terrorism update » ADL Blogs
Posts Tagged ‘terrorism update’
February 17, 2015 1

New ADL Report: Homegrown Islamic Extremism In 2014

homegrown-terrorism-isis-imageThe rise of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and its increas­ingly sophis­ti­cated social media com­mu­ni­ca­tion and recruit­ment strate­gies influ­enced a diverse group of peo­ple from around the world, includ­ing from the United States, through­out 2014.

The ADL’s new report, Home­grown Islamic Extrem­ism in 2014: The Rise of ISIS and Sus­tained Online Rad­i­cal­iza­tion, presents key find­ings and trends that result from ISIS’s increas­ing reach, and its ram­i­fi­ca­tions on domes­tic security.

The report describes how at least 17 Amer­i­can cit­i­zens and per­ma­nent res­i­dents moti­vated by the ide­ol­ogy prop­a­gated by ISIS and other Islamic ter­ror­ist groups over­seas were charged in 2014 with terror-related offenses.

Three oth­ers were iden­ti­fied as hav­ing died while fight­ing with ter­ror­ist groups abroad and an addi­tional five minors are believed to have attempted to join such groups but were not charged. Of these 25, nearly all engaged to some degree with online ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda and 19 are believed to have attempted to join or aid ISIS.

These indi­vid­u­als range in age from 15 to 44, with 11 in their twen­ties and 7 in their teens. At least one quar­ter were con­verts to Islam. 32% were women.

The report also draws on find­ings from pre­vi­ous years, not­ing for exam­ple that res­i­dents from 20 states have been charged in con­nec­tion with Islamic extrem­ism since 2012.

In addi­tion, the report describes the new phe­nom­e­non of crim­i­nal acts that have not been defined by author­i­ties as ter­ror­ism but that have been influ­enced by ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda – includ­ing mur­ders in New Jer­sey and Okla­homa and an attempted mur­der in New York in 2014.

Finally, it ana­lyzes cur­rent ter­ror­ist nar­ra­tives and recruit­ing tech­niques, includ­ing their use of social media to attract increas­ing num­bers of fol­low­ers and the way anti-Semitism is used to moti­vate recruits.

The full report is avail­able on the ADL web­site.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

January 16, 2015 1

Ohio Arrest Is First Islamic Extremism Related Plot Since 2013

Christopher Lee Cornell

Christo­pher Lee Cornell

Wednesday’s arrest of Christo­pher Lee Cor­nell, a 20-year-old U.S. cit­i­zen from Ohio, marked the first Islamic extremism-related arrest of 2015 and the first inci­dent of an attempted domes­tic ter­ror attack moti­vated by a rad­i­cal inter­pre­ta­tion of Islam since 2013.

Cor­nell is accused of attempt­ing to attack the U.S. Capi­tol build­ing by plant­ing and det­o­nat­ing pipe bombs at and near the build­ing and then using a semi-automatic rifle to increase casu­alty counts. The plot was the first since Decem­ber 2013, when Kansas res­i­dent Terry Lee Loewen allegedly attempted to bomb the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport.

Cornell’s alleged plot comes at a time of increas­ing calls for vio­lence and home­grown extrem­ism by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria(ISIS), as well as the con­tin­ued influ­ence of Al Qaeda pro­pa­gan­dists includ­ing Anwar al-Awlaki and the power of social media in the mod­ern rad­i­cal­iza­tion process.  Awlaki, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011, was an English-language spokesman for Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula (AQAP).

Cor­nell was report­edly hop­ing to under­take his attack as a way to sup­port ISIS. This fits with cur­rent trends in extrem­ism: The vast major­ity of the iden­ti­fied Amer­i­cans known to have engaged with extrem­ism in 2014 sought to join or aid ISIS.

Cor­nell, who used the alias Raheel Mahrus Ubay­dah, Tweeted ISIS pro­pa­ganda and Awlaki quotes and appar­ently found jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for his alleged plot in the pro­pa­ganda mate­ri­als he accessed from ISIS and Anwar al-Awlaki.

Although ISIS lead­er­ship is cur­rently at odds with Al Qaeda lead­er­ship, the group still cites Awlaki as an ide­o­log­i­cal leader. It is not uncom­mon for appar­ent ter­ror­ist sup­ports online to share mate­ri­als from both includ­ing ISIS and AQAP despite fight­ing between the groups’ leadership.

Accord­ing to court doc­u­ments, Cor­nell claimed to have con­tacted mem­bers of ISIS in hopes that they would assist him in his efforts to attack the U.S. He also watched extrem­ist videos and used his com­puter to research bomb mak­ing instruc­tions and infor­ma­tion about how to pur­chase firearms, and he com­mu­ni­cated with an under­cover infor­mant he believed to be a co-conspirator using instant mes­sag­ing ser­vices. He told the infor­mant “I believe that we should just wage jihad under our own orders and plan attacks,” accord­ing to court documents.

Some of his appar­ent Tweets indi­cated sup­port for lone wolf attacks, includ­ing one that praised attacks in Canada by Mar­tin Rouleau Cou­ture and Michael Zehaf Bibeau stat­ing, “May Allah reward the broth­ers who fought and received Sha­hada (mar­tyr­dom) in Canada! May these recent attacks send ter­ror into the hearts of the kufr (disbelievers)!

Accord­ing to fam­ily mem­bers, Cor­nell had con­verted to Islam less than a year prior to his arrest.

Accord­ing to FBI Direc­tor James Comey, the FBI is cur­rently track­ing nearly 150 Amer­i­cans who trav­eled to Syria, “a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber” of whom went there to fight. Other reports have indi­cated that close to 90 addi­tional Amer­i­cans are believed to have died fight­ing or attempted to travel abroad to join extrem­ist groups but failed.

17 of the 22 indi­vid­u­als who have been pub­licly iden­ti­fied as engag­ing in ter­ror­ism in 2014 sought to join or aid ISIS.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,