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October 31, 2014 0

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 1

New ISIS Video Recruits Westerners

Fol­low­ing reports that between 70 and 100 Amer­i­cans have trav­elled to fight with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a new video released by ISIS’s Al-Hayat media wing has allegedly fea­tured an Amer­i­can call­ing for oth­ers to join.isis-terrorist-targets-video

The video, “Eid Greet­ings from the land of Khi­lafah,” was released on August 2 and fea­tures video of chil­dren prais­ing the organization’s gov­er­nance inter­spersed with video of fight­ers from around the world. The alleged Amer­i­can is a man called Abu Abdu­rah­man al-Trinidadi who is appar­ently of Trinida­dian ori­gin. Other mil­i­tants fea­tured  allegedly came from Great Britain, Fin­land, Tunisia, Indone­sia, Bel­gium, Morocco and South Africa. All praise ISIS and encour­age Mus­lims from around the world to join the orga­ni­za­tion and to estab­lish them­selves in the ter­ri­tory it holds.

For more back­ground on ISIS’s media savvy and recruit­ment of for­eign fight­ers, see ADL’s report “Hash­tag Ter­ror: How ISIS Manip­u­lates Social Media.”

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January 7, 2014 0

United Arab Emirates Bars Another Israeli Athlete from Sporting Competition

dan-mori-eau

Dan Mori

Update: On Jan­u­ary 12, 2014, the Vitesse foot­ball team issued the fol­low­ing statement:

“In ret­ro­spect, dif­fer­ent orga­ni­za­tions have said there were options to make it pos­si­ble to travel to the UAE with Mori, who is Israeli. The com­plex­ity around orga­niz­ing travel to coun­tries with spe­cific entry pro­ce­dures in a short space of time meant not all the options were uti­lized. Vitesse regrets the com­mo­tion and offers apolo­gies to every­one who feels in any way affected by the deci­sion to exclude Mori.”

Once again, the United Arab Emi­rates has report­edly acted to pre­vent an Israeli ath­lete from enter­ing the coun­try to par­tic­i­pate in a local sport­ing event. Accord­ing to news reports, Dutch soc­cer team Vitesse Arn­hem was informed on Sat­ur­day that Israeli squad mem­ber Dan Mori would not be allowed to travel to Abu Dhabi for upcom­ing soc­cer matches, despite pre­vi­ous assur­ances that Mori would be admit­ted. Vitesse Arn­hem decided to travel to the UAE with­out Mori, a move that drew crit­i­cism from Dutch politi­cians and organizations.

The most well-known inci­dent involv­ing an Israeli ath­lete being barred from the UAE occurred in 2009 when ten­nis player Sha­har Peer was refused a visa to par­tic­i­pate in the Dubai Ten­nis Cham­pi­onship. As a result, a num­ber of inter­na­tional ten­nis stars, includ­ing Venus Williams, pub­li­cally con­demned the visa rejec­tion, and Andy Rod­dick, the 2008 men’s sin­gles cham­pion, with­drew from the tour­na­ment. The Dubai tour­na­ment was heav­ily fined for its actions. Although Peer was granted a visa to par­tic­i­pate in sub­se­quent years, her access and mobil­ity were severely lim­ited by the UAE.

A more recent episode occurred in Decem­ber 2013, when the Israeli under-18 chess team com­peted in the World Youth Chess Cham­pi­onship in Dubai. Accord­ing to reports, the UAE had ini­tially refused to allow the Israeli team to com­pete, but reversed its deci­sion after FIDE – the World Chess Fed­er­a­tion – threat­ened to nul­lify the tournament.

The dif­fi­cul­ties encoun­tered by Israeli ath­letes exist not just in the UAE but across the broader Arab world, and even when Israelis are per­mit­ted to par­tic­i­pate they often encounter severe prej­u­dice. An exam­ple of this occurred dur­ing the Octo­ber 2013 FINA Swim­ming World Cup tour­na­ment in Doha, Qatar, when orga­niz­ers report­edly removed an Israeli flag from out­side the aquatic cen­ter where the event was tak­ing place, and TV cov­er­age of a race involv­ing an Israeli swim­mer cov­ered over the Israeli flag on the screen. And dur­ing the same month, the Tunisian Ten­nis Fed­er­a­tion was sus­pended from the Davis Cup for one year after Tunisian player Malek Jaziri refused to play a Davis Cup match against Israeli Amir Weintraub.

Most inter­na­tional sport­ing asso­ci­a­tions require that hosts facil­i­tate the par­tic­i­pa­tion of all ath­letes, regard­less of eth­nic­ity or nationality.

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