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February 24, 2015 2

Al Shabaab Video Threatens Jewish and Western Targets

The video calls for attacks on "Jewish-owned Westfield shopping centers"

The video calls for attacks on “Jewish-owned West­field shop­ping cen­ters” and other shop­ping cen­ters in the U.S., U.K. and Canada.

A new video released by Al Shabaab, Al Qaeda’s affil­i­ate in Soma­lia, that encour­ages attacks against “Amer­i­can and Jewish-owned shop­ping cen­ters around the world,” high­lights the role of anti-Semitism in ter­ror­ist narrative.

The video focused on Al Shabaab’s Sep­tem­ber 2013 siege of the West­gate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, which lasted for three days and resulted in at least 67 fatal­i­ties. At the time of the attack, Al Shabaab claimed to have tar­geted that mall because it had “Jew­ish and Amer­i­can owned” shops. The new video affirmed Al Shabaab’s inter­est in Jew­ish targets.

Its release comes as other ter­ror­ist groups, includ­ing the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Al Qaeda, have issued calls for home­grown attacks in the West as they vie against each other for power and followers.

“West­gate shop­ping mall…is a four-story Israeli-owned com­plex,” the video’s nar­ra­tor stated, and in response to the attack, “Israeli secu­rity spe­cial­ists and FBI teams were…on the ground.” The video also put the nation­al­ity “Israeli” first in a list of nation­al­i­ties of the deceased.

Show­cas­ing the 2013 attack enables Al Shabaab to show off its accom­plish­ments to poten­tial new recruits, but the group also appar­ently hopes it may inspire copy­cat attacks. Address­ing West­ern sym­pa­thiz­ers, the nar­ra­tor stated, “We call upon our Mus­lim broth­ers, par­tic­u­larly those in the West…. imag­ine what a ded­i­cated mujahid (fighter) in the West could do to the Amer­i­can and Jewish-owned shop­ping cen­ters across the world.”

It then went on to issue more spe­cific threats: “What if such an attack was to call in the Mall of Amer­ica in Min­nesota, or the West Edmon­ton Mall in Canada? Or in London’s Oxford Street, or any of the hun­dred or so Jewish-owned West­field shop­ping cen­ters dot­ted right across the West­ern world…”

Although Al Shabaab has not staged any sig­nif­i­cant attack out­side East­ern Africa, it has posed a sig­nif­i­cant threat to U.S. secu­rity. At least 50 U.S. cit­i­zens and per­ma­nent res­i­dents have been charged with pro­vid­ing mate­r­ial sup­port to the group or are believed to have joined it. Some of those cit­i­zens are now actively recruit­ing U.S. cit­i­zens to join ISIS and other ter­ror­ist organizations.

Another recent Al Shabaab video, released in May 2014, called for lone wolf attacks in the West.

Anti-Semitism is at the core of Islamic extrem­ist ide­ol­ogy, and ter­ror­ist groups includ­ing Al Shabaab reg­u­larly use anti-Semitism to attract and rad­i­cal­ize poten­tial recruits. In the past, Al Shabaab declared an “open bat­tle” against Israel, which it called the “oppress­ing Zion­ist entity,” and against Jew­ish inter­ests in Africa. In an English-language mag­a­zine released in 2012, the group called Jews, “the worst enemy of Islam.”

The new video also high­lighted the impor­tance of social media as a vehi­cle for dis­sem­i­nat­ing ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda, claim­ing that “HSM Press (the Al Shabaab Twit­ter feed) soon became the most cred­i­ble source of infor­ma­tion on the attack,” and noted that Al Shabaab had live-streamed the attack on Twit­ter. The video itself was cir­cu­lated on YouTube and on links from Twit­ter to file-sharing sites.

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February 12, 2015 3

The Right to Be Forgotten Has No Place in the U.S.

right-to-be-forgottenThe right to be forgotten—the right of Inter­net users to request that search engines remove links to out­dated or embar­rass­ing infor­ma­tion about them­selves from search results—is once more in the head­lines in Europe. Recently, fol­low­ing up on a pre­vi­ous Euro­pean Court of Jus­tice rul­ing that indi­vid­u­als have the right to ask search engines to remove links to “inad­e­quate, irrel­e­vant, or no longer rel­e­vant” infor­ma­tion about them­selves online, Euro­pean reg­u­la­tors and judges have called for Google and other search engines to apply the Right to Be For­got­ten around the world, regard­less of which coun­try the search engine serves and where the search takes place. How­ever, the Advi­sory Coun­cil that Google appointed to look into the issue has rec­om­mended that Google limit its response to European-directed search ser­vices, such as google.fr (used in France) and google.de (used in Ger­many) and not extend it out­side the Euro­pean Union. That Coun­cil, in a new report, found that there is “a com­pet­ing inter­est on the part of users out­side of Europe to access infor­ma­tion via a name-based search in accor­dance with the laws of their coun­try, which may be in con­flict with the delist­ings afforded by the rul­ing.”  ADL agrees with their recommendation.

Last Novem­ber the Anti-Defamation League adopted a pol­icy posi­tion that “indi­vid­u­als should not have the right to have links to old and/or embar­rass­ing infor­ma­tion about them­selves removed from Inter­net search results.” Doing so is tan­ta­mount to tak­ing a scalpel to library books, allow­ing peo­ple to tear from pub­lic record things about them­selves from the past that they sim­ply do not like. The Right to Be For­got­ten could allow, for exam­ple, a white suprema­cist to erase all traces of his his­tory of big­oted rhetoric before run­ning for pub­lic office, deny­ing the pub­lic access to make a fully informed decision.

The Inter­net has pro­vided the largest and most robust mar­ket­place of ideas in his­tory, open­ing lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion around the world. As the Inter­net brings the world closer, how­ever, coun­tries must be cog­nizant of the impact that their laws and reg­u­la­tions have in other parts of the world. In the United States the First Amend­ment pro­vides much stronger pro­tec­tions for free speech than the laws do in Europe. Amer­i­cans, and search engines based in the United States, should con­tinue to respect the laws and found­ing prin­ci­ples of our coun­try, deny­ing the right to be for­got­ten here.


El Dere­cho a Ser Olvi­dado No Tiene Lugar en Esta­dos Unidos

El dere­cho a ser olvi­dado —el dere­cho de los usuar­ios de Inter­net a solic­i­tar que los motores de búsqueda elim­i­nen de los resul­ta­dos de búsqueda los vín­cu­los a infor­ma­ción desac­tu­al­izada o ver­gonzosa sobre sí mis­mos— está una vez más en los tit­u­lares europeos. Recien­te­mente, a con­se­cuen­cia de un fallo ante­rior de un tri­bunal de jus­ti­cia europeo según el cual los indi­vid­uos tienen el dere­cho de pedir que los motores de búsqueda elim­i­nen los enlaces a infor­ma­ción en línea “inade­cuada, irrel­e­vante o no per­ti­nente” sobre sí mis­mos, los jue­ces y reg­u­ladores europeos han pedido a Google y otros motores de búsqueda aplicar el dere­cho a ser olvi­dado alrede­dor del mundo, inde­pen­di­en­te­mente del país del bus­cador y de donde se real­iza la búsqueda. Sin embargo, el Con­sejo Asesor que designó Google para inves­ti­gar el tema, ha recomen­dado que Google lim­ite su respuesta a los ser­vi­cios de búsqueda enfo­ca­dos a Europa especí­fi­ca­mente, como google.fr (uti­lizado en Fran­cia) y google.de (usado en Ale­ma­nia), y que no la aplique fuera de la Unión Euro­pea. El mismo Con­sejo, en un nuevo informe, encon­tró que hay “un interés con­flic­tivo de parte de los usuar­ios fuera de Europa por acceder a la infor­ma­ción medi­ante una búsqueda basada en el nom­bre de con­formi­dad con las leyes de su país, que pueden estar en con­flicto con la opción de elim­i­nación ofre­cida por la sen­ten­cia”. La ADL está de acuerdo con su recomendación.

En noviem­bre pasado la Liga Antid­ifamación adoptó una posi­ción política según la cual “las per­sonas no deberían tener el dere­cho a que los enlaces a infor­ma­ción vieja o ver­gonzosa sobre sí mis­mos sean elim­i­na­dos de los resul­ta­dos de búsqueda en Inter­net”. Hac­erlo equiv­al­dría a aplicar un bis­turí a libros de la bib­lioteca, per­mi­tiendo a la gente arran­car de los archivos públi­cos cosas sobre sí mis­mos que sim­ple­mente no les gus­tan. El Dere­cho a Ser Olvi­dado podría per­mi­tir, por ejem­plo, que un supremacista blanco bor­rara todos los ras­tros de su his­to­ria de retórica intol­er­ante antes de pos­tu­larse para car­gos públi­cos, negando al público la posi­bil­i­dad de tomar una decisión com­ple­ta­mente informada.

Inter­net ha pro­por­cionado el mer­cado más grande y robusto de ideas en la his­to­ria, abriendo líneas de comu­ni­cación alrede­dor del mundo. Sin embargo, a medida que Inter­net acerca al mundo, los países deben ser con­scientes del impacto que sus leyes y reg­u­la­ciones tienen en otras partes del mundo. En Esta­dos Unidos, la Primera Enmienda pro­por­ciona garan­tías a la lib­er­tad de expre­sión mucho más fuertes que las leyes en Europa. Los esta­dounidenses y los motores de búsqueda con sede en Esta­dos Unidos deben seguir respetando las leyes y prin­ci­p­ios fun­da­cionales de nue­stro país, negando el dere­cho a ser olvidados.

 

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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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