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July 23, 2014 0

ISIS Faces Resistance From Social Media Companies

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has gar­nered atten­tion for its sophis­ti­cated use of social media. While the ter­ror­ist group has built on tech­niques pio­neered by other ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions to spread its mes­sages and recruit fol­low­ers, social media com­pa­nies are increas­ingly shut­ting down ISIS accounts and frus­trat­ing its pro­pa­ganda dis­tri­b­u­tion mechanisms.

On July 12, ISIS announced that sev­eral of its main media accounts would be sus­pend­ing their use of Twit­ter in favor of a social media ser­vice called Frien­dica. This came after sev­eral weeks dur­ing which Twit­ter shut down ISIS offi­cial sites and ISIS replaced them with new ones.

Almost imme­di­ately, mul­ti­ple ISIS sup­port­ers joined Frien­dica to fol­low the group.

On July 20, the con­tent was deleted from seven of ISIS’s new Frien­dica sites. Every page on the Frien­dica web­site now comes with a ban­ner at the top stat­ing “Islamic State not wel­come on friendica.eu.”

On July 20, ISIS tried again, cre­at­ing accounts on alter­nate social media sites Quit­ter and Dias­pora. Although the Dias­pora accounts remain up, the Quit­ter accounts were shut down on July 23, replaced with a pic­ture pro­mot­ing peace and coex­is­tence (see image), a link to a web­site sell­ing books about Mahatma Gandhi and text in Eng­lish and Ara­bic stat­ing, “When you fight evil with evil – evil wins.”isis-quitter-diaspora-twitter-terrorism

In the past week, Twit­ter also shut down mul­ti­ple accounts rep­re­sent­ing ISIS regional commands.

ISIS has already recre­ated some of its accounts on Twit­ter. Ale3tisam, an offi­cial ISIS media out­let that had unsuc­cess­fully attempted to migrate to Frien­dica and Quit­ter, returned to Twit­ter and cre­ated a new account on July 23.  Sev­eral of the regional groups have done so as well. There also remain mul­ti­ple ISIS sup­port­ers with Twit­ter accounts who them­selves reg­u­larly share offi­cial propaganda.

Ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions are resource­ful enough to find new out­lets when their accounts are shut down. ISIS has con­tin­ued to cre­ate and dis­trib­ute media to wide audi­ences through­out the last three weeks. How­ever, there is no doubt that they also lose plat­forms and power, fac­ing greater dif­fi­culty in spread­ing their hate. By respond­ing aggres­sively to ter­ror­ist accounts, social media com­pa­nies have the power to decrease sig­nif­i­cantly the reach of ter­ror­ists’ hate­ful messages.

Indi­vid­u­als can also aid in the process. ADL’s Cyber-Safety Action Guide enables the com­mu­nity to reg­is­ter con­cerns with Inter­net ser­vice providers when they encounter ter­ror­ist con­tent online.

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July 18, 2014 0

Hackers Strike Pennsylvania Synagogue Website Over Gaza

Update — July 21: A sim­i­lar hack by the Moroc­can Islamic Union-mail tar­geted a con­gre­ga­tion in Hous­ton over the weekend.

Polit­i­cally moti­vated hack­ers from the Arab world have once again tar­geted Jew­ish web­sites in the United States. The Moroc­can Islamic Union-mail hacker group claimed respon­si­bil­ity today for van­dal­iz­ing the web­site of Con­gre­ga­tion Beth Am Israel in Penn Val­ley, Pennsylvania.moroccan-islamic-union-mail-facebook

The group posted a mes­sage on the defaced syn­a­gogue web­site stat­ing, “end Israeli vio­lence in #Gaza” with an image of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, a Pales­tin­ian who was killed ear­lier this month in Jerusalem by what appears to be a group of Jew­ish extremists.

As state­ment posted on the Moroc­can Islamic Union-mail Face­book page claimed respon­si­bil­ity for the hack, describ­ing the syn­a­gogue as “A Zion­ist Assembly.”

Last week, posts threat­en­ing Israel “with major oper­a­tions” and “strong elec­tronic attacks” appeared on the group’s Face­book page after Israel began its mil­i­tary oper­a­tion to stop Hamas’s rocket attacks from Gaza.

moroccan-islamic-union-mail-hack-gaza

Moroc­can Islamic Union-mail take credit for hack on Facebook

The Moroc­can Islamic Union-mail also claimed on its Face­book page that it is affil­i­ated with the Moroc­can Ghosts, another hacker group respon­si­ble for a series of attacks on Jew­ish web­sites in the United States over the past two years.

The Moroc­can Ghosts re-emerged in recent days with a wave of new attacks on a num­ber of Israeli web­sites, includ­ing the web­site of the Help­ing Hand Coali­tion, an Israeli orga­ni­za­tion that pro­vides tes­ti­monies from Holo­caust Sur­vivors (its web­site is hosted in Illi­nois). The Moroc­can Ghosts posted a pro­pa­ganda video for the Qass­sam Brigades, the mil­i­tary wing of Hamas, in Hebrew threat­en­ing Israelis with retaliation.

ADL offers guid­ance to Jew­ish insti­tu­tions regard­ing online and dig­i­tal security.

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July 16, 2014 2

Hamas’s Ongoing Social Media War

Update: July 17 — Since this blog was posted, the Al Aqsa Today, Quds TVandIzzat Al Risheq Face­book pages are no longer available.

As Hamas con­tin­ues to tar­get Israelis with rock­ets from Gaza, the Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion is using a range of Inter­net and social media plat­forms to dis­sem­i­nate its pro­pa­ganda, news and updates.hamas-social-media-twitter-facebook-youtube-rockets

The fol­low­ing is a sam­pling of Twit­ter han­dles, YouTube chan­nels, Face­book pages, Google+ pages and other online plat­forms being exploited by Hamas. While some Inter­net plat­forms have made efforts to cur­tail these efforts in the past by remov­ing Hamas-run accounts, the ter­ror­ist group con­tin­ues to actively engage on all of these sites.

In addi­tion to these accounts, there are count­less oth­ers oper­ated by sup­port­ers of the ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion and in var­i­ous languages.

The ADL’s Cyber-Safety Action Guide enables the com­mu­nity to reg­is­ter con­cerns with Inter­net ser­vice providers when they encounter ter­ror­ist con­tent such as this.

 Hamas Media Office

The Hamas press office and Infor­ma­tion Agency. In addi­tion to its web­site, it has active pres­ence on Twitter.

  • Media Office – Hamas The Twit­ter han­dle for the Hamas Media Office.  It is cross-linked with the Twit­ter feeds of senior Hamas polit­i­cal leaders.

Izzedeen al-Qassam Brigades

The Izzedeen al-Qassam Brigades (short­ened to ‘Qas­sam Brigades’) is the Hamas mil­i­tary wing. This is the wing of Hamas that has stock­piled and devel­oped weapons includ­ing rock­ets and drones and is fir­ing them at Israel. In addi­tion to web­sites in Ara­bic, Hebrew and Eng­lish, the Qas­sam Brigades has active pres­ence on Twit­ter, YouTube and Google+.

  • Qas­sam Media The Twit­ter han­dle for the Qas­sam Brigades. Vis­i­tors are directed to this page via link from the Qas­sam Brigades website.
  • Al-Qassam Brigades The Hebrew-language Twit­ter han­dle for the Qas­sam Brigades. It is also some­times retweeted by the Ara­bic Qas­sam Brigades feed. Vis­i­tors are directed to this page via link from the Hebrew lan­guage Qas­sam Brigades website.
  • Resis­tance MediaThe Google+ Page for the Qas­sam Brigades. It is cross-linked and shares con­tent with the Qas­sam Brigades’ Resis­tance Media YouTube channel.
  • Resis­tance Media– The YouTube chan­nel for the Qas­sam Brigades. The Qas­sam Brigades web­site directs vis­i­tors to this chan­nel via link. Many of the videos have Eng­lish titles.
  • Pales­tine IntifadaYouTube chan­nel appar­ently linked to Hamas and the Qas­sam Brigades. Most, if not all videos on this chan­nel are offi­cial Qas­sam Brigades videos. They have been Tweeted by offi­cial Qas­sam Brigades twit­ter accounts

Izzat Al Risheq

Izzat Al Risheq is a Hamas spokesman and senior offi­cial. There are active Face­book and Twit­ter accounts in his name.

  • Izzat Al RisheqThe Face­book page for Izaat Al Risheq. It fea­tures the same con­tent as his Twit­ter feed.
  • Izzat Risheq The Twit­ter han­dle for Izaat Al Risheq. This is one of only two accounts that the Hamas Twit­ter account follows.

Al Aqsa TV

Al Aqsa TV is a Hamas-run tele­vi­sion sta­tion that pro­motes ter­ror­ist activ­ity and incites hatred of Jews and Israelis. In addi­tion to its web­site, it has active pres­ence on Face­book, Twit­ter and YouTube.

  • Al Aqsa Today – The Face­book page for Al Aqsa TV. The Al Aqsa TV web­site directs vis­i­tors to this page via link.
  • Al Aqsa TV Chanel The Twit­ter han­dle for Al Aqsa TV. The Al Aqsa TV web­site directs vis­i­tors to this han­dle via link.
  • Alaqsa TVChan­nelYouTube chan­nel for Al Aqsa TV. Vis­i­tors are directed to this link from the Al Aqsa TV website.

Al Quds TV

Al Quds TV is a Hamas-run tele­vi­sion sta­tion that pro­motes ter­ror­ist activ­ity and incites hatred of Jews and Israelis. In addi­tion to its web­site, it has active pres­ence on Face­book and YouTube.

  • Quds TVThe Face­book page for Al Quds TV. The Al Quds TV web­site directs vis­i­tors to this page via link.
  • Quds TVSatYouTube chan­nel for Al Quds TV. Vis­i­tors are directed to this link from the Al Quds TV website.

Alray Media Agency

The Alray Media Agency is a Hamas affil­i­ated media agency owned by the Gaza-based Infor­ma­tion Office of the Pales­tin­ian Gov­ern­ment. In addi­tion to its web­site, it has active pres­ence on Face­book, Twit­ter and YouTube as well as an appli­ca­tion avail­able on ITunes and Google Play.

  • Alray Media AgencyThe Face­book page for Alray Media Agency. The Alray Media web­site directs vis­i­tors to this page via link.
  • Alray Media AgencyThe Twit­ter han­dle­for Alray Media Agency. The Alray Media web­site directs vis­i­tors to this page via link.
  • AlraypsenThe YouTube chan­nel for Alray Media Agency. The Alray Media web­site directs vis­i­tors to this page via link.
  • AlRay Pales­tin­ian Media Agency – An appli­ca­tion for ITunes and Google Play devel­oped by the Hamas Min­istry of Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion and Infor­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy. The appli­ca­tion claims to be for “a Pales­tin­ian media agency speak­ing in the name of the Pales­tin­ian gov­ern­ment, it expresses the opin­ion of the glo­ri­ous Pales­tin­ian peo­ple, deals with their con­cerns and adopts their causes and posi­tions.” It is adver­tised on the Alray website.

Min­istry of Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion and Infor­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy (MTIT)

The MTIT is a Gaza-based Pales­tin­ian gov­ern­ment agency. Due to its loca­tion in Gaza, its pri­mary affil­i­a­tion is there­fore assumed to be to Hamas (despite the recent Pales­tin­ian unity pact).

  • Elec­tronic Infor­ma­tion –An appli­ca­tion from the Hamas Min­istry of Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion and Infor­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy (MTIT) that “allows gov­ern­ment employ­ees in Gaza to inquire about mail pay­ments, salaries and other ser­vices.” It is adver­tised on the MTIT website.
  • Dalely-Palestinian Orgs Guide –An appli­ca­tion from the Hamas MTIT that pro­vides a direc­tory to com­mu­ni­cate with var­i­ous gov­ern­men­tal and non-governmental orga­ni­za­tions in Gaza includ­ing Hamas gov­ern­ment apparatus.

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