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September 12, 2014 3

Hezbollah Android App Re-Launched For The Third Time

Update — 9/19/14: In response to the removal of the app from the Google Play store, Al Manar posted a state­ment attribut­ing the removal to a “cam­paign by the Jew­ish Anti-Defamation League” and promised to find “alter­na­tive ways to pro­vide the appli­ca­tion for Android phones.”

Update — 9/13/14: ADL alerted Google to the re-launched app on Sep­tem­ber 12. The app was removed from Google play later that day. ADL applauds Google’s response to Al-Manar’s repeated attempts to re-introduce this app. 

Last week, al-Manar, Hezbollah’s media arm which is listed as a “Spe­cially Des­ig­nated Global Ter­ror­ist Entity” by the U.S. gov­ern­ment, launched an Android phone app through the Google Play online store pro­vid­ing mobile access to its satel­lite tele­vi­sion sta­tion, also known as al-Manar.

Hezbollah's al-Manar app for android

Hezbollah’s al-Manar app for android

Al-Manar adver­tised the launch of the app on the land­ing page of its web­site. The announce­ment asked media net­work fol­low­ers to install the app on their phones to receive al-Manar con­tent and news, includ­ing high pri­or­ity alerts.

This is the third time Hezbol­lah has launched an app with that func­tion; the two prior apps were removed from Google Play. In July 2012, Al Manar first adver­tised its newly-launched appli­ca­tion pro­vid­ing mobile access to its satel­lite TV. Avail­able orig­i­nally through Apple’s iTunes ser­vice, Apple soon removed the app for vio­lat­ing its terms of ser­vice. After the app was removed from iTunes, Hezbol­lah tried to re-launch it again for Android phones only, but the app was soon removed from Google Play as well. In March 2014 free mobile appli­ca­tions appeared on iTunes and Google Play to pro­vide access to Al Manar pro­grams via iPhone and Android smart­phones once more.

Hezbol­lah has attempted to use mobile apps in other con­texts as well.  In June 2014, Al Manar TVlaunched an online com­pe­ti­tion in time for the World Cup called “Expect and Win” that used the California-based instant mes­sag­ing ser­vice What­sApp.The com­pe­ti­tion called on users to sub­mit pre­dic­tions for which teams would win and offered prizes for select­ing the win­ning teams. In Jan­u­ary 2014, Al Manar started using What­sAppto deliver “break­ing news” via text mes­sages to sub­scribers and to allow its sup­port­ers to inter­act with the sta­tion.  In Feb­ru­ary 2013, the mil­i­tary branch of Hezbol­lah, The Islamic Resis­tance (“Al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya”) pro­vided a col­lec­tion of free Farsi and Ara­bic lan­guage pod­casts on iTunes. The pod­casts pro­moted both the ter­ror­ist group’s and the Iran­ian regime’s mil­i­tant propaganda.

Con­tin­u­ous attempts by the ter­ror­ist group to re-launch their smart phone app demon­strate their deter­mi­na­tion to exploit mod­ern tech­nol­ogy to broad­cast mes­sages of hate and ter­ror­ism to their sup­port­ers worldwide.

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March 28, 2014 Off

Hezbollah Is Still Trying To Broadcast Messages To Your Handheld

Hezbollah’s media arm Al Manar launched free mobile appliAl Manar Appcations on iTunes and Google Play this month, the satel­lite station’s sec­ond attempt to spread their hate mes­sages to iPhone and Android users.

In July 2012, ADL exposed the first app launched by Hezbol­lah, which was also avail­able on Apple and Google Play, and the app was sub­se­quently removed. ADL swiftly noti­fied Apple and Google about the new apps this time as well. The iTunes ver­sion has already been removed but the appli­ca­tion is still avail­able on Google Play.

The iTunes app, called LCG, is a less advanced app than its pre­de­ces­sor but still had the abil­ity to pro­vide live stream­ing to Al Manar’s tele­vi­sion sta­tion. Al Manar broad­casts Hezbollah’s mes­sages of hate and vio­lence, dis­sem­i­nates anti-Semitic and anti-American pro­pa­ganda, and glo­ri­fies sui­cide bomb­ings to its view­ers. The new app also pro­vided access to fea­tured videos of senior offi­cials of both Iran and Hezbollah.

Hezbol­lah is a U.S. des­ig­nated For­eign Ter­ror­ist Orga­ni­za­tion, and Al Manar was listed as a “Spe­cially Des­ig­nated Global Ter­ror­ist” by the Depart­ment of the Trea­sury in 2006.

The repeated attempts by Hezbol­lah to estab­lish a pres­ence and pro­vide access to its con­tent via users’ cell­phones under­scores the high pre­mium the ter­ror­ist group gives to mod­ern tech­nol­ogy. In Jan­u­ary 2014, Al Manar launched a What­sApp pro­file pre­sum­ably in an effort to pro­vide a faster and more direct way of com­mu­ni­cat­ing with its users.

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January 31, 2013 1

App Developer Supplies Iranian Broadcasts Despite International Efforts

A UK-based mobile appli­ca­tion devel­oper named Shab­bir Has­sanally has cre­ated a series of apps allow­ing users to access news from a num­ber of Iran­ian tele­vi­sion sta­tions whose trans­mis­sions have been blocked since late last year.

Has­sanally is the co-founder Code of Zero, a firm respon­si­ble for the devel­op­ment of offi­cial apps for sev­eral of Iran­ian news sta­tions, includ­ing Iran’s English-language pro­pa­ganda sta­tion Press TV, and its sis­ter sta­tion, Spanish-language His­pan TV, both of which pro­mote vir­u­lent anti-Semitic and anti-West propaganda.

The apps are avail­able for down­load in the Apple App Store and Google Mar­ket­place for free and allow Iran­ian pro­pa­ganda to reach an even wider audience.

In Octo­ber 2012, the France-based satel­lite car­rier Eutel­sat banned the broad­cast of 19 tele­vi­sion and radio sta­tions from Iran’s state broad­caster, Islamic Repub­lic of Iran Broad­cast­ing (IRIB). A cou­ple months later, His­panSat, a Spain-based satel­lite provider that broad­cast His­pan TV, fol­lowed suit and ended its trans­mis­sion of IRIB sta­tions. Both satel­lite car­ri­ers have cited EU sanc­tions against Iran as part of the basis to dis­con­tinue the trans­mis­sion of IRIB sta­tions in the West.

Has­sanally has a his­tory of involve­ment with Iranian-backed pro­grams and orga­ni­za­tions. Has­sanally was respon­si­ble for the man­age­ment of the offi­cial web­site for the 2012 Global March To Jerusalem (GMJ), a cam­paign that coor­di­nated efforts by activists to cross Israel’s bor­ders and enter Jerusalem. Addi­tion­ally, Has­sanally hosts the offi­cial site for the Ahlul­Bayt Islamic Mis­sion (AIM), a UK-based Shi’a orga­ni­za­tion that pro­motes the Iran­ian regime’s ideology.

In Decem­ber 2012, the Anti-Defamation League released its report, Iran’s Press TV: Broad­cast­ing Anti-Semitism To The Eng­lish Speak­ing World.

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