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October 31, 2014

Tunisian Hacker Targets Hillel In California

O Ghost hacking groupThe website of the Beach Hillel in Long Beach, California, was hacked by an apparent Tunisian hacker by the name of O-Ghost. The hacker redirects visitors to the Hillel website to a page featuring a song about the tenets of Islam and displaying the hackers signature over a phrase “Al Khilafa [the Islamic Caliphate] is coming.”

This attack is another in a series of hacks targeting Jewish institutions in the U.S. from groups in the Arab world who often launch their cyber-attacks under the banner of “Electronic Jihad.”

Unlike most of the previous attacks, the hacking of the Beach Hillel website appears to be a one-person operation. O-Ghost appears to be affiliated with several hacker groups motivated by an anti-Israel agenda. A YouTube channel dedicated to documenting the hacking operations of O-Ghost is associated with a user by the name of Oussama Dridi.

Some of the YouTube videos uploaded by Dridi praise terrorist activities in Afghanistan and describe the Taliban fighters as heroes. Furthermore, the Facebook page includes images praising “Electronic Jihad” and a record of some previous operations such as the hacking of credit card information of Israeli citizens.

Other groups who have been active in targeting Jewish institutions and individuals include, Moroccan Ghosts, Gaza Hackers, Team System Dz , Moroccan Islamic Union-Mail, and others mostly based in North Africa.

It is worth noting that the Moroccan Islamic Union-Mail posted a statement today warning of an upcoming attack on Israeli websites in response to what the group described as closing the Aqsa mosque by Zionists.

The comment posted by Moroccan Islamic Union-Mail reads, “Oh nation of the billion [Muslims], your blessed Aqsa mosque, and the place of your noble prophet’s ascendance is closed by the orders of the Zionists…. [there is] a coming attack by the group to the Israeli websites.”

ADL documented a number of attacks since 2012 against Jewish institutional websites. Earlier this month, ADL issued an alert to warn U.S. synagogues against this uptick in the number of online attacks.

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August 5, 2014

Sixth Issue of Azan Magazine Suggests Targets Around the World

The sixth issue of Azan magazine, an English-language magazine produced by the pro-Taliban Abtalul media group, was released online on August 2.azan-magazine-terrorist-targets

The magazine features a number of animated images, including one fully animated page that shows pictures of Syrian President Bashar Assad, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Florida Pastor Terry Jones, President Barack Obama, Former President George W. Bush, Dutch politician Geert Wilders, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu being struck by bullets, followed by text saying “No shortage of targets.”

The remainder of the magazine features a number of articles supporting the Taliban and Al Qaeda’s ideology and historiography. It also includes a list of 16 reasons “why we do jihad” and an article refuting the declaration of a Caliphate, an Islamic empire, by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

ADL profiled Azan magazine’s methodology, and the way in which it has utilized techniques from Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)’s Inspire Magazine, in the post “Afghani Azan Magazine Picks UP Where Inspire Left Off.”

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December 3, 2013

Afghani Azan Magazine Picks Up Where Inspire Left Off

Azan Magazine, produced by the pro-Taliban Abtalul Media Group since March 2013, mirrors the tone and content of other English-language propaganda that has influenced many domestic terrorists over the past few years. azan-magazine-afghanistan-inspire-terrorism-adl

Azan is not only modeled after Inspire Magazine, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s English-language magazine, but may be attempting to fill the gap left by Inspire, which has not published an issue since June.

The Fourth issue of Azan Magazine, 72-pages long and titled “To the Jihadis in the West,” was released this month. Like Inspire, this issue encourages violence in the West, hatred of the United States and is filled with content glorifying a militant Islamist ideology.

And like Inspire, Azan magazine also makes use of colorful, informal pages and articles with different approaches to encouraging extremism, including quotes from religious figures and threats of punishment to those who do not espouse radical Islamist beliefs.

It includes “advertisements,” such as “A come-to-jihad ad” that depicts terrorists in front of a fiery backdrop with a quote from the Quran, and an image of the World Trade Center on 9/11 with an image of and quote by Osama bin Laden with text that reads: “A ‘9-11 We Remember’ Ad.”

The magazine also has a section addressing specific concerns that might otherwise stop would-be extremists from committing terrorist actions, similar to Inspire’s question-and-answer sections addressing concerns about terrorism. It similarly includes an “Around the World” page about terrorism and anti-Western activity worldwide, and pages ridiculing president Obama and criticizing American policies.

Conspicuously absent is a section mirroring Inspire’s infamous “Open Source Jihad” with suggested attack methods and weapons instructions. Instead, Azan features a diagram of an extremist on a motorcycle, noting different items that may be helpful to him, including an Mp3 player “to listen to the Qur’an” and “Rockets/Ammo” that can be “fit into the woolen blanket” that he sits on to provide comfort.

This issue of Azan magazine closes with a solicitation for reader contributions – again, following a trend of encouraging interaction and participation through a variety of mediums. “If you would like to contribute to the magazine or to the global Jihad against the crusader-zionist alliance – or if you would like to carry out Jihad on your home territory, contact us,” it says, further advising readers to look back to their copies of Inspire for instructions on sending encrypted emails.azan-ad-come-to-jihad

Also like Inspire, the primary focus of Azan Magazine is domestic extremism and attacks on Western soil. Such encouragement has been downplayed in recent months by foreign terrorist organizations such as Jabhat al-Nusra and al-Shabaab, which have been encouraging Americans and other Westerners to join them abroad. But Azan makes very clear that domestic plots should be prioritized over joining terror groups abroad.

Abtalul Islam likewise released its first English-subtitled video last month urging Westerners to contribute to its cause through a variety of means, including through writing, computer use and actual fighting.

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