FBI Sting Nets Two Chicago Area ISIS Supporters

IPT, by John Rossomando  •  Apr 13, 2017

Two Chicago area men face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of providing material support to ISIS Joseph D. Jones and Edward Schimenti, both 35, were arrested Wednesday morning. They tried to provided ISIS cellphones and personnel, an FBI affidavit alleges.

The supplies were given instead to an FBI informant. Jones, aka “Yusuf Abdulhaqq,” and Schimenti, aka “Abdul Wali,” thought the phones would be used to detonate improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Jones told an undercover FBI employee he declared his allegiance – or bayah – to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

They also worked to help the informant travel overseas to fight for ISIS and encouraged him to get into fighting shape, the affidavit said. Jones and Schimenti told the informant to be careful and avoid law enforcement detection.

The sting began in September 2015, when Jones met an undercover FBI employee. The meeting took place inside the Zion Police Department, where Jones was being interviewed about a friend’s recent murder. Both Jones and Schimenti expressed support when the undercover later said he wanted to join ISIS.

Other undercover agents tricked Jones and Schimenti into thinking their new friend did make it to Syria.

A year ago, Jones and Schimenti posed for pictures holding an ISIS flag at the entrance to the Illinois Beach State Park in Zion, Ill. Jones sent the picture to another undercover FBI agent with whom he communicated online. ISIS supporters also posted the image after a fourth undercover FBI employee asked Jones’ permission to share it via social media.

Jones also made numerous statements endorsing violent jihad on his Google+ account under the name “Yusuf Abdulahad,” the complaint said. Among other things, Jones called moderate Muslims “weak minded material loving sellouts.” He also called jihad the “best deed” and praised martyrdom.

Schimenti made similar posts using the Google + account “Ed Schimenti.” “Kuffar [unbelievers], we are coming to slay you,” Schimenti wrote in an April 2015 post.

In February, Schimenti and Jones met the informant for a workout at a Zion gym. When the informant said the workout would help prepare for fighting, Schimenti responded, “Right, right, right…it’s about that strength and that endurance.”

Jones and Schimenti worked with the informant last month to collect cellphones.  They believed the phones would be sent to ISIS and used as bomb detonators.  Last week, the two drove the informant to O’Hare Airport, thinking he was traveling to Syria to fight for ISIS.

Jones said he was ashamed not to be going, too. Schimenti said he wanted the informant to “drench that land with they, they blood.”

Warfare goes digital in the 21st century

Cyber Warfare Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Washington Times, b, March 29, 2017:

Russia’s intelligence service hacks Democratic Party computer networks and puts out stolen emails in a bid to influence the 2016 election. China says it owns 90 percent of the South China Sea and begins building military bases under a vague historical claim to the strategic waterway. Iranian hackers break into American banks and a water control computer network at an upstate New York dam. Welcome to the new form of conflict in the 21st century: information warfare.

American adversaries have found asymmetric ways to attack and are waging sophisticated information warfare operations — both technical cyber-attacks and soft power influence and disinformation campaigns designed to achieve strategic objectives.

The U.S. government remains completely ignorant of the threat and lacks ways to deal with this new form of warfare. The Cold War-era U.S. Information Agency (USIA), the last semi-autonomous agency used for promoting America was disbanded in 1999. Its functions were folded into the State Department and the result has been diplomacy-impaired information programs.

The government also remains stuck with the 20th century role of “telling America’s story” while adversaries are spending billions on cable propaganda and other outlets are seek discredit and denigrate the United States.

There also are no effective institutions for countering lies and deception by foreign states. When pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine’s Donbass region in 2014 launched a Russian Buk surface-to-air missile against a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet, killing all 283 people on board, Russia’s extensive propaganda Wurlitzer swung into action. RT, the state-run cable propaganda outlet successfully muted criticism of Russia by putting out sophisticated misinformation. The Russian narrative argued the jetliner was downed by a Ukrainian surface-to-air missile or by air-to-air cannon fire. Moscow even supplied forged satellite imagery found to have been taken from a video game to bolster its false claim that an air-to-air missile took down the jet.

The disinformation sowed confusion and doubt in the West. To date, Moscow has paid no price for its role in the crime.

For the past eight years under President Obama, the U.S. government largely ignored these new and increasingly sophisticated information warfare threats. The Obama administration’s operating assumption was that in the cosmopolitan world, nation-state enemies don’t really exist. The only real foes are the extremist terror groups like the Islamic State.

Yet the entire U.S.-led conflict against terror groups like al Qaeda and the Islamic State has relied heavily on kinetic military and intelligence strikes while farming out to questionable Middle East states the ideological counter-ideological warfare programs designed to discredit the Islamist political narrative motivating terrorists’ campaigns of suicide bombings, beheadings, sex slavery and other atrocities.

“Cyberwarfare and influence campaigns that are being waged against our country represent a national security challenge of generational proportions,” said Rep. Elise Stefanik, New York Republican and chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on emerging threats. “Our core values of truth, democratic principles, and self-determination are under assault,” Ms. Stefanik said at hearing on information warfare earlier this month.

Experts at the hearing testified that the U.S. government lacks an understanding of the threat posed by foreign information warfare, and also has no strategy for countering it.

“Continuing to get this wrong is a threat to our national security, to our economic growth and to our very standing as a world leader,” said Matthew Armstrong, a former official involved in government radio broadcasting and associate fellow in King’s College Center for Strategic Communications.

Mr. Armstrong said he was told by a Russian information official that state-run RT broadcasts would have no audience in the United States “if the American media was doing their jobs.”

The failure of America’s news media in this sphere stems of the Balkanization of news outlets. Coverage by mainstream press outlets today is biased by three central liberal narratives of gender identity, racial issues and climate change, while the conservative media outlets are heavily weighted toward opinion and lack a needed hard news focus.

By contrast, authoritarian regimes suffer no similar fate. They are focused laserlike on promoting propaganda narratives to support strategic goals. For China, it is managing Beijing’s perceived decline of the U.S. superpower. Stealing 22 million records from the Office of Personnel Management supports a covert Big Data program to target the United States for both espionage and influence activities.

For Russia, America remains the main target of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin’s vision of pursuing a pan-Eurasian Russian power that is embattled on all sides by a U.S.-led liberal democratic international cabal.

North Korea’s 2014 cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment over the ribald film “The Interview” aimed at attacking the film industry and choking off American freedom of expression by threatening with terror attacks movie theaters that showed the film. Meanwhile, Pyongyang was given free rein to develop nuclear weapons and missile delivery systems unimpeded — to perpetuate its crimes-against-humanity regime with a growing arsenal of nuclear missiles.

Iran’s information operations are designed to further the strategic goals of the Islamist regime, the world’s deadliest state sponsor of global terrorism, as Tehran works to emerge from the chaos of the Middle East as the dominant regional power.

Social media have emerged as another platform in the forefront of information warfare as terrorists use Twitter, Facebook and other outlets to recruit terrorists and spread propaganda.

These foreign information warfare programs are growing in both scale and sophistication while American public diplomacy and counter-disinformation efforts remain minuscule.

The Trump administration urgently needs to recreate a new USIA for the digital age, something I call “Information America.”

This new institution can be established as a government entity similar to the USIA, or a nongovernmental organization funded by philanthropists. A third option would be set up Information America as hybrid government/private-sector organization.

Its mission should be to use truth and facts to counter lies and disinformation. Information America also must begin anew to promote fundamental American ideals and values.

Outgoing Director of National Intelligence James Clapper agreed on the need for a new information entity, something he recently called “a USIA on steroids to fight this information war a lot more aggressively than I think we’re doing right now.”

The first step should be setting up a blue-ribbon panel of information experts — government officials, journalists and others — to quickly formulate a plan for Information America.

The task is urgent in a world filled with violence and hatred. Effective information-based capabilities should become a top priority of the new Trump administration. These programs offer the promise of solving some of the world’s most pressing problems through the use of information as a strategic tool to promote peace and freedom.

• Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and author of “iWar: War and Peace in the Information Age” (Threshold Editions, 2017).

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Flynn’s plan to beat radical Islam starts with schools and social media

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn AP

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn AP

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, February 4, 2017:

President Trump’s national security adviser wants to fight not just Islamic terrorists but the “radical ideology of Islam,” and he plans to do it from the grass roots up, starting with our children at schools while also using social media.

Dealing with the global Islamist threat on a tactical level through drone strikes and arrests hasn’t worked, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn argues, according to his largely overlooked 2016 book, “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies.” He wants to combat it more broadly, using informational warfare, among other things, on a scale not seen since World War II.

But first, he writes, the government has to overcome the political taboo of tying Islamic violence to the religion of Islam, including its sacred texts, which he says the enemy is using as a manual of warfare.

Last week, Trump asked Flynn to work with the Pentagon and other security agencies to draft a comprehensive plan to not only defeat ISIS on the battlefield but “delegitimize its radical Islamist ideology,” and have it on his desk by the end of this month.

Advance details of the plan can be gleaned from Flynn’s book. In it, the 33-year Army veteran proposes discrediting the “evil (religious) doctrines” motivating jihadists — namely the Islamic rewards for martyrdom (or suicidal terrorism) and the totalitarian tenets of Sharia law — using psy-ops and counter-propaganda, not just through federal government channels but also through “our schools, media and social networks.”

“If we can’t tackle enemy doctrines that call for our domination or extinction,” Flynn writes, “we aren’t going to destroy their jihadis.”

He says in the book that the government may have to draft digital media giants to help “wage ideological warfare” against radical Islam: “We can’t possibly have an effective campaign against Radical Islamic ideology without the cooperation of the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter.”

He also wants to use radio and TV to conduct psychological warfare.

“It’s long past time for us to denounce the many evils of Radical Islam,” he writes, while highlighting the many defeats of ISIS and al Qaeda to show potential recruits that “the Almighty has changed sides in the holy war.”

Fired by former President Barack Obama from the Defense Intelligence Agency for taking such stands, Flynn vows to reverse the longstanding government practice of whitewashing the violent nature of the enemy’s faith through pleasant platitudes like, “The terrorists are hijacking a religion of peace” and other apologia. He calls such policies “Islamophilia,” and complains they border on appeasement.

“I firmly believe that Radical Islam is a tribal cult, and must be crushed,” he writes.

In his book, Flynn says the Islamist enemy studies our culture “very carefully” and excels at “identifying our weaknesses,” while we, on the other hand, have done very little to exploit weak points in their ideology. We suffer pangs of guilt just “calling them by name and identifying them as fanatical killers acting on behalf of a failed civilization.”

That “failed civilization,” he notes, is Islam, and he says the government must publicly point out its failures, from depressed economies to high illiteracy rates to oppression of women, while supporting “a complete reformation of the Islamic religion” throughout the Muslim world.

He suggests working closely with the president of Egypt, who has called for a renewal of Islam. He also praises reforms pushed by Singapore to convince Muslims that there’s no requirement to follow Sharia in a secular state and that Allah hasn’t blessed jihad against the West. He also cites the half dozen countries that have banned Islamic headscarves around the world.

“We’ve got to get inside the minds of the jihadis” and understand the doctrinal justification for “the cult of killing, the worship of death” and why they, literally, “eagerly drink the blood of their dying enemies,” Flynn writes. What in their scripture brainwashes them into thinking, “We love death more than you love life?” Once that doctrine is exposed, it can be undermined to the point where it loses its potency.

In his 2016 book, Flynn writes ““I firmly believe that Radical Islam is a tribal cult, and must be crushed.”Getty Images

In his 2016 book, Flynn writes ““I firmly believe that Radical Islam is a tribal cult, and must be crushed.”Getty Images

“People need to recognize the strategic power of words and pictures,” Flynn writes. “Ideas, and the words that express them, are very much a part of war, but we have deliberately deprived ourselves of using them.”

He proposes using a modern psy-ops unit to wage psychological warfare against radical Islam — not just abroad but at home, in the American Muslim community.

“The war against Radical Islamists must begin at home,” he writes. “Muslims want to apply Sharia law by using our own legal system to strengthen what many believe to be a violent religious law that has no place in the United States,” he writes, adding the government must stop implying Islamic and Western civilizations “are morally equivalent.”

“Let us accept what we were founded upon: a Judeo-Christian ideology built on a moral set of rules and laws,” he writes. “Let us not fear, but instead fight those who want to impose Sharia law and their Radical Islamist views.”

The West overcame the fascist ideology of the Nazis and Imperial Japanese with ruthlessly effective counter-propaganda. Likewise, defeating the jihadists will require discrediting the Islamofascist ideology that catalyzes them.

“There has to be an entirely new strategy,” Flynn insists, “because nothing we are doing seems to be a winning strategy” after 15 years of war.

“We can’t win this war by treating Radical Islamic terrorists as a handful of crazies and dealing with them as a policing issue,” he writes. “The political and theological underpinnings of their immoral actions have to be demolished.”

Sperry is editor of CounterJihad.com and author of “Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington.”

The First Weapon Against Lone Terrorists: Big Data Analytics

cyberby Yaakov Lappin
Special to IPT News
August 5, 2016

European security and intelligence agencies are scrambling to regroup and reorganize following a steady, growing flow of jihadist atrocities. They have a steep learning curve ahead of them when it comes to thwarting terrorism.

To do so, European governments will need to greatly expand budgets for domestic and overseas intelligence operations, create international security cooperation, and enable real-time intelligence sharing, on a scale not seen before. They will also need to deploy wide-reaching signals intelligence capabilities that will build up a database of leads, for monitoring and arresting suspects. Such tactics work very well against transnational terror networks which involve ISIS command centers in Syria and Iraq dispatching cells to the West, or with localized cells in Western cities acting under the influence of ISIS ideology.

Yet even a country like Israel, which arguably has the biggest scope of counter-terrorism experience on Earth, has not been able to prevent a different type of terrorism, which led to a succession of Palestinian attacks that began last year. In most cases, alert security forces and members of the public responded quickly to neutralize the attackers, but the fact remains that Israel’s vaunted intelligence services had not been able to thwart these attacks, and for good reason.

The vast majority of “successful” terrorism that got through Israel’s security net is of the “lone-wolf” kind. These are Palestinian attackers who woke up one morning, and, influenced by a potent concoction of jihadist incitement to violence and personal triggers, decided that would be the day that they open fire, run over, or stab their victims and die in the process.

The organized kind of terrorism has reared its head rarely in Israel in recent months and years, due to the nightly arrests and 24-7 intelligence-gathering work that thwarts these threats, and prevents Israeli cities from turning into perpetual war zones.

Organized terrorist cells leave behind tracks, such as instructions via phone calls or internet communications, the transfer of money, suspicious purchases of chemicals and weapons, and other warnings signals that can be picked up by a well-funded, hi-tech national intelligence agency with good human intelligence coverage on the ground too.

The lone attacker, on the other hand, does not usually communicate with others and can easily move under the radar of national security forces, at least until now.

Israeli security officials have begun employing a new weapon in the war against lone attackers: Big data analytics. This new counter-terrorism measure could prove to be equally useful and life saving in the West, where cities are increasingly being attacked by lone terrorists inspired by ISIS’s murderous ideology.

Although it is still under development, Israel’s Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency and other security groups have begun using advanced algorithms to sift through a vast volume of social media activity. Their goal is to search for the small – yet deadly – needles in a haystack of online information, and find warning signs pointing to an individual who is primed to strike.

The old thinking, that lone attackers do not communicate with others, may have been wrong, it turns out. They may, in fact, be communicating with the entire world through social media, and if anyone cares to listen to them attentively enough, their murderous intentions might be foiled. The precise details of this technique remain classified, but it is being used on an increasing basis by Israeli security agencies monitoring Palestinian threats.

The internet remains the prime recruitment tool used by ISIS to convert Muslims in Europe into terrorists, and ISIS has expressed a preference for those keen on carrying out acts of jihad to do so on their Western home turf, rather than travel to the caliphate.

Within Israel’s battle against Palestinian terrorism, big data analytics have begun to work, and for the first time, a number of lone attackers were arrested before they could pounce, according to security sources.

Security forces have recently issued warnings to individuals marked as potential future lone attackers, making clear the repercussions of such acts on their families. After terror attacks, the government of Israel often orders the army to demolish the home of the perpetrators.

The number of lone attackers has decreased in recent months for a variety of reasons, and big data countermeasures appear to be among them.

Security forces have begun monitoring Facebook pages of young people who have praised past acts of murder and express desire to become martyrs. Most of those who express jihadist sentiments do not go on to the action stage, but a minority of suspects do, and the correct algorithms can help identify them.

The system remains far from perfect, and security sources say much more work is needed to improve results. It is, however, the first time that technology is being used not only to break up budding, organized terrorism cells, but also to track down and arrest the lone wolves before they pounce.

Yaakov Lappin is the Jerusalem Post’s military and national security affairs correspondent, and author of The Virtual Caliphate (Potomac Books, 2011), which proposes that jihadis on the internet established a virtual Islamist state and sought to upload it in failed states. The book was published four years before ISIS declared a caliphate.

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All Your Social Media Belong to the EU

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Facebook, Google and Twitter sign up for propaganda and censorship.

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, June 10, 2016:

For a decade, the top search result for “EU referendum” on Google was the political blog EU Referendum. Then it was abruptly displaced by solidly pro-EU media outlets. It appeared that someone at Google had decided that search traffic should be driven to pro-EU sites. Ingrid Carlqvist, a Swedish columnist who covers, among other things, migrant violence, at Gatestone, had her Facebook account deleted after posting a video detailing migrant rapes in Sweden.

These seemingly isolated incidents fit into a larger pattern as Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter helped create and signed a “code of conduct” banning hate speech. Facebook had already become notorious for its political agenda while Twitter had created a Trust and Safety Council filled with extremist left-wing groups like Feminist Frequency to censor the politically incorrect.

Google has historically been a pro-free speech outlier. Its politics have never been ambiguous, but it has eschewed the overt censorship of some of its new partners working to keep the EU free of political dissent. But the code of conduct goes well beyond censorship. The companies will be working to strengthen their “ongoing partnerships with civil society organisations who will help flag content that promotes incitement to violence and hateful conduct”. That amounts to empowering left-wing advocacy groups to dictate content removal to major companies. It means that not only Twitter, but Facebook, Google and Microsoft will get their own Trust and Safety Council. It may be called something else. It may not even have a name. But it will have power. That’s what this really means.

And it’s only a starting point in a larger propaganda initiative.

“The IT Companies and the European Commission, recognising the value of independent counter speech against hateful rhetoric and prejudice, aim to continue their work in identifying and promoting independent counter-narratives,” the press release reads.

Even more than the censorship, the counter-narratives push represents a troubling development.

Left-wing groups won’t just be embedded as censors, but major tech firms will be expected to promote their agendas. And the biggest resource that companies with massive social media platforms have at their disposal isn’t mere money. It’s the ability to decide what is trending and what isn’t.

If a story about Islamic terrorism trends, will Facebook or Twitter be expected to promote a counter-narrative from an Islamic group? How exactly is this any different than traditional propaganda?

“The IT Companies to intensify their work with CSOs to deliver best practice training on countering hateful rhetoric and prejudice and increase the scale of their proactive outreach to CSOs to help them deliver effective counter speech campaigns. The European Commission, in cooperation with Member States, to contribute to this endeavour by taking steps to map CSOs’ specific needs and demands in this respect,” the release tells us.

CSO stands for Civil Society Organization. It’s used more often now that NGO carries with it an air of contempt. That last sentence informs us that the CSOs will have “demands.” The European Commission will help leverage and assemble these demands. Meanwhile major tech firms will be working to aid these CSOs in pushing their agenda.

What will this look like? We got a preview of it with Facebook’s “Initiative for Civil Courage Online”. Facebook had been facing pressure from Germany’s Merkel who was worried over public outrage at crimes committed by her Muslim migrant arrivals. Censorship was obviously the order of the day.

The Initiative promoted Klick It Out which, in properly Orwellian fashion, urged people to “See It. Report It.” The “It” being “Social Media Discrimination.” And then users were expected to “Klick It Out”. It was a failure. But Facebook and friends are doubling down.

Tech companies love the idea of creating “counter-narratives” because it’s cheaper to throw some money at an NGO or CSO, or to boost their profile, than to invest still more money in censorship. It’s not because they have a bias for free speech, but because active censorship, even when outsourced to poorer countries, which it often is, demands more resources. Pushing an agenda is cheap.

And the goal of companies like Facebook is to increase usage, rather than reduce it, which is why COO Sheryl Sandberg championed “like attacks” in which users flood the pages of bigots with their own speech. But the code of conduct is a thorough rejection of any of that self-interested libertarianism. Censorship is packaged together with agenda pushing. There might be like attacks, but what the EU really wanted was deletion and promotion for the groups that its leaders support. And they got it.

Some fraction of these efforts may be directed at ISIS supporters, but there is no particular reason to be optimistic about that. By putting CSOs first, the message is that this isn’t about counter-terrorism, but about promoting one set of political agendas at the expense of another. Much like Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council, this is about selecting who should speak and who should be silenced.

Programs like these operate under the umbrella of fighting extremism. And extremism, unlike blowing up buses or beheading hostages, is in the eye of the beholder. And the beholder is a tech company standing on the left while looking to the right. The obsession with radicalization treats lawful speech as the precursor to violence. It also assumes that Muslim terrorism emerges from a cycle of extremism between Muslims and critics of Islam. Silence the critics and you stop the terrorism.

European governments, like those of Angela Merkel, are far less worried about Salafists than they are about domestic political dissent. When Merkel berated Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over insufficient censorship, it wasn’t because she objected to the pipeline that feeds Muslims from Germany into ISIS. Muslim terrorism is inconvenient, but political dissent is politically explosive. Social media comprise an alternative organizing force that counters the dominance of media narratives. That makes it a threat.

Attempts to silence more prominent voices like Richard North and Ingrid Carlqvist have run into a backlash, but it’s impossible to rally in support of each ordinary person who has their account shut down or their blog pushed down in the rankings for having politically incorrect views. Social media at their best bring people together. This initiative is about disrupting social organizations that are disapproved of.

It is about preserving the dominance of a government-media narrative while promoting astroturf organizations that try to appear independent, but really echo that very same narrative.

Private companies have the right to determine what content appears on their platforms. But Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter have become part of an alliance with governments and advocacy groups to maintain a particular narrative. They will not simply be removing hateful content. Instead they have undertaken to play a role in putting forward a particular set of ideas by particular governments.

That’s propaganda and it is the opposite of how the internet was meant to be used.

The deal puts a series of private organizations, backed by EU government power, in charge of determining the content of social media, both positive and negative. Social media were meant to be centered around the user. Instead this deal displaces the user and replaces him or her with the EU.

***

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Social Media Emerges as a Valuable Terrorist Fundraising Tool

by Abha Shankar
IPT News
April 20, 2016

1493Social media has emerged as a valuable and effective fundraising tool for terrorist groups. The Internet’s easy access and relative anonymity allows terrorist groups to solicit online donations from both supporters and unsuspecting donors who believe they are supporting a humanitarian or charitable activity.

On March 22, for example, the Nafir al Aqsa (Mobilizing for Al-Aqsa) Campaign “to equip the mujahidin of Beit al Maqdis [Jerusalem],” posted (and suspended in the past day) a solicitation for funding under the Twitter handle @Nafeer_aqsa100. It cites a hadith – a saying attributed to Islam’s prophet Muhammad – that giving money to those waging jihad is as good as doing it yourself.

1494Translation:

Nafir al Aqsa Campaign

To equip the Mujahdin of Beit al Maqdis

Equip a Mujahid

2,500 Dollars

Kalashnikov

Ammunition vest

Military clothing

Ammunition

Military boots

The Messenger of God (May God bless him and grant him peace) said: “Whoever equips a warrior in the way of God has himself fought, and he who supplies the needs of the family of a warrior has himself fought.”

The post lists a Telegram account “Nafeeraq” and email Nafeeraq@tutanota.de to contact the campaign.

Another post from March 23 (also suspended in the past day) solicits funds for jihad, listing the prices of a sniper weapon ($6,000), a grenade thrower RPG ($3,000), and PK machine gun ($5,500).

1495The solicitation campaign cites a statement from bin Laden: “I urge the youth and the sincere traders to seize this opportunity and undertake this sublime task of defending this religion and salvage this Ummah by supporting this Jihad and their properties and by exhorting and fighting against our enemies, especially in Palestine and Iraq.”

1496The Nafir al Aqsa campaign also solicits funds on YouTube.

1497In an April 2015 post, the Twitter handle @7sanaabil belonging to a Chechen jihadist group Jaish alMuhajireen wal-Ansar (“The Army of the Mujahidin and Ansar”) based in Aleppo, Syria, solicited donations for “Arming-Medical-Relief-Sponsorship” and “sponsorship of the families of martyrs.” The fundraising campaign uses Whatsapp and Telegram – mobile apps to receive and send text messages – to communicate instructions for transferring money. Jaish alMuhajireen wal-Ansar has pledged allegiance to al-Qaida’s Syria branch, the al Nusra Front.

An Aug. 21 post by @7sanaabil claims that “Jihad for money” trumps the interpretation of jihad in the Quran as a struggle for self improvement.

A recent report by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental money laundering and terrorism financing watchdog, underscores the widespread use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Whatsapp, Skype, and Telegram by terrorist groups and their financial facilitators to coordinate “large-scale and well-organized fundraising schemes” involving thousands of “sponsors” raising “significant amounts of cash.”

The challenge in slowing online fundraising “in an era when social media allows anyone with an Internet connection to set himself up as an international terrorist financier” was further highlighted by then-Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence and now CIA Deputy Director David Cohen in a March 2014 address before the Center for New American Security: “We see this activity most prominently in Kuwait and Qatar, where fundraisers aggressively solicit donations online from supporters in other countries, notably Saudi Arabia, which have banned unauthorized fundraising campaigns for Syria.”

A fundraising campaign tied to the al Nusra Front and led by Saudi Sheikh Abdullah Mhesne used the Twitter handle “Jhad_bmalk” to call for contributions “to support the Islamic battalions” by invoking passage 47:38 from the Quran: “Behold, you are those invited to spend in the way of Allah; but among you are some that are niggardly. But any who are niggardly are so at the expense of their own souls.”

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MILO: Twitter ‘Embarking on a War Against Conservative Points of View’

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Breitbart, Feb. 12, 2016:

Speaking with host and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon on Breitbart News Daily, Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos discussed the suppression of conservative voices by Twitter on the social media platform.

“Why are you beating up Twitter, and why are you saying that Twitter trying to suppress conservative voices, and why is Twitter’s stock in a total free fall because Milo’s taking them on?” Bannon asked. “Are you a bigger, badder guy than Jack Dorsey?”

“Yeah, of course I am,” Yiannopoulos replied mischievously. “I’m absolute convinced that Twitter is embarking on a war against conservative points of view, a war against what we might call ‘Generation Trump,’ the dissident, mischievous voices of the new counter-cultural alternative right wing and libertarian youth.”

“Look at who Twitter employs,” he warned in reference to Twitter possibly influencing the 2016 presidential election. “You know, this guy used to work with Hillary, this guy used to work with Obama…”

“This is why Obama ran the tables with Google and with Facebook,” Bannon agreed. “Let’s talk about Facebook for a second. Why is Facebook suppressing voices in the continent of Europe about immigration. Why is Zuckerberg in bed with Merkel?”

Referring to the story of Facebook teaming up with the German government to censor debate over the influx of Middle Eastern migrants, Yiannopoulos said, “This is what the left does all over the world. They’ll take ridicule and criticism and they’ll rebrand it as abuse and harrassment or hate speech in some way.”

“This mergence of technology and thought control, it’s Orwellian,” Bannon said. “Are you fighting a rearguard action, or can we have victory in this?”

Noting that Twitter is failing and “in its death throes,” Yiannopoulos stated that Facebook is “more of a problem” and “the one we should really be worried about.”

“Why is Facebook more of a problem?” Bannon asked.

“Because the company’s not doing so badly,” Yiannopoulos replied. “Twitter’s influence is waning. We found out this week its monthly active users are going down. The stock price is tanking, partly as a result of their spat with me, I think. I don’t worry too much about them.”

“I do worry about Facebook. I worry about Facebook because it’s not just Facebook we’re talking about, they also own WhatsApp, and they also own Instagram,” he explained. “This company owns the platforms on which young people are messaging one another, and it has shown itself to be untrustworthy when it comes to free speech.”

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Paul Joseph Watson: “Not ONE single conservative group” is on Twitter’s “Trust and Safety Council”

Paul Joseph Watson joined Faith Goldy to break down the latest from Twitter’s new “Trust and Safety Council.” Who is on this council and who isn’t? In an effort to transform their platform into a “safe space,” the organization is now in the business of censoring free speech and they’ve picked out an army of SJWs [social justice warriors] to get the job done!