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January 13, 2015 0

New ISIS Threat Campaign Capitalizes on Paris Attacks

Image from Twitter campaign

Image from Twit­ter campaign

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has launched a new cam­paign on Twit­ter call­ing for addi­tional home­grown attacks in West­ern coun­tries in the after­math of the attacks in Paris last week that killed 17.

The cam­paign, adver­tised with the hash­tag #Fight­forHim was espe­cially promi­nent on Twit­ter on Sun­day, when both offi­cial ISIS accounts and mul­ti­ple sup­porter accounts Tweeted images fea­tur­ing mes­sages to Mus­lims “liv­ing in the West” and quotes by Anwar al-Awlaki advo­cat­ing “the duty of killing those who insult our Prophet Muhammad.”

Awlaki was an Amer­i­can pro­pa­gan­dist for Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula. He was killed in a drone strike in 2011 but his writ­ings and say­ings con­tinue to be a moti­va­tional force for extrem­ists, includ­ing the Kouachi broth­ers, who are believed to have been two of the three indi­vid­u­als who attacked the Char­lie Hebdo offices last week, and Amedy Coulibaly, believed to be one of the two indi­vid­u­als behind last week’s hostage inci­dent in a kosher gro­cery store in Paris.

At the same time, ISIS sup­port­ers are also con­tin­u­ing a cam­paign of hack­ing Jew­ish insti­tu­tional web­sites and, increas­ingly, sites that are affil­i­ated with gov­ern­ments, mil­i­tary insti­tu­tions, and other orga­ni­za­tions, replac­ing the orig­i­nal text on the site with anti-Semitic and pro-terrorist mes­sages. Mon­day after­noon, ISIS sup­port­ers claimed respon­si­bil­ity for hack­ing the social media accounts affil­i­ated with U.S. Cen­tral Com­mand.

One of the Tweets from the #Fight­forHim cam­paign fea­tures a red ban­ner image with the quote, “You are a Mus­lim? Liv­ing in the West? Being a city wolf is your task! For you are the only ones to do so! You are already ’cit­i­zens’, and no doubt you are the suit­able ones to be cho­sen for such a task. You are shar­ing the same land with them! The same busses and trains, the same neighborhoods!”

Sev­eral Tweets also fea­tured what appeared to be pages ready for inser­tion into an English-language pro­pa­ganda mag­a­zine that quoted Anwar al-Awlaki nar­rat­ing a story about a “Jew­ish leader and…very elo­quent poet” who wrote poems that spoke out against Muham­mad, after which he was killed. In the story, Muham­mad stated, “I am the Prophet of mercy and I am the prophet of war” and “he has harmed us and he has defamed us with his poetry, and none of you (Jews) would do this except we would deal with him with the sword!”

Image from Twitter campaign showing Anwar al-Awlaki

Image from Twit­ter cam­paign show­ing Anwar al-Awlaki

The three pages that make up this story are titled Char­lie, ref­er­enc­ing the mag­a­zine. In its sub­ject mat­ter, the story also can be read as sup­port­ing attacks on Jews more broadly.

These images and oth­ers were Tweeted directly from mul­ti­ple indi­vid­ual Twit­ter accounts. This may indi­cate that they were part of a coor­di­nated cam­paign run through the Dawn of Glad Tid­ings app, a Twit­ter appli­ca­tion that allows ISIS to Tweet directly onto users’ pages, thus rapidly and widely dis­sem­i­nat­ing pro­pa­ganda and enabling effec­tive hash­tag cam­paigns. Some of the images were Tweeted from between 80 and 100 accounts in minutes.

The cam­paign was sup­ple­mented by an essay writ­ten by an ISIS sup­porter that urged attacks in West­ern coun­tries and pro­vided sug­ges­tions for car­ry­ing them out.

The essay cites Inspire mag­a­zine, Anwar al-Awlaki, Osama bin Laden and ISIS as sources for inspi­ra­tion and lists mul­ti­ple cities, states, and coun­tries that can be attacked, includ­ing mul­ti­ple loca­tions in the U.S.

“Until life in Nor­way, Florida, Mon­treal, Fin­land, Lis­bon, Lux­em­bourg and Can­berra becomes…a land that burns, a sky that rains rock­ets, and cities through which wolves walk, the lions of jihad, and where breaths are con­ceal (sic) until they taste our sever­ity” it states. The essay later threat­ens addi­tional attacks includ­ing San Fran­cisco, Bel­gium, Lon­don, Madrid, Syd­ney, Rus­sia, Boston, Dal­las, Vir­ginia and Ams­ter­dam with explo­sive devices, booby traps and poison.

This essay was picked up and cir­cu­lated by offi­cial ISIS media out­lets fol­low­ing its post­ing on Justpate.it, an online pub­lish­ing site reg­u­larly used by ter­ror­ist sup­port­ers to quickly and anony­mously post text and images online.

Although the #fight­forHim hash­tag is new, calls by ter­ror­ist groups for home­grown attacks have a lengthy his­tory. In the past year, ISIS, Al Qaeda, AQAP and Al Shabaab have all called for such attacks. In the wake of the attacks in France, addi­tional groups includ­ing the Pak­istani Tal­iban, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Al Moura­bitoun have also called for copy­cat attacks.

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November 21, 2014 0

ISIS Supporters Exploit Mixlr To Broadcast Extremism

Ter­ror­ist sym­pa­thiz­ers are exploit­ing the web­site and appli­ca­tion Mixlr to broad­cast and dis­cuss their extrem­ist views online. Their use of Mixlr par­al­lels pre­vi­ous efforts by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and its sup­port­ers to find and uti­lize new online plat­forms for spread­ing their pro­pa­ganda.mixlr-isis

Mixlr is a plat­form that enables users to broad­cast live audio “to the world” and to “chat, engage and inter­act with your lis­ten­ers in real time.” Mixlr is avail­able online and for smart­phones. Users can also log in via Face­book and Twitter.

Sup­port­ers of the ISIS have cre­ated at least two pages on Mixlr for broad­cast­ing and dis­cussing pro-ISIS material.

The pri­mary account is called Khi­lafah (Ara­bic for Caliphate). The sta­tion some­times broad­casts mul­ti­ple times per day and has a con­sid­er­able fol­low­ing: The account began broad­cast­ing on Octo­ber 19, 2014, and had gar­nered 44,548 “total lis­tens” as of Novem­ber 20, 2014. Broad­casts cover a vari­ety of ISIS related top­ics includ­ing news updates on ISIS and reports from ISIS sup­port­ers around the world.

The Khi­lafah account has 665 fol­low­ers who reg­u­larly con­verse on the site dur­ing broad­casts. Although much of the chat is mun­dane (requests to fix the sound qual­ity, for exam­ple), some com­ments demon­strate the users’ extrem­ism. A con­ver­sa­tion on Novem­ber 21, for exam­ple, cel­e­brated ISIS’s alleged takeover of the Iraqi city of Ramadi with one com­menter writ­ing, “They are dri­ven to the death…we will feed the faith with the blood of their veins.”

This account also has Pro mem­ber­ship sta­tus on Mixlr, which enables it to broad­cast for an unlim­ited num­ber of hours per week. This is a paid membership.

The sec­ondary pro-ISIS page, AL7AQ, has only 134 fol­low­ers, and is likely designed to replace the Khi­lafah page if it is shut down. That said, there has been some con­ver­sa­tion on the AL7AQ page as well.

The pages have an asso­ci­ated Twit­ter feed that announces upcom­ing broad­casts and archives pre­vi­ous ones and pro­motes videos on YouTube that explain how to access the broad­cast con­tent. As of Novem­ber 20, 2014, the Twit­ter feed had 2,393 fol­low­ers, most of whom are appar­ently ISIS sup­port­ers based on their com­ments and account pictures.

The same broad­casts are also avail­able on Paltalk, a pro­gram that enables video, voice, and group chats. Paltalk has been exploited by extrem­ists in other instances as well. The Authen­tic Tauheed Paltalk chan­nel, for exam­ple, broad­casts extrem­ist and pro-ISIS mes­sages by rad­i­cal cleric Abdul­lah al-Faisal.

In the past, ISIS and its sup­port­ers have attempted to use alter­na­tive social media sites includ­ing Frien­dica, Dias­pora and Quit­ter in order to keep their infor­ma­tion online as their accounts were shut down by Face­book and Twit­ter. Frien­dica, Dias­pora and Quit­ter have removed all pro-ISIS pages from their sites, and Twit­ter and Face­book reg­u­larly delete accounts that pro­mote ISIS messages.

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November 19, 2014 12

Axe Imagery Proliferates Following Synagogue Attack In Jerusalem

Within min­utes of yesterday’s bru­tal ter­ror attack that killed five peo­ple in a Jerusalem syn­a­gogue, images and car­toons glo­ri­fy­ing the attack began cir­cu­lat­ing online.jerusalem-synagogue-axe-hatchet-al-aqsa

The speed with which images glo­ri­fy­ing the killing of Jews with axes and hatch­ets – which the two ter­ror­ists used in their attack – were released demon­strates the ease in which sup­port­ers of such bru­tal attacks can express their sup­port online.

Just last week, a sim­i­lar social media cam­paign glo­ri­fy­ing ter­ror attacks by run­ning over Israelis with cars was launched.

The Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades, the armed wing of the Pop­u­lar Front for the Lib­er­a­tion of Pales­tine, claimed respon­si­bil­ity for the ter­ror­ist attack in Jerusalem and cel­e­brated the oper­a­tion by pro­mot­ing the axe as a sym­bol for “Resis­tance” via its var­i­ous social media plat­forms. (Israeli law enforce­ment say they are inves­ti­gat­ing the claim but pre­lim­i­nary evi­dence indi­cates that the per­pe­tra­tors were act­ing alone.)  

The group’s Face­book page fea­tured an image of the two ter­ror­ists who com­mit­ted the attack, Ghas­san and Uday Abu Jamal, with an axe and a mes­sage read­ing, “Oh Zion­ists, in all the places and by all means, we will har­vest your souls.” Another image posted on the group’s Face­book page shows a masked man car­ry­ing an axe and dis­trib­ut­ing can­dies to cel­e­brate the operation.jerusalem-synagogue-axe-hatchet-ghassan-abu-jamal

The group also posted a state­ment on the Face­book page soon after the oper­a­tion, greet­ing the “Heroic oper­a­tion exe­cuted by the two mar­tyrs Ghas­san and Uday Abu Jamal,” and call­ing to “esca­late con­fronta­tions against the occu­piers and the settlers.”

On the group’s Twit­ter page, a post describes the use of axes in the oper­a­tion as “cre­ativ­ity in the forms of resistance.”

Other groups have cir­cu­lated images and car­toons cel­e­brat­ing the use of an axe to attack Jews, includ­ing Ajnad News, a West Bank based news orga­ni­za­tion. A car­toon depict­ing a man with a knife and hatchet in a syn­a­gogue as Jews around him lie in pools of blood or flee out the door, was posted at to Ajnad’s Twit­ter account at 7:19am (Jerusalem time) – only min­utes after the attack­ers had entered the syn­a­gogue at about 7:00am.jerusalem-synagogue-axe-hatchet-ajnad

Another car­toon shows an image of a hatchet on a car wind­shield as the car dri­ves towards Jerusalem. And a graphic presents pic­tures of Ortho­dox Jews next to image of a mov­ing car wheel, an axe and a gun, and advises read­ers to learn about news from the Ajnad sub­scriber ser­vice on their phones.

Other images cir­cu­lat­ing on social media include an image of a fright­ened Ortho­dox Jew with a Star of David on his hat sur­rounded by knives, axes, cars and guns.

The Ara­bic lan­guage jerusalem-synagogue-axe-hatchet-qassam-brigadesTwit­ter account for the Qas­sam Brigades, Hamas’s mil­i­tary wing, posted images of the after­math of the account and pic­tures of the vic­tims and of the per­pe­tra­tors, as well as a graphic depict­ing a bloody cleaver and an Israeli emer­gency med­ical respon­der in front of a fiery back­ground. All of the images on the Hamas Twit­ter feed have been posted mul­ti­ple times in other loca­tions as well.

Sup­port­ers of other ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions, such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and Jab­hat al Nusra, the Al Qaeda affil­i­ate in Syria, have posted images sup­port­ing the attack as well. The major­ity of these are not car­toons but rather images of the after­math of the attack – per­haps a reflec­tion of the graphic con­tent reg­u­larly shared by those ter­ror­ist groups.

Other images:

jerusalem-synagogue-axe-hatchet-anti-semitic

 

jerusalem-synagogue-axe-hatchet-car-terrorism

 

jerusalem-synagogue-axe-hatchet-murder.png

 

jerusalem-synagogue-axe-hatchet-jews.jpg

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