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March 26, 2015 0

ISIS Cyber Unit Announces More Hacks

Hacker(s) iden­ti­fy­ing as “ISIS cyber army” claimed respon­si­bil­ity for hack­ing fifty-one Amer­i­can web­sites on March 24.

Screenshot of the defaced websites

Screen­shot of the defaced websites

Each of the hacked web­sites was defaced with the flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a state­ment that the web­site was “Hacked by Islamic State [sic],” and an e-mail address for the ISIS cyber army, the unit believed to be behind the cyber activ­i­ties of ISIS. In the past, the ISIS cyber unit  claimed respon­si­bil­ity for involve­ment in a series of attacks against a num­ber of Israeli web­sites.

The recent ISIS cyber-attack tar­geted a vari­ety of web­sites, rang­ing from sim­ple online retail stores to forums to help preg­nant women—all web­sites per­ceived to be tech­ni­cally vulnerable.While the attack does not show a high level of tech­ni­cal capa­bil­i­ties by ISIS, it demon­strates their com­mit­ment to engag­ing directly in cyber warfare.

Tweet from ISIS Cyber Army: "...message to the dog of the Jews, #Obama"

Tweet from ISIS Cyber Army: “…mes­sage to the dog of the Jews, #Obama”

Accord­ing to a tweet by the ISIS_cyberarmy Twit­ter account , the recent cyber-attackwas a mes­sage to “the dog of the Jews, Obama.” ISIS and its sup­port­ers have reg­u­larly referred to Pres­i­dent Obama as a “mule of the Jews,” and the phrase “dog of the Jews” may be a vari­ant of this.

The ISIS_cyberarmy Twit­ter account, which appears to have been sus­pended as of March 25, was pre­vi­ously fol­lowed by more than a thou­sand ISIS supporters.The account pub­lished the urls of the hacked web­sites and linked to a state­ment on justpaste.it, a file-sharing web­site reg­u­larly used by ISIS and its sup­port­ers to post infor­ma­tion, which also included the list of hacked web­sites and the seal of what appears to be the ISIS cyber army. The state­ment on justpaste.it started with an Islamic prayer in Ara­bic and included the seal of the ISIS cyber army.

Record­ings show­ing the defaced web­sites were also posted on Aljyyosh (“the armies” in Ara­bic), an online forum for Arab hack­ers, which in the past has been a hub for anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hack­ers. The videos show the hacked web­sites defaced with ISIS flags and an e-mail address of the ISIS cyber army.

In the past, sev­eral promi­nent hacker groups launched cyber-attacks in sup­port of ISIS, but recently ISIS esca­lated its cyber activ­ity by claim­ing direct respon­si­bil­ity for hack­ing per­sonal infor­ma­tion of 100 Amer­i­can mil­i­tary per­son­nel and pub­lish­ing the infor­ma­tion on a “hit list.” These hack­ings are the lat­est exam­ple of what appears to be direct activ­ity by ISIS’s cyber unit.Earlier this year, social media accounts of the U.S. military’s Cen­tral Com­mand were hacked by a group that claimed to be act­ing in sup­port of ISIS.

This capa­bil­ity to engage in cyber-attacks may be a reflec­tion of ISIS’s calls for sup­port from indi­vid­u­als with var­i­ous skills, from media experts to doc­tors, to join and con­tribute to the group and its ter­ri­tory how­ever they can.

The tac­tic of hack­ing U.S. web­sites may also be related to ISIS’s calls for small-scale and lone-wolf attacks against the U.S. and its inter­ests. In the past, ISIS has recruited out­side hack­ers and hack­ing groups to under­take such cyber-attacks on its behalf.

Pro­mot­ing the hack­ings of Amer­i­can web­sites with anti-Semitic lan­guage demon­strates how ISIS’s anti-Semitic sen­ti­ment extends into its sub­di­vi­sions, includ­ing its cyber arm. Like other Islamic extrem­ist ter­ror groups, ISIS has been known to use anti-Semitism to appeal to fol­low­ers.

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March 18, 2015 4

Anti-Semitism On College Campuses in 2015

Anti-Semitic flyer posted at UC Santa Bar­bara in Sep. 2014

After the alarm­ing anti-Semitic inci­dent at UCLA ear­lier this month, the prob­lem of anti-Semitism on col­lege cam­puses has become a national discussion.

While such inci­dents are cer­tainly dis­turb­ing, it must be noted that these inci­dents are rel­a­tively rare, and the vast major­ity of Jew­ish stu­dents feels safe on their cam­puses. When such inci­dents do occur, they are gen­er­ally con­demned by admin­is­tra­tors and the wider cam­pus com­mu­ni­ties at their respec­tive colleges.

That being said, the inci­dent at UCLA was not the only anti-Semitic inci­dent to take place so far in 2015. Other anti-Semitic inci­dents include:

  • A dorm at Pur­chase Col­lege, SUNY was van­dal­ized on March 18 with swastikas and other hate­ful graffiti.
  • Swastikas were spray-painted inside the house of a Jew­ish fra­ter­nity (Alpha Epsilon Pi) at Van­der­bilt Uni­ver­sity on March 15.
  • At Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley, the phrase “Zion­ists should be sent to the gas cham­ber” was found in a cam­pus restroom in March and a swastika was found on a uni­ver­sity owned build­ing in February.
  • On Feb­ru­ary 22, Uni­ver­sity of Chicago stu­dents and staff reported anti-Semitic posts on a Face­book page called UChicago Secrets, such as “Peo­ple are hyp­ocrites. This is a fact. One exam­ple? The Jews at UChicago…” and “As a Per­son of Pales­tin­ian descent, I don’t think it is unrea­son­able or hor­rific for me to hate Jews…”
  • Also at the end of Feb­ru­ary, threat­en­ing anti-Semitic com­ments were posted on Yik Yak (an anony­mous social media app that allows peo­ple to send and receive posts in a local­ized area) for the Uni­ver­sity of Chicago area. Some posts named spe­cific stu­dents, while other expressed more gen­eral anti-Semitic sen­ti­ments such as, “Gas them, burn them and dis­man­tle their power struc­ture. Human­ity can­not progress with the par­a­sitic Jew.”
  • At the end of Feb­ru­ary, three swastikas were drawn inside a George Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­sity dorm.
  • On Jan­u­ary 31, two large swastikas were spray-painted on the Alpha Epsilon Pi fra­ter­nity house at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Davis.

If you have expe­ri­enced an anti-Semitic inci­dent on cam­pus or else­where, please report it to ADL through our web­site.

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March 18, 2015 2

NJ Man Arrested For Trying to Join ISIS Espoused Anti-Semitism Online

Tairod Pugh

Tairod Pugh

A New Jer­sey man, indicted yes­ter­day for attempt­ing to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), marks the 12th U.S. res­i­dent charged with sup­port­ing or join­ing Islamic extrem­ism this year and demon­strates the pres­ence of anti-Semitism and role of online pro­pa­ganda in the rad­i­cal­iza­tion process.

Tairod Nathan Web­ster Pugh is a U.S. cit­i­zen and for­mer air force mechanic from Nep­tune, NJ. He allegedly attempted to travel to join ISIS in Jan­u­ary but was detained and sent back to the U.S. by Egypt­ian offi­cials. Pugh was arrested on Jan­u­ary 16, 2015, upon his return to the U.S., but the charges were made pub­lic fol­low­ing yesterday’s indictment.

Pugh’s Face­book pro­file included mul­ti­ple anti-Semitic and anti-Israel posts as well as posts sup­port­ing Hamas.

In July 2014, Pugh wrote a post that stated, in part, “All the evil done by the Jews came from within them­selves. On the day of Judg­ment full respon­si­bil­ity of the starv­ing, tor­ture, jail­ing and killing of inno­cent Mus­lims will rest upon there (sic) shoul­ders. Allah must really hate them to give the rope to hang them­selves,” and posted an image with text stat­ing, “Most Jews do not like to admit it, but our G-d is Lucifer.” In August 2014, he shared an image that ref­er­enced blood libel accu­sa­tions, depict­ing Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu slit­ting the throats of sleep­ing children.

Pugh also posted sev­eral car­toons equat­ing Jews, Israel or Zion­ists to Nazis, as well as mul­ti­ple images claim­ing to depict Israeli war crimes.

An anti-Semitic post on Tairod Pugh's Facebook page.

An anti-Semitic post on Tairod Pugh’s Face­book page.

Although Pugh did not pub­licly post his sup­port for ISIS, he did share a quote by ter­ror pro­pa­gan­dist Anwar al-Awlaki in August 2014. Awlaki is fre­quently cited as an inspi­ra­tion for extrem­ism by Amer­i­cans who have been linked to terrorism.

Pugh allegedly also used his com­puter to research join­ing ISIS and watch ISIS pro­pa­ganda videos. An inves­ti­ga­tion report­edly found that he had used the inter­net to search for the terms, “bor­ders con­trolled by Islamic state,” “who con­trols kobani (a city that has been con­tested by ISIS),” “kobani bor­der cross­ing,” and “jarablus bor­der cross­ing,” and the feature-film length ter­ror pro­pa­ganda video “Flames of War,” which depicts and apoc­a­lyp­tic strug­gle between ISIS and the West. He had also allegedly viewed a chart of cross­ing points between Turkey and Syria and had down­loaded at least one ISIS exe­cu­tion video, along with other ISIS videos.

Addi­tional Face­book posts by Pugh demon­strated anti-U.S. sen­ti­ment. One post from August 2014, taken from Iran­ian con­trolled media out­let Press TV, depicted pro­test­ers burn­ing an effigy of Pres­i­dent Barack Obama. A post ear­lier that month included an arti­cle that Pugh wrote describ­ing “the rape of a Mus­lim woman by the Amer­i­can forces.” Accord­ing to media reports, some Face­book posts not pub­licly avail­able also expressed Pugh’s desire to never return to the U.S.

Pugh also shared images prais­ing the ter­ror group Hamas. In August 2014, he shared an appar­ent image of Hamas mil­i­tants “returned safely after 21 days of siege.” In July 2014, he shared a photo of Hamas mil­i­tants with the cap­tion, “Thank you! You make us proud …”

The 12 U.S. res­i­dents charged with Islamic extrem­ism related ter­ror offenses this year have been arrested in 7 dif­fer­ent states includ­ing New Jer­sey, New York, Illi­nois, Ohio, Vir­ginia, Indi­ana and Mis­souri. Pugh is also the 31st Amer­i­can res­i­dent pub­licly linked to ISIS since 2014.

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