a non-resident fellow with the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at Brookings and the author of Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam (Potomac Books, 2011) and ISIS: The State of Terror (Ecco, 2015).”  Morgan “is a technologist, data scientist, and startup veteran. He runs technology and product development at CrisisNET, Ushahidi’s streaming crisis data platform, and consults on machine learning and network analysis. Morgan is also co-host of Partially Derivative, a popular data science podcast.”  The Brookings ISIS Twitter project was “commissioned by Google Ideas and published by Brookings”.  The Brookings Saban Middle East Center think tank has had a close relationship with the Obama National Security Council. Use of social media by Islamic extremist groups like ISIS figured prominently in President Obama’s recent, Summit to Counter Violent Extremism. See our March 2015 NER article; Did President Obama’s Violent Extremism Conference Fail?

Notwithstanding the provenance of the Brookings Twitter Census report, the data and methodology are credible and revealing of  how ISIS and supporters use social media.  The authors noted three classes of Twitter users as a precaution interpreting the study results:

Covert supporters of ISIS:

Users who took medium to strong steps to conceal their support due to fear of prosecution or suspension by Twitter. Users who took only casual steps to disguise their support were generally detectable.

Pro-ISIS intelligence operatives:

Some users who follow accounts related to the enemies of ISIS, such as rival jihadists, would be coded as non-supporters under the conservative criteria we employed.

Anti-ISIS intelligence operatives:

These are accounts created to appear as ISIS supporters in order to allow ISIS’s enemies to monitor its activities, which would be coded as supporters (if done effectively).

twitter_location2

Locations of ISIS Twitter Accounts

Source: The ISIS Twitter Census, Brookings Institution, 2015

 

Here is the  Twitter Census Data Snapshot drawn from the Brookings study:

Best estimate of total number of overt ISIS supporter accounts on Twitter:

46,000

Maximum estimate of ISIS supporter accounts on Twitter:

90,000

Number of accounts analyzed for demographics information:

20,000

Estimated percentage of overt ISIS supporters in demographics data set:

93.2 percent (+/- 2.54 percent)

Period over which data was collected:

October 4 through November

27, 2014, with some seed data collected in late September 2014

Top Locations of Accounts:

“Islamic State,” Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, US

Most common year accounts were created:

2014

Most common month accounts were created:

September 2014

Number of accounts detected using bots and deceptive spam tactics:

6,216 using bot or spam technology for some tweets; 3,301 accounts were excluded from the Demographics Dataset for primarily sending bot or spam content

Average number of tweets per day per user:

7.3 over lifetime of account, 15.5 over last 200 tweets by user

Average number of tweets per user (Over lifetime of the Account):

2,219

Average number of followers:

1,004

Smartphone usage:

69 percent Android, 30 percent iPhone,

1 percent Blackberry

Among the principal findings from the Brookings Twitter Census were:

  • From September through December 2014, the authors estimate that at least 46,000 Twitter accounts were used by ISIS supporters, although not all of them were active at the same time.
  • Typical ISIS supporters were located within the organization’s territories in Syria and Iraq, as well as in regions contested by ISIS. Hundreds of ISIS-supporting accounts sent tweets with location metadata embedded.
  • Almost one in five ISIS supporters selected English as their primary language when using Twitter. Three quarters selected Arabic.
  • ISIS-supporting accounts had an average of about 1,000 followers each, considerably higher than an ordinary Twitter user. ISIS-supporting accounts were also considerably more active than non-supporting users.
  • A minimum of 1,000 ISIS-supporting accounts were suspended by Twitter between September and December 2014. Accounts that tweeted most often and had the most followers were most likely to be suspended.
  • Much of ISIS’s social media success can be attributed to a relatively small group of hyperactive users, numbering between 500 and 2,000 accounts, which tweet in concentrated bursts of high volume.

Based on their analysis, the authors concluded:

Recommend social media companies and the U.S government work together to devise appropriate responses to extremism on social media. Approaches to the problem of extremist use of social media, Berger and Morgan contend, are most likely to succeed when they are mainstreamed into wider dialogues among the broad range of community, private, and public stakeholders.

Our assessment is that given the close Brookings Middle East Center liaison with the Obama National Security Council and Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy, Richard Stengel, the latter tasked with social media counter messaging,  that little follow will occur. That is reflected in Google sponsorship of this Brookings Twitter Census report and overarching concerns of social media like Facebook, Google YouTube, Twitter and  Instagram about maintaining Constitutional guarantees of free speech.  These social media would prefer to establish their own criteria for suspending terrorists and supporters accounts.  Monitoring and development of metadata from  ISIS Twitter supporters in the West, especially in the US and the UK, should be left to counter terrorism intelligence echelons or private groups like SITE Intelligence Group and effective individuals like our colleague Joseph Shahda. Congressional Homeland Security and Select Intelligence Committees should hold hearings and investigations into current terrorist social media surveillance, especially for those US ISIS accounts identified in the Brookings ISIS Twitter Census.

Also see:

VA ISIS Suspect Linked to Islamist Clothing Shop; Jihadis in Iran

jihadist-shirts-IPBy Ryan Mauro:

A teenage supporter of the Islamic State (ISIS) has been arrested in Virginia for acting as a liaison between ISIS members in the Middle East and sympathizers outside the region, but research into the individual’s associations indicate he was part of a larger terrorist network.

He is described as a “brilliant kid” who was a freelance writer covering digital currencies, but he’s also linked to a jihadist clothing shop with a phone number in the northern Virginia area. This shop appears to be directly connected to a Balochi terrorist group in Iran.

The suspect is unnamed because he is 17-years old and a juvenile. The Clarion Project is likewise withholding his name. Authorities are hoping to try him as an adult.

The student maintained contact with ISIS members and is known to have arranged for another individual to join the terrorist group in Syria. No information about that individual has been disclosed, including whether he or she is an American.

Authorities also looked into another student at his school, Osbourn Park High School, but found he was only a “minor player.” No further details have been given about this second student.

Associates of the suspect described him as a loner who was “pretty quiet” and did not leave the house much. There is no evidence yet that he expressed his Islamist extremism to fellow students, friends or his work supervisor.

His LinkedIn page said he supports two Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups accused of also being tied to Hamas: The Council on American-Islamic Relations  and Islamic Relief Worldwide, which has an American branch headquartered in Virginia. He was specifically supportive of CAIR’s New York chapter whose leadership is exceptionally supportive of Hamas.

Both groups are banned by the Muslim country of the United Arab Emirates as terrorist entities. Israel banned Islamic Relief Worldwide last summer for allegedly financing Hamas.

The Virginia student was radicalized as early as August 2013. A piece he authored has been discovered that was written for an Islamist extremist clothing shop. It is unknown if he wore the attire to school but if he did then this could be another example of citizen negligence.

Affiliation with Islamist Clothing Shop

The article was written for a now-defunct website named Islamica Online that sells “Sharia-compliant” clothing for websites. The attire is militant in nature with slogans about jihad and images of AK-47s. Its multiple social media pages repeatedly and enthusiastically distributed his pieces.

A saved image of the website shows that it is based in South Africa but it has a contact number with an area code in the northern Virginia area. It also had a number for Europe/Middle East and Africa/Asia.

The suspect’s viewpoint was that Islam justifies slavery and it is a better alternative to execution or isolation:

“Upon careful analysis of slavery in Islam, one can clearly see that it is intended as a method of peacefully reintegrating former belligerents into a society. Instead of executing enemy forces, or their women and children, they are made as slaves and given human rights whereupon they will learn to except [sic] the Muslims who defeated them, and learn the kindness of Muslim culture and Islam.

“As a practical and beneficial alternative to long-lasting social and cultural strife, this practice immediately brings the conquered soldiers closer to the Muslims and eases any kind of animosity they once harbored. It is a method of getting these individuals ready for a new society, and providing them with the resources to succeed in preparation for integrating them into it, and eventually making them average citizens. This is a system far superior to simply executing captured enemy soldiers or allowing societal rifts to persist.”

ISIS openly engages in slavery but it also executes captives. The suspect is not opposed to executing enemies, but he feels slavery is a better alternative. This apparently was a negligible disagreement for the suspect.

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The Lessons

Islamica’s advertising emphasizes that you can be Sharia-compliant and sylish all at once. This is yet another example of how ISIS is presenting itself as the “cool” jihadists to reach the next generation. This arrest is a microcosm of a larger strategy.

This could also be a teaching moment for civilians. It is very possible that he wore this clothing to school and shared his articles on social media accounts. It has become a pattern to find that terrorists expressed their sympathies online and apparently no one says anything about it.

The very nature of radicalism makes it difficult for Islamist extremists to keep their mouths shut and their social media cleansed. If you’re so dedicated to something that you’re willing to die or go to jail for it, then it’ll be hard not to talk about it. In fact, radicals may feel an obligation to promote their beliefs as part of dawaah (Islam’s required proselytizing).

The Department of Homeland Security’s campaign for citizen awareness is “If you see something, say something.” The website’s explanation focuses on very vague actions that could indicate planning for an attack; not statements revealing dangerous intentions.

This student’s essay on the positive attributes of Islamic slavery or possible wearing of jihadist clothing with AK-47s would slip right under the radar. Even a declaration of support for ISIS wouldn’t necessarily qualify. It’s no surprise that Islamist radicalism often goes unreported when civilians have no idea what to look for and no idea what to say.

The third lesson is that we need to stop distinguishing between Islamist extremists. It is easy to dismiss one’s connection to a Balochi extremist group. It’s not Al-Qaeda. It’s not ISIS. And the Iranian Balochi are primary concerned with the Iranian regime and we’re preoccupied, so focus elsewhere.

This stems from seeing the common Islamist extremist bond between all these groups. It doesn’t much matter where the primary enemy is Iran because the jihadist is in Balochistan or Bashar Assad because the jihadist happens to reside in Syria or Israel because the jihadist lives in Gaza.

The threat is the ideology common to all of them. If you’re involved in a caliphate-promoting, jihad-preaching, anti-Western group like Ansar al-Furqan, it isn’t too far of a step to join a caliphate-promoting, jihad-preaching, anti-Western group like ISIS.

There is still much to learn about this Virginia student’s path to radicalization but it looks like Ansar al-Furqan formed the ideological foundation for him to join ISIS.

The State Department needs to recognize the interconnectedness of the Islamist terrorist threat and designate Ansar al-Furqan and its two component groups as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. And more importantly, we need a broader ideological strategy against Islamism instead of chasing its many manifestations independently.

Read more at Clarion Project

***

Published on Mar 6, 2015 by EnGlobal News World

Feds warn about American teens wanting to join ISIS. What law enforcement needs to look out for

Also see:

Prevention: A Role for Everyone

Radicalization and prevention is a community issue that will more and more involve social media and the need for users and responsible corporate partners to do their part. As we are seeing the police simply do not have the resources to do it all. If we had endless budgets and resources we could follow and monitor individuals around the clock but that isn’t realistic nor sustainable. If we tackle the issue from a medical model it will mean delivering prevention techniques to those individuals at risk earlier in order to prevent the scenes that we saw recently in Ottawa and Sydney. Everyone has a role in prevention and governments at all levels will need to do more to empower the community, religious organizations and parents to recognize what radicalization looks like and methods for preventing it. At a corporate level, with respect to terrorist’s use of social media, with corporations boasting record profits and share prices the argument that they are ill equipped to deal with the problem seems like a weak one to me. It’s time they start engaging with the experts and thinking out of the box on tackling the issues and doing their part.

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Good resources —>

ISIS Is Skilled on Twitter, Using Thousands of Accounts, Study Says

isis_twitter_census_coverNYT, by MARCH 5, 2015:

The Islamic State, the violent extremist group that espouses a return to a seventh-century caliphate, has been astonishingly successful at spreading its message using 21st-century social media, according to a study released Thursday.

Despite repeated attempts by Twitter to thwart the Islamic State’s threats, propaganda and online recruiting by suspending accounts associated with the group, sympathizers have maintained thousands of active accounts on the social network, the study said. The users include a disciplined core group that sends messages frequently and understands how to maximize its impact.

“Jihadists will exploit any kind of technology that will work to their advantage,” said J.M. Berger, an expert on online extremism who was the lead author of the study, a collaboration of the Brookings Institution and Google Ideas. But the Islamic State, he said, “is much more successful than other groups.”

The release of the study came as Twitter, the San Francisco-based social media giant with more than 288 million active users worldwide, has moved more aggressively to suspend accounts linked to the Islamic State.

The group, also known as ISIS and ISIL, which is ensconced in parts of Syria and Iraq, has used the social network to publicize executions of prisoners, including beheadings and at least one immolation, and to espouse death, violence and hatred for all perceived enemies.

Twitter’s crackdown on the group has led to death threats against the company’s leaders and employees.

Mr. Berger said the threats against Twitter reflected, to some degree, the Islamic State’s increased reliance on open social media forums, a Western invention that seems incongruous with militants’ desire for restoring the caliphates that once ruled vast areas of the Middle East.

The 92-page report found that a minimum of 46,000 Twitter accounts operate on behalf of the Islamic State. The study, titled “The ISIS Twitter Census,” was the first public attempt to measure the influence of Islamic State members or their sympathizers on social media.

“ISIS has been able to exert an outsized impact on how the world perceives it,” the study said.

The report also asserted that at least 1,000 accounts supportive of the Islamic State, and possibly many more, were suspended by Twitter between September and December.

Executives at Twitter, which did not provide assistance for the report, said the study had significantly underestimated the number of suspensions. They declined to comment on the report’s specific findings, but they did not dispute an ABC News report that they had recently shut down 2,000 Islamic State accounts in a single week.

The company said in a statement, “We review all reported content against our rules, which prohibit unlawful use and direct, specific threats of violence against others.”

Read more

Also see:

Islamic State’s female jihadists use social media to lure women recruits

femrecruisocmed-e1425062775161LWJ, BY MALLORY SHELBOURNE, Feb. 27, 2015:

Jihadist women are using social media to recruit other women for the Islamic State’s declared “caliphate.” The practice is not a new phenomenon. Western females who have migrated to the Islamic State have used various online platforms to lure young women into jihad in Syria. These recruiters hail from a variety of Western countries, including Norway, Canada, the United Kingdom, Austria, France, the Netherlands, and the US.

On February 14, the al-Khans’aa Media Brigade, the women’s media arm of the al-Battar Media Foundation, tweeted a set of photos encouraging women to defend the caliphate and fight its enemies through what it calls an “economic war,” “ideological war,” and “electronic war.” One of the images reads “active participation in their hash tags, and discussion forums as much as possible (electronic war).” While the same image advocates that women boycott products “of the oppressive crusade” for the “economic war,” it suggests women fight the “ideological war” by abstaining from the lifestyles of the crusaders and “revealing the hatred towards them.”

Similar to various Islamic State propaganda material purportedly produced by women and for women, the images stress the important role women play in the home. Specifically, one message states that a way to begin in the home is “by teaching those under your custody (kids) to hate the cross and its people, for this is the first step in making a Mujahid generation.” Echoing this message, this week, the Islamic State attacked multiple Assyrian Christian villages in Syria and took inhabitants hostage. The amount of residents captured varies across press reports, but the Assyrian Human Rights Network claims the number of Christians kidnapped is as high as 262 .

The emphasis on the role of women in the home was also seen in last month’s manifesto released by the al-Khans’aa Brigade, the all-female group known for enforcing strict sharia law in the militant group’s stronghold of Raqqa, Syria. [See LWJ report, Islamic State al-Khans’aa Brigade publishes manifesto for women.] Additionally, the images released on Twitter and the manifesto both reference the West and its corruption of Muslims. One image mentioning the West touts that the caliphate “took the imprisoned women out of the prisons of Westernization which humiliated the women, and downed their positions.”

The electronic war aspect of the jihadist group’s campaign is a tactic that female Islamic State recruiters have employed in the past to bring western women to Syria, most notably in the recent case of the three British girls who traveled to the caliphate, in addition to the October case of three girls from Denver, Colorado, who attempted to migrate to the Islamic State but were stopped in Frankfurt, Germany and sent back home. The New York Times recently reported that one of the British girls had sent a Twitter message to Aqsa Mahmood, also known as Umm Layth, prior to their journey. Mahmood, who left her home in Scotland in November 2013 to join the Islamic State, is known for her Tumblr blog and propaganda tweets encouraging Western women to migrate to the caliphate. And, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, one of the Denver, Colorado girls had been in contact with another female Islamic State recruiter known as Umm Waqqas. Umm Waqqas and Umm Layth were also in contact with each other via Twitter.

According to a July report in the Financial Times, jihadist women use various social media platforms, including Kik, Twitter, and Tumblr, to help potential migrants travel to Syria. The question and answer website Ask.fm has also become a popular platform for jihadists, and in the case of one of the Colorado teens, shows evidenceof her radicalization over time.

In September, the Telegraph reported that several British women joined the al-Khans’aa Brigade, including Mahmood. While women living under the caliphate, including the al-Khans’aa Brigade in their recent manifesto, glorify life in the Islamic State on their social media accounts, reports directly contradict these descriptions. A November United Nations report detailed the many atrocities perpetrated by the Islamic State’s fighters. Furthermore, activist members of the group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently describe the al-Khans’aa Brigade females as a threat to their efforts to expose the Islamic State’s brutality.

Also see:

Western Intelligence Services Overwhelmed by Jihadist Propaganda

Published on Feb 25, 2015 by EnGlobal News World

By JACK MOORE,

“You are strong, smart, beautiful and we are hoping you will make the right decision. We miss you more that you can imagine. We are worried and we want you to think about what you have left behind. You had a bright future, so please return home.”

That was emotional plea to Amira Abase from her devastated family after they learned that the 15-year-old had got on a flight from Gatwick to Turkey with two friends Kadiza Sultana and Shamima Begum, 16 and 15, in what police think is an attempt to travel to Syria to join Islamic State as ‘jihadi brides’.

However, along with the sadness, there was also anger after it emerged that the three girls, all pupils at London’s Bethnal Green Academy, had been contacted on Twitter by Aqsa Mahmood, 20, another woman who had flown to Syria from Glasgow in 2013 to join the terror group. with the Mahmood family saying that the British intelligence services, who had been monitoring Aqsa’s account, having “serious questions to answer”.

“Sadly, despite all the government’s rhetoric on ISIS,” the Mahmood family said in a statement, “if they can’t even take basic steps to stop children leaving to join ISIS, what is the point of any new laws?”

That the radicalisation of three teenagers by a known jihadist on a major platform such as Twitter points to major flaws in the strategies being employed by Western intelligence services, with experts saying that they are being overrun by the sheer scale of extremist propaganda online.

The UK Home Office admits the problem, saying that such propaganda “can directly influence people who are vulnerable to radicalisation”. To tackle this perceived bedroom radicalisation, the Home Office say they are cooperating with social media companies and civil society groups, divulging figures that reveal the takedown of unlawful terrorist material online has almost tripled.

While the Home Office could not divulge government spending figures on the battle against online extremism, it revealed that, from 2010 to 2013, 19,000 pieces of online extremist material were removed from websites by the British government’s Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) in comparison with 56,000 pieces since December 2013 alone, marking an almost 300% rise. Other members of the US-led coalition against ISIS are also increasing their online counter-terror efforts. Australia’s attorney general, George Brandis, announced last week that Canberra would be dedicating $18m (€12.38m) to the closure of websites and social media accounts which proliferate terrorist propaganda.

The British government is also obtaining more information from tech companies – with 194 information requests made to Twitter last year compared to 82 the year before, and 1,906 data requests to Facebook in the second half of 2013 in comparison with 2,110 in the first half of last year. Home Secretary Theresa May called on tech and social media companies to do more to prevent material being circulated on their platforms at a summit on extremism at the White House last week.

“All companies should take a zero-tolerance approach to the use of their systems by extremists,” she told the conference. “I firmly believe that they have a social responsibility to ensure that their platforms are not being abused for extremist or terrorist purposes.”

However, experts argue that, while more and more pieces of extremist material are being removed from the eyes of impressionable Brits, Britain’s security services are overwhelmed to the point that this “cat and mouse” strategy is being rendered ineffective.

Read more at Newsweek

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‘What are you waiting for?’: Slick new ISIS campaign puts new face on homegrown terror

The French-speaking ISIS fighters show their faces, an indication that they have no intention of coming back to France. (Screengrab courtesy of TRAC)

The French-speaking ISIS fighters show their faces, an indication that they have no intention of coming back to France. (Screengrab courtesy of TRAC)

Fox News, By Malia Zimmerman, February 09, 2015:

Buoyed by the Islamist terror attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, ISIS has continued a slick campaign with the twisted theme, “What are you waiting for?” and featuring fresh-faced jihadists urging radicals in French-speaking countries to stay put and kill innocents.

In one video released online last week, titled, “Blow Up France 2,” a masked jihadist bearing an assault weapon exhorts Muslims to continue terror attacks in that country.

“Don’t give up and particularly don’t lower your weapons, don’t surrender — kill. Today, it’s our darwa — kill them. You now have more than 4 million targets,” the jihadist said in French.

Just hours after the video release, Moussa Coulibaly, 30, allegedly stabbed three French soldiers on patrol near a Jewish community center in Nice. The police officers, who were on anti-terror patrol, were not seriously hurt. Coulibaly, 31, who shares the surname of Amedy Coulibaly, the gunman who killed four people at a Jewish supermarket in Paris on Jan. 9 in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attack, was nabbed near the scene.

“These video releases mark the significant push that Islamic State is having toward Francophone recruitment,” Veryan Khan, of the Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium (TRAC), a Florida-based global research firm specializing in political violence and terrorism. “If it also results in transnational attacks outside the Sham, then that is just gravy on top of the plate for them.”

Some of the propaganda also bears English subtitles, indicating they aim to recruit Westerners. Islamic State has so far put out four of the French-language videos asking the question “What are you waiting for?” beginning in November. The initial video called on foreign fighters to attack their host country if they cannot join Islamic State in the caliphate.

“ISIS did not want this exclusively for a French audience,” said Ryan Mauro, security analyst for the Clarion Project, an educational group focused on Islamist extremism. “The group wanted to send a message to Americans, as well.”

Recent videos feature a series of man-on-the-street style interviews asking jihadists their opinions on everything from the murder of Jordanian air force pilot Moath al-Kaseasbeh, who was burned alive in January by ISIS leaders while trapped in a cage, to the beheading of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto.

One of the seven jihadists featured in the most recent video is likely Hayat Boumeddiene, the 26-year-old widow of Amedy Coulibaly, according to French authorities. French police killed Coulibaly, 32, after he murdered four hostages in the Paris supermarket Hyper Cacher. Boumeddiene, last seen Jan. 12 in a surveillance video at the Istanbul Airport, is now French law enforcement’s “most wanted” woman and is believed to have joined ISIS in Syria or Iraq.

The supermarket siege came two days after 12 people were murdered in an attack on Charlie Hebdo, the news outlet known for its controversial series of cartoons mocking followers of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. Although that attack was linked to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Amedy Coulibaly is believed to have been a follower of Islamic State.

“Ever since the Charlie Hebdo attacks ‘avenged’ the prophet, there has been a growing trend to justify terrorist acts, such as this murder, by claiming it was an act of vengeance,” Khan said. “Just this week in Sinai, Egypt, ISIS released a video titled, ‘We Swear We Will Revenge.’”

Khan believes the videos, along with other recruitment efforts, are having an impact.

“It’s very possible that the Paris attacks were influenced by this video, which was extremely popular with the Twitter crowd,” Khan said.

Islamic State is making videos targeting the French because they are having success there, said Mauro.

“In the aftermath of the Paris attacks and the latest attack on French soldiers, ISIS knows that will generate attention,” he said.

In the videos, the French-speaking fighters boldly show their faces in some of the videos, indicating they have no intention of returning to France, Khan said.

“The theme of most of their interviews is that France is no place for a Muslim, as they cannot truly actualize their faith in that country,” Khan said.

France is not a country where citizenship, culture or birth can make you French, Khan said, as national identity is in a number of factors not attainable by outsiders.

“Add to this the measures France has taken to protect itself against the insider threat it faces, including banning the niqab (veil or mask), plus the usual complaints that Western religious freedom actually oppresses Muslims by exposing them to what they find morally reprehensible, and there you get the reason for their repeated, triumphal rejection of France,” Khan said.

The videos also call on jihadists to rise up in Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and the West. Khan believes the videos and other Islamic State tactics have even inspired attacks on law enforcement in France and Canada.

Islamic State is undoubtedly the terrorist group that has been most successful in their online media strategies, Mauro said.

“This successful strategy has enabled ISIS to win over the next generation of jihadists,” Mauro said. “A young radical can feel as if he or she is part of an actual community in the jihadist online world and, unlike Al Qaeda, ISIS can actually claim to be seizing ground and making progress. These videos help ISIS supporters feel as if they are part of an exciting turning point in Islamic history.”