Extremism & Terrorism » ADL Blogs
January 29, 2015 2

ISIS Establishes A Cyber-Alliance With Anti-Israel Hackers

isis-alazm-center-terrorists-team-electronic-jihad-israel

“Ter­ror­ists Team for Elec­tronic Jihad” claim of responsibility.

Sev­eral pro-ISIS Twit­ter accounts that pro­mote the ter­ror­ist group’s pro­pa­ganda are col­lab­o­rat­ing with estab­lished anti-Israel hack­ers in an effort to increase cyber-attacks on behalf of ISIS.

On Jan­u­ary 13, the Alazm Cen­ter Twit­ter account, which has over 5,000 fol­low­ers, called on hack­ers to con­tact them. Since then, a group of anti-Israel hack­ers call­ing them­selves “Ter­ror­ists Team for Elec­tronic Jihad” has claimed respon­si­bil­ity for sev­eral attacks against Israeli web­sites on behalf of ISIS.

The group claims to have hacked the web­site of a secu­rity con­trac­tor in Israel, a tour orga­nizer and few other Israeli busi­nesses by redi­rect­ing vis­i­tors to web­sites fea­tur­ing the name and flag of ISIS along with the sig­na­ture of “Ter­ror­ists Team for Elec­tronic Jihad.”

“Ter­ror­ists Team for Elec­tronic Jihad” claimed respon­si­bil­ity for these attacks in a state­ment on JustPaste.it, a file shar­ing site ISIS has been using to pub­lish its state­ments anony­mously. The state­ment said, “Thanks to God, below is today’s sum­mary of hack­ing web­sites which is part of a cam­paign against Zion­ist web­sites” and included a list of indi­vid­ual hack­ers affil­i­ated with “Ter­ror­ists Team for Elec­tronic Jihad.”

Videos of the hacks were also made avail­able on Aljyyosh (“the armies” in Ara­bic), an online forum for Arab hack­ers that have claimed respon­si­bil­ity for steal­ing per­sonal infor­ma­tion belong­ing to Amer­i­can Jews and Israelis. The videos show the hacked web­sites defaced with ISIS flags and the logo of the “Ter­ror­ists Team for Elec­tronic Jihad” along with a song that begins with, “Report our greet­ings to Abu Bakir [ISIS’ leader].”

Sev­eral of the names listed in that state­ment have pre­vi­ously taken part in other cyber-attacks against Israeli web­sites on behalf of groups in North Africa such as Al Falaga, a Tunisian hacker group that par­tic­i­pated in a large-scale cyber-attack on Israel on Holo­caust Remem­brance Day in 2013.

Another ISIS Twit­ter account, Mo7_AbuAzzamNM, which has over 1,000 fol­low­ers and iden­ti­fies itself as the “Hacker of the Caliphate State,” posted other state­ments prais­ing the hack­ing of “Zion­ist web­sites” and shar­ing links to the state­ment by “Ter­ror­ists Team for Elec­tronic Jihad.” On Jan­u­ary 16, Mo7_AbuAzzamNM Tweeted “Amer­ica has drones, but we have cyber expe­ri­ence. Oh mule of the Jews [Obama], the com­ing days will show you.”

Prior to their appar­ent col­lab­o­ra­tion with ISIS, “Ter­ror­ists Team for Elec­tronic Jihad” posted a video on YouTube on Novem­ber 29, 2014, declar­ing its alle­giance to the Islamic State. The video showed a masked man read­ing a mes­sage in Ara­bic say­ing, “We the Ter­ror­ists Team for Elec­tronic Jihad declare our sup­port for the Islamic State in Iraq and Lev­an­tine with all our force and capa­bil­i­ties.” It is pos­si­ble that the video attracted the atten­tion of ISIS, and led to the more recent col­lec­tive efforts.

Alazm Center's Twitter Logo

Alazm Center’s Twit­ter Logo

“Ter­ror­ists Team for Elec­tronic Jihad” also oper­ates a Face­book page and a Twit­ter account that have included mes­sages in sup­port of ISIS. “May allah bless the #ISIS,” read one post on Octo­ber 8.

Another promi­nent hacker group that has tar­geted Jew­ish, Israeli and Amer­i­can web­sites called AnonG­host is also show­ing increas­ing inter­est in ISIS. A Twit­ter account of Mau­ri­ta­nia Attacker, the pre­sumed leader of AnonG­host posted sev­eral com­ments in the past few days related to cyber-attacks in the name of ISIS and shared a video claim­ing to show ISIS how to avoid being mon­i­tored by the CIA.

Cyber-attacks on behalf of ISIS have increased over the past sev­eral months. In addi­tion to the hack­ing of Twit­ter and YouTube accounts affil­i­ated with U.S. Cen­tral Com­mand, Jew­ish insti­tu­tions, uni­ver­si­ties and other web­sites and been tar­geted as well.

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January 16, 2015 1

Ohio Arrest Is First Islamic Extremism Related Plot Since 2013

Christopher Lee Cornell

Christo­pher Lee Cornell

Wednesday’s arrest of Christo­pher Lee Cor­nell, a 20-year-old U.S. cit­i­zen from Ohio, marked the first Islamic extremism-related arrest of 2015 and the first inci­dent of an attempted domes­tic ter­ror attack moti­vated by a rad­i­cal inter­pre­ta­tion of Islam since 2013.

Cor­nell is accused of attempt­ing to attack the U.S. Capi­tol build­ing by plant­ing and det­o­nat­ing pipe bombs at and near the build­ing and then using a semi-automatic rifle to increase casu­alty counts. The plot was the first since Decem­ber 2013, when Kansas res­i­dent Terry Lee Loewen allegedly attempted to bomb the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport.

Cornell’s alleged plot comes at a time of increas­ing calls for vio­lence and home­grown extrem­ism by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria(ISIS), as well as the con­tin­ued influ­ence of Al Qaeda pro­pa­gan­dists includ­ing Anwar al-Awlaki and the power of social media in the mod­ern rad­i­cal­iza­tion process.  Awlaki, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011, was an English-language spokesman for Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula (AQAP).

Cor­nell was report­edly hop­ing to under­take his attack as a way to sup­port ISIS. This fits with cur­rent trends in extrem­ism: The vast major­ity of the iden­ti­fied Amer­i­cans known to have engaged with extrem­ism in 2014 sought to join or aid ISIS.

Cor­nell, who used the alias Raheel Mahrus Ubay­dah, Tweeted ISIS pro­pa­ganda and Awlaki quotes and appar­ently found jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for his alleged plot in the pro­pa­ganda mate­ri­als he accessed from ISIS and Anwar al-Awlaki.

Although ISIS lead­er­ship is cur­rently at odds with Al Qaeda lead­er­ship, the group still cites Awlaki as an ide­o­log­i­cal leader. It is not uncom­mon for appar­ent ter­ror­ist sup­ports online to share mate­ri­als from both includ­ing ISIS and AQAP despite fight­ing between the groups’ leadership.

Accord­ing to court doc­u­ments, Cor­nell claimed to have con­tacted mem­bers of ISIS in hopes that they would assist him in his efforts to attack the U.S. He also watched extrem­ist videos and used his com­puter to research bomb mak­ing instruc­tions and infor­ma­tion about how to pur­chase firearms, and he com­mu­ni­cated with an under­cover infor­mant he believed to be a co-conspirator using instant mes­sag­ing ser­vices. He told the infor­mant “I believe that we should just wage jihad under our own orders and plan attacks,” accord­ing to court documents.

Some of his appar­ent Tweets indi­cated sup­port for lone wolf attacks, includ­ing one that praised attacks in Canada by Mar­tin Rouleau Cou­ture and Michael Zehaf Bibeau stat­ing, “May Allah reward the broth­ers who fought and received Sha­hada (mar­tyr­dom) in Canada! May these recent attacks send ter­ror into the hearts of the kufr (disbelievers)!

Accord­ing to fam­ily mem­bers, Cor­nell had con­verted to Islam less than a year prior to his arrest.

Accord­ing to FBI Direc­tor James Comey, the FBI is cur­rently track­ing nearly 150 Amer­i­cans who trav­eled to Syria, “a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber” of whom went there to fight. Other reports have indi­cated that close to 90 addi­tional Amer­i­cans are believed to have died fight­ing or attempted to travel abroad to join extrem­ist groups but failed.

17 of the 22 indi­vid­u­als who have been pub­licly iden­ti­fied as engag­ing in ter­ror­ism in 2014 sought to join or aid ISIS.

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January 15, 2015 4

Anti-Immigrant Group Exploits MLK to Rail Against Immigration Reform

Cal­i­for­ni­ans for Pop­u­la­tion Sta­bi­liza­tion (CAPS), a Santa Barbara-based anti-immigrant group, launched a TV ad cam­paign that manip­u­lates Mar­tin Luther King, Jr.’s words in order to rail against Pres­i­dent Obama’s exec­u­tive action on immi­gra­tion. The Santa Barbara-based group began air­ing the ads on Jan­u­ary 13 on national cable net­works and local TV sta­tions in Los Angeles.

Joe Guzzardi

Joe Guz­zardi

In the press release announc­ing the 2015 ads, Joe Guz­zardi, CAPS national media direc­tor, claims that Pres­i­dent Obama’s poli­cies dis­pro­por­tion­ately harm minor­ity Amer­i­cans. Guzzardi’s expressed con­cern for minori­ties is ques­tion­able. Guz­zardi was an edi­tor and writer at the racist, anti-immigrant web­site VDARE until 2010. In addi­tion, in 2012, Guz­zardi pre­sented at The Social Con­tract Press (TSCP) Writ­ers Work­shop, which often fea­tures racist speak­ers. Racist John Tan­ton, the archi­tect of the mod­ern anti-immigrant move­ment founded TSCP and white suprema­cist Wayne Lut­ton edits TSCP’s jour­nal, The Social Con­tract. In addi­tion, CAPS appointed another racist, John Vin­son, as a senior writ­ing fel­low in 2013.

The CAPS ads imply that Pres­i­dent Obama’s efforts to pro­vide some undoc­u­mented immi­grants with work per­mits runs counter to Dr. King’s vision of racial equal­ity in Amer­ica. In real­ity, CAPS is exploit­ing the occa­sion of King’s birth­day to pro­mote intol­er­ance towards immi­grants who work and live in this coun­try. The ads stress that undoc­u­mented immi­grants are tak­ing away jobs from African-Americans and His­pan­ics in the United States. CAPS ran sim­i­lar ads around Mar­tin Luther King Day last year, as well.

Since 2013, CAPS has gone beyond pro­mot­ing its anti-immigrant agenda in Cal­i­for­nia and has moved on to the national stage. It has been one of the most active orga­ni­za­tions attempt­ing to derail immi­gra­tion reform. In addi­tion to ads men­tioned ear­lier, the group has run ads tar­get­ing politi­cians for their sup­port of immi­gra­tion reform.

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