Encryption Technology Embraced By ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Other Jihadis Reaches New Level With Increased Dependence On Apps, Software – Kik, Surespot, Telegram, Wickr, Detekt, TOR: Part IV – February-June 2015

Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1168,  June 15, 2015

By: Steven Stalinsky and R. Sosnow*

 

"The administration firmly supports the development and robust adoption of strong encryption. The President himself has acknowledged that it can be a strong tool to secure commerce and trade, safeguard private information, and promote free expression and association.  At the same time, we're also understandably concerned about the use of encryption by terrorists and other criminals to conceal and enable crimes and malicious activity." – White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, June 9, 2015

Table Of Contents

  • Introduction

  • ISIS Video Details Impact Of Cyber Jihad, Mocks FBI Cyber Activity Against It

  • Encryption Apps – Surespot, Kik, Telegram, Wickr – Increasingly Used By Pro-ISIS, Al-Qaeda Elements on Twitter; WhatsApp Falls Out Of Favor

  • Pro-ISIS Group Gives Advice On Android Security

  • E-Book Distributed Via Twitter Titled 'How To Survive In The West– A Mujahid Guide' Includes Tips On Hiding Online Identity, Evading Surveillance, Using TOR; Continued Use Of TOR

  • British ISIS Fighter Pens Guide To Islamic State – Including Chapters On Technology; Says "Apps Such As Skype, Kik, WhatsApp And Telegram... Are Great"

  • British ISIS Fighter In Syria Tweets Warning On Honey Traps And Surveillance, Shows ISIS Electronic Lab

  • American Female ISIS Member Tweets About Life In The Islamic State, Talks To Other Jihadis About Western Authorities Monitoring Them With GPS And Google Maps

  • Pro-ISIS 'Jihadi Media Platform' Provides Tutorial On Cyber Security Using Detekt Tool To Identify Spyware 

  • Jihadis Continue To Move To Newest Apps, Platforms 

  • Taliban English-Language Magazine Warns Users Contacting It To Avoid Using Their Personal Email Accounts And Personal Computers


    Introduction

    Encrypted Messaging With Fighters In Syria Or Iraq, Or Lone Wolf Jihadis In The West – One Click Away

    Anyone can now communicate securely via an untraceable throwaway smartphone, purchased online, including on Amazon. Installing an encrypted messaging app such as Kik or another of the apps highlighted in this report takes a few moments, and after that, chatting securely and secretly with an Islamic State (ISIS) fighter in Syria or Iraq, with an ISIS supporter in the West, or with one of the individuals or groups in this report is one click away. The photos below show one such phone with contacts with pro-ISIS Kik accounts; jihadis frequently share their Kik accounts on their Twitter pages.


    Smartphone purchased from Amazon with Kik installed gives direct, immediate access to jihadis via encrypted messaging app.
      
     

    Al-Qaeda's Use Of Encryption – Revelations From The May 2015 Release Of The Abbottabad Documents – Bin Laden Recommends Encryption Using Al-Qaeda's "Mujahideen Secrets" Software

    As research from the MEMRI Jihad & Terrorism Threat Monitor has extensively documented,[1] since January 2007 Al-Qaeda has been using encryption tools for its online activities, particularly for communication efforts, often utilizing security software based on military grade technology. Their goal has been to hide messages and to protect data transferred via networks, the Internet, mobile phones, e-commerce, Bluetooth, and the like. This development was in direct response to various security breaches of its websites over the years by Western government agencies.

    Following the killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011, more information on the extent of Al-Qaeda's use of encryption became known, as it was revealed that much of the material seized at bin Laden's compound was encrypted and stored electronically on computers, laptops, hard drives, and storage devices. Previously, Nasir Al-Wuheishi, thought to be deputy to Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, known to have been bin Laden's secretary, and currently a top Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader, had discussed the organization's use of encryption software and its use for talking to recruits, planning attacks, and other strategic purposes: "For our part, we will make contact with anyone who wants to wage jihad with us, and we will guide him to a suitable means to kill the collaborators and the archons of unbelief – even in his bedroom or workplace. Anyone who wants to give support to [Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's] operational side and to give tithes [to the organization] can contact us through a special email [set up] for this purpose, using the 'Mujahideen Secrets'[2] software and employing the proper security measures..."[3]

    The May 20, 2015 release of additional Abbottabad documents recovered from the special operations raid that killed bin Laden shed light how security conscious he and his followers were and set the tone for today's embrace of encryption. In one letter, an individual identified as "brother Azmarai" writes, "We should be careful not to send big secrets by email. We should assume that the enemy can see these emails and [we should] only send through email information that can bring no harm if the enemy reads it. Computer science is not our science and we are not the ones who invented it."[4]

    Also, in a letter to another sheikh, bin Laden wrote: "We will do what you said regarding the brother in the couriers: We will question him and check his background and his qualifications, may God keep you all. I previously wrote to you my opinion that we should reduce our correspondence. I have another recommendation, which is that we should encrypt our correspondence. Is it possible for the people on your end to learn the Mujahideen Secrets program? I will attach it, along with an explanation of it. Perhaps your assistants can learn it and use it in their correspondence."[5]

    As MEMRI research in this series has highlighted, Al-Qaeda's emphasis on encryption technology has markedly increased following media accounts of Edward Snowden's revelations of U.S government tapping into electronic communications of U.S. technology companies. In addition, jihadis have expressed hesitancy to use certain platforms and to communicate as openly as they had previously. This was especially true in the first six months following the disclosures.  

    ISIS Continues To Expand Its Cyber Jihad Capabilities

    In previous reports, MEMRI highlighted how Al-Qaeda as well as ISIS were relying heavily on jihadis' own encryption software.[6] However, since the most recent MEMRI report, published in February 2015, distribution of this software among jihadis has slowed, and reliance on new Western social media apps, particularly encrypted ones, has increased.  

    Since its beginnings, ISIS has embraced technology and has used encryption, incorporating these as part of its daily activity and actively recruiting individuals with skills in these areas. For example, in an interview published June 4, 2015, a former computer science student from Madagascar spoke about his conversion to Islam and his decision to join ISIS: "I was studying computer science in Antananarivo university and met some brothers from India who were Muslims... After reading the Koran and the Sirah i.e. biography of Prophet Mohammad, I came to this conclusion that the Islamic State have the true methodology and truth... I decided to join Islamic State Caliphate... Now I am asked by Ameer Abu Qubaisa Al-Anbari to join the IT department because I have degree in BCS."[7]

    On June 15, 2015, an ISIS Twitter account tweeted photos of the computer command in the "ongoing battle in jazal area," in rural Homs, Syria.

    On June 13, 2015, ISIS posted photos on the Shumoukh Al-Islam jihadi forum of several suicide attackers, including a German and a Briton, who had the previous night carried out attacks in Salah Al-Din province, Iraq. One of the photos showed the fighters planning an attack on their computers.

    Additionally, an April 11, 2015 ISIS tweet and post on the pro-ISIS Shumoukh Al-Islam jihadi forum by the information bureau of ISIS in Iraq's Salah Al-Din province showed the cyber operations center from which its recent attack on the Baiji oil refinery was coordinated.

     
    Cyber operations center from which attack on oil refinery was coordinated.     

    U.S. Government Warns About Use Of Encryption By Jihadi Groups 

    Over the past month, the debate on the National Security Administration's collection of data under the Patriot Act has included the issue of terrorists using encryption technology. At the Committee on Homeland Security's June 3, 2015 hearing on "Terrorism Gone Viral: The Attack in Garland, Texas and Beyond," House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul gave the best description by a government official of the importance ISIS now places on encryption, specifically naming social media and messaging apps: Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Justpaste.it, Ask.fm, Kik, WhatsApp, Wikr, SureSpot. He stated: "Aspiring fanatics can receive updates from hardcore extremists on the ground in Syria via Twitter; watch ISIS blood-lust on YouTube; view jihadi selfies on Instagram; read religious justifications for murder on Justpaste.it; and find guides to the battle field on Ask.fm. Jihadis and recruiters are mastering the ability to monitor and prey on Western youth susceptible to the twisted message of Islamist terror. They seek out users who have questions about Islam or to know what life is like inside the so-called 'Islamic State.' They engage established bonds of trust and assess the dedication of potential recruits.

    "From there, the extremists direct users to more secure apps or secure communications, to hide their messages from our intelligence agencies. Such communications can include advice on travelling to terrorist safe-havens; contact information for smugglers into Turkey; or the membership process for joining ISIS itself. I know the officials sitting before us today are disturbed by these trends. Mobile apps like Kik and WhatsApp, as well as data-destroying apps like Wikr and SureSpot, are allowing extremists to communicate outside of the view of law enforcement. Equally worrisome are ISIS attempts to use the dark and deep web, these websites hide IP addresses and cannot be reached by search engines – giving terrorists covert means by which they can recruit fighters and intelligence, raise funds and potentially plot and direct attacks undetected."[8]

    On May 19, 2015, a letter signed by technology industry leaders and advocacy organizations was sent to President Obama; the letter responding to statements by administration officials who it said had "suggested that American companies should refrain from providing any products that are secured by encryption unless those companies also weaken their security in order to maintain the capability to decrypt their customers' data at the government's request" and that "Congress should ban such products or mandate such capabilities." The signatories – among them many of the social media companies used and relied on by ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and other jihadi groups – urged Obama to reject any proposal that U.S. companies deliberately weaken the security of their products; they included Google, Twitter, Facebook, Internet Archive, Microsoft, Apple, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Wikimedia Foundation, and Yahoo, as well as the ACLU, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC).[9]

    In May 20, 2015 statements at the third annual Georgetown Cybersecurity Law Institute, FBI Director James Comey called this letter "depressing," because it "contains no acknowledgement that there are societal costs to universal encryption." Saying that he deals every day with the threat of ISIS – where "cyber and counterterrorism merge" – he discussed the potential consequences to law enforcement of the default encryption of communications on mobile devices and computers. "The logic of universal encryption is inexorable that our authority under the Fourth Amendment... is going to become increasingly irrelevant," Comey said.[10]

    At his May 11, 2015 State of the Cybersecurity Union talk at the Center for Cyber & Homeland Security (CCHS) at George Washington University, U.S. Cyber Command head and NSA director Adm. Michael S. Rogers said in a response to a question  about encryption and jihadi use of it: "A whole set of actors out there is increasingly using encryption as a vehicle to attempt to evade the legal and lawful framework we use both from an intelligence framework, as well as from the law enforcement side."  

    Jihadi Paranoia Driven By Snowden Leaks

    According to many government, military, and intelligence leaders, the data leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden have emboldened jihadis online. Michael J. Morell, former deputy director and acting director of the CIA, blamed Snowden’s leaks for empowering ISIS. He wrote in his recently published book The Great War of Our Time, "ISIS was one of the terrorist groups that learned from Snowden, and it is clear his actions played a role in the rise of ISIS. In short, Snowden has made the United States and our allies considerably less safe. I do not say this lightly: Americans may well die at the hands of terrorists because of Edward Snowden's actions."[11]

    A February 22, 2015 tweet by "Jihadi John" – who took the name of the infamous British ISIS executioner – noted: "The NSA revelations are of extreme academic value, they're really useful and we do operate in accordance with their uncoverings."

     

    The Snowden leaks have also generated an extraordinary level of paranoia among jihadis. For example, on December 13, 2014, the Islamic State (ISIS) issued an order banning all of its fighters from using devices equipped with GPS, particularly Apple devices, since those, it said, were particularly "dangerous."[12] Also, on May 20, 2015, warnings were tweeted about GPS in the battery of Samsung Galaxy smartphones: "#Warning, #Very_Urgent, beware... Oh lions of the Islamic State, Galaxy's battery has a GPS, #Retweet_To_Reach_Everyone." and "Batteries of galaxy has gps please inspect your phone asap if you're in the Khilafah."

     

    The following report highlights how jihadis have been using encryption technology since the publication of Part III of this series in February 2015. This includes greater reliance on encryption apps such as the Ontario-based Kik,[13] the Colorado-based Surespot,[14] the Berlin-based Telegram,[15] and the San Francisco-based Wickr,[16] and on software such as Detekt, which identifies surveillance malware and was developed in partnership with Amnesty International.[17]

    See also:

    ISIS Video Details Impact Of Cyber Jihad, Mocks FBI Cyber Activity Against It

    ISIS is aware that the FBI is the main U.S. government body that is challenging it in cyberspace. In a March 9, 2015 video in which it acknowledged the important role of its online supporters, ISIS denigrated the FBI efforts, stating, "The FBI itself admitted that it had been defeated, and that is could not stop the supporters of the Islamic State on the Internet." The video went on to underline that ISIS's online supporters' work on the organization's behalf had considerable benefits for its operations on the ground, and urged them to continue this work, which it said was a form of jihad. The video, titled "Messages to the Media Knights," featured several ISIS members speaking. The following are excerpts from the video (to view this clip on the MEMRI Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM), click here).  

    Interviewer: "Brother, do you feel that the work on the Internet by the supporters of the Islamic State is effective?"

    ISIS Fighter 1: "By Allah, they have a great and clear impact. Anyone who denies this is ungrateful. Sometimes, when we hear lies about the Islamic State, we are preoccupied in battle. But when we tune in to the media, and see that our brothers defended us and our honor, it makes us happy. May Allah reward them."

    ISIS Fighter 2: "The work of our brothers in the jihadi media has a great impact on the war on the ground. They deliver the message of the mujahideen to the nation of Islam. This makes the Muslims sympathize with their brothers, the mujahideen. [...]

    "I advise my brothers in the jihadi media to double their efforts. The war is fierce and is about to become fiercer. Their mission is one of great importance, for as we fight the enemies of Allah upon the Earth, they defend the Islamic State, and wage war upon the infidels and the nations of heresy, through the media. Their efforts have a great impact, which is palpable upon the ground, in the war against the infidels and the Crusader coalition." [...]

     

    Interviewer: "My brother, America has spent millions of dollars on fighting the Islamic State through the media. How do you comment on this?"

    ISIS Fighter 3: "That's right. Britain is also among the countries to mobilize Internet armies to fight the Islamic State. My only comment is that Allah has vanquished them. The FBI itself admitted that it had been defeated, and that is could not stop the supporters of the Islamic State on the Internet." 

    ISIS Fighter 2: "My brother, even if they were to spend all the gold in the world, they would not be able to defeat the Islamic State – not in the media, nor on the battlefield." [...] 

    ISIS Fighter 3: "Among the Internet mujahideen, there are people whose accounts were erased. They started a new account, but it was erased as well. It got to the point that they had over 100 accounts."

    Encryption Apps – Surespot, Kik, Telegram, Wickr – Increasingly Used By Pro-ISIS, Al-Qaeda Elements on Twitter; WhatsApp Falls Out Of Favor

    As Part III in this series highlighted, jihadis are increasingly using encryption apps for terrorism purposes, the two main ones at this time being Surespot and Kik. Surespot is an app that encrypts messages from plain text so that whatever is sent online is encrypted on all ISPs except for the end recipient. Jihadis value Surespot because it allows only the recipient – and no one else – to view the message, making unhindered communication easier for people who don't want authorities or government entities to be able to easily monitor it. Surespot is run by privacy and drug legalization campaigners in Colorado.[28] Its website solicits donations in the form of Bitcoin, a common cryptocurrency used on the deep web. The domain (.me) for Surespot's website is based in Montenegro.

     

    WhatsApp, The First Messaging App Widely Used By Jihadis, Tied To Arrests Of 16 Alleged Terrorists

    WhatsApp, the messaging app that was the first one to be widely used by jihadis, as extensively documented in numerous MEMRI Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM) reports, has for some time been thought by jihadis to be under surveillance, and has become a less popular option for international communication in those circles. On June 8, 2015, it was announced that the arrests of 16 alleged terrorists in Belgium were tied to information gleaned from WhatsApp messages by U.S. law enforcement authorities.[19]   

    Jihadi Tweets Reveal Conversation About Encrypted Messaging Apps

    Tweets by jihadis reveal an ongoing conversation about preferred encrypted messaging apps; Surespot and Telegram top the list, which also includes the Switzerland-based[20] Threema and MyEnigma, as well as the San Francisco-based Wickr and ChatSecure.

     

    Surespot and Telegram
    Surespot

    The Surespot website states: "We don't know or share anything about you... Surespot is about taking back your right to privacy and it is made free to provide unrestricted access for everyone." The website explains Surespot's encryption by using the example of a postcard that anyone who touches can read: "Typically you do not send information like a credit card number or your pin number or an intimate thought using the postcard format. Today this is what sending an email or a text message or an instant message or a picture is like. The message is the postcard which travels along many hops until it reaches its destination. At every one of these 'hops' the message could potentially be read.

    "For example you, are reading an email at Starbucks. To read this email the information travels from the server (gmail) through their (Google's) ISP, to Starbuck's ISP, to the Starbucks location you are at. At any one of these points the email can be read... Surespot solves these problems by using end to end encryption... No one along the network route the message takes from one client to another, not any of the hops, not even the Surespot server, can view the contents of the data."

    According to media reports published May 26, 2015, at least 115 ISIS-linked individuals appear to have used Surespot in the past six months, and the number of ISIS-linked users discussing the app online appears to have accelerated in recent months. It added that police and security agencies are concerned that they are losing the ability to intercept telecommunications data. ISIS-linked accounts state online that they use Surespot when attempting to fundraise for terrorism, discussing the best methods to join ISIS, and asking questions – for example, "If anyone wishes to sponsor the mujahideen... Contact me on my Surespot for safeways," Other Surespot users wrote: "If you want 2 ask questions about Islam, Hijrah [emigration], Jihad or Shaam [Syria]; Ask me on Surespot" and "Interested in Hijrah [emigration] to Islamic Lands don't know anyone need help. I was told to use Surespot."[21]

    Additionally, major recruiters for ISIS are tweeting that they should be contacted via Surespot for assistance in emigrating to join. They include British ISIS fighter Qa'qa' Al-Baritani[22] and Umm Waqqas, who offers help to "sisters making hijrah." Qa'qa' Al-Baritani tweeted on June 8, 2015: "Anyone who is in need of help concerning hijrah please contact me on surespot as this is part of my work – Butayn (Capital B)" and gives contanct information for others who can help. About Surespot itself, he writes: "Concerning those who say surespot isn’t safe and other applications are not safe, we help in hundreds of brothers and sisters using these very same applications you all claim are not safe. The problem isn’t the applications, the problem is yourselves! Speaking about your plans and your views concerning hijrah and IS is not going to help you go anywhere except jail. Keep yourself to yourself and contact us only when you’re close to leaving and tell no one! Barakallahu fikum."

     

    Umm Waqqas tweeted on June 5, 2015: "Please share and retweet my account. Muhajirah been suspended needs support yallah. Sisters making hijrah always can ask for my Surespot." 

    Telegram

    The Telegram website states:[23] "Telegram is a messaging app with a focus on speed and security, it's super fast, simple and free... You can send messages, photos, videos and files of any type... as well as create groups for up to 200 people." The website also boasts of the app's security and privacy features: "Those looking for extra privacy should check out our advanced settings and rather revolutionary policy. And if you want secrecy, try our device-specific Secret Chats with self-destructing messages, photos and videos – and lock your app with an additional passcode... Unlike WhatsApp, Telegram is cloud-based and heavily encrypted... Telegram is also faster and way more secure..."

    An Australian 18-year-old, Sevdet Besim, arrested April 18, 2015 and charged with conspiring to plan a terrorist attack on Anzac Day,[24] is alleged to have received instructions to conduct a lone-wolf plot to behead a soldier via Telegram.[25]   

    In January 2015, Jordanian Salafi-jihadi leader Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi, Al-Qaeda's spiritual leader and mentor of Islamic State of Iraq leader Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi, informed ISIS via Telegram that the Jordanians would be willing to conduct a prisoner swap – in return for Jordanian pilot Muadh Al-Kasasbeh who was being held by ISIS, Jordan would hand over its prisoner Sajihda Al-Rishawi, who participated in the 2005 suicide bombing at the Radisson SAS hotel in Amman, in which her belt failed to explode. Ultimately, the pilot was burned alive in a cage by ISIS, and the next day Al-Rishawi was executed.[26]  

    Jihadis Tweet About Surespot, Telegram, More

    Below are tweets by jihadis that reveal an ongoing conversation about various encryption apps and recommendations for the best ways to encrypt messages, with particular reference to Surespot, Telegram, Threema, and Wickr. They list apps in order of preference, as alternatives to the WhatsApp messaging app in descending order: Surespot, Telegram, Threema, MyEnigma, Wickr, and ChatSecure. They also warn against using Line and BBM (Blackberry Messenger).  

    @aquaraya: "@AntiCoupMU features of Telegram and why to use it cyberkov.com/p=1354 program is an alternative to WhatsApp Wickr and Surespot encryption apps" 

    @DqpDx: "Alternative to WhatsApp: The program Telegram especially with SecretChat; Threema program is the best in encryption; Wickr is encrypted; Surespot is encrypted" 

    @aquaraya: "@Batiel_Official the hope of contact is always on Twitter for all of the groups and by using the programs Telegram, Wickr and Surespot" 

    @7rbn7r1400: "Alternative to WhatsApp: The program Telegram especially with SecretChat; Threema program is the best in encryption; Wickr is encrypted; Surespot is encrypted" 

    @alarab_2011: "Alternative to WhatsApp: The program Telegram especially with SecretChat; Threema program is the best in encryption; Wickr is encrypted; Surespot is encrypted"  

    @MxoxoxoxoxoM: "@landofeman [unclear] Surespot" 

    @enan2010hh1: "Encrypted programs [that] also protect your privacy instead of WhatsApp:- 1-Surespot -3-Threema -2-Telegram 6-ChatSecure 5-Wickr 4-MyEnigma; do not use 1-BBM 2-Line"

    @hassanasiri36: "Alternative to WhatsApp: The program Telegram especially with SecretChat; Threema program is the best in encryption; Wickr is encrypted; Surespot is encrypted"

    @aquaraya: "@3farit_AntiCoup an alternative program to WhatsApp is Wicker and Surespot encryption app" 

    @aquaraya: "@Esam_Baraka features of Telegram and why to use it cyberkov.com/p=1354 program is an alternative to WhatsApp Wickr and Surespot encryption apps"

    @sowaralsham: "Alternative programs to WhatsApp: The program Telegram especially with SecretChat; Threema program has the best encryption; Wicker is encrypted; Surespot program is encrypted"

    @elBtar: "@JehadNews @icancanthecan "Alternative to WhatsApp: The program Telegram especially with SecretChat; Threema program is the best in encryption; Wickr is encrypted; Surespot is encrypted"

    @3bdulla: "Encrypted programs [that] also protect your privacy instead of WhatsApp:- 1-Surespot -3-Threema -2-Telegram 6-ChatSecure 5-Wickr 4-MyEnigma; do not use 1-BBM 2-Line" 

    @abutahak: "We request clarification, Walid" 

    Abdullah Al-'ali, who owns the Twitter handle @3abdulla, is a Kuwaiti expert who was interviewed on Al-Jazeera last year concerning online privacy. While we see here that jihadis are taking his advice, it should be noted that this does not mean that he is an ISIS affiliate.  

    ISIS, Other Jihadi Accounts On Twitter Recommending Encrypted Communication Via Surespot, Kik, Wickr

    Since January 2015,  followers of ISIS and other jihadi groups have been advertising their Kik and Surespot, and also Wickr account information in their other social media accounts, largely Twitter. This phenomenon has expanded exponentially, especially for Western supporters. A May 7, 2015 report noted that top ISIS recruiters on Twitter, among them Australian jihadi Neil Prakash and prominent ISIS figures such as Mujahid Miski[27] and British recruiter Abu Faris Al-Britani, are listed as key contacts for would-be foreign fighters wanting to join the organization in the Middle East, in an English-language e-book released May 6, 2015. In addition to their Twitter accounts, the e-book says, "They have Surespot and other private messaging apps." The book adds, "If their Twitter is banned, they will always make a new one." According to the report, Prakash includes his Surespot contact info on his Twitter feed.[28]

    In 2015, there have been reports that ISIS recruiters are urging teen girls whom they are grooming to become jihadi brides to communicate with them using Surespot.[29] According to reports, after the girls are indoctrinated on Twitter, the recruiters move communications to Surespot. It is thought that this method is behind the disappearance of three London schoolgirls, Kadiza Sultana, 16, Shamima Begum, 15, and Amira Abase, 15, who boarded a flight to Turkey in February 2015 and are feared to have entered Syria from there to join ISIS.[30]

    The following are further examples of  followers of ISIS and, where indicated, other jihadi groups on Twitter who advertise their Kik, Surespot, Telegram, and other accounts, as highlighted beneath their avatars in their account descriptions or in tweets: 

    WELL-KNOWN BRITISH ISIS FIGHTER JUNAID HUSSEIN AKA ABU HUSSAIN AL BRITANI – SURESPOT, TELEGRAM, KIK

    IBN KITAB ALTWITTARI – SURESPOT


    ABU HURAYRA AFRIKI – KIK, SURESPOT, WICKR
     

     

    ABUM0HAMED (JABHAT AL-NUSRA) – KIK


    BROTHER IN SHAAM (JABHAT AL-NUSRA) – KIK

    ABU USAMAH AS-SOMALI – SURESPOT 
     

    KASHMIRI TWEEP – SURESPOT 
     

    ABU DUJANA – SURESPOT 
     

    ABU KHALID AL-AMRIKI – KIK, SURESPOT

    UMM ABDULLATIF – SURESPOT

    ABU HURAYRA AL-HINDI – KIK

    IS HACKING DIV – KIK, WICKR

    ABU AIMAN AL KINYI - SURESPOT

    MUDAFIA AL-WILAYAT – TELEGRAM, KIK, WICKR, JUSTPASTEIT

    HUSSAIN (JABHAT AL-NUSRA) – KIK 

    ABU_UTHMAAN_ – SURESPOT, KIK 

    AK47ZNEEDLOVE – SURESPOT

    SAYF AL-AUSTRALI – ASK.FM, KIK

    Sayf Al-Australi also used his Ask.fm account to direct readers asking how to get to the Islamic State to his Kik account, and told them that he does not use Surespot:

    Pro-ISIS Group Gives Advice On Android Security

    On May 1, 2015, Rabitat Al-Ansar (@mn_sir000), a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) media body active primarily on Twitter, released a series of security recommendations for Android users.[31]  

    The recommendations, headlined "Security advice for the supporters of the Islamic State," provided a list of antivirus programs to be used by ISIS supporters on their Android devices, including Avast Antivirus, Bitdefender Mobile Security, Kaspersky Antivirus, and Norton Mobile Security.

    Links to Google Play were provided for most of the programs recommended by Rabitat Al-Ansar.

     

    The list included also a brief explanation on app permissions. Rabitat Al-Ansar urged ISIS supporters to use caution and common sense vis-à-vis the permissions associated with apps on their phones, and also provided them with a number of programs that monitor and modify app permissions, such as DCentral, Privacy Guard, AppOps, Permission Manager, and Apk Permission Remover. A demonstration on modifying some of the permissions on the Facebook app was included as well. 


    E-Book Distributed Via Twitter Titled 'How To Survive In The West – A Mujahid Guide' Includes Tips On Hiding Online Identity, Evading Surveillance, Using TOR; Continued Use Of TOR

    On March 19, 2015 the Twitter account @Shahadastories distributed a link to an e-book titled "How to Survive in the West: A Mujahid Guide." This is the latest in a series of e-books compiled by supporters of and recruiters for the Islamic State (ISIS), that provide practical guidance to young Muslims in the West who wish to join ISIS or to wage jihad in their countries. This e-book's chapter titles include: "Hiding the Extremist Identity," "Earning Money," "Internet Privacy," "Training," "Bomb-Making," "Transporting Weapons," and "What Happens When You Are Spied On And Get Raided." The following are excerpts concerning disguise, online privacy, dealing with surveillance, and resources.

     

    Chapter 1: "Hiding The Extremist Identity"

    Chapter 1 instructs Muslims, including new converts: "By not showing you're Muslim, you've already excluded yourself being in the 'Terrorist watchlist... Don't make it too obvious you have become a practicing Muslim. For example: If you haven't grown a beard, don't grow it now, because you will bring unwanted attention onto yourself. Mujahideen in Muslim lands remove their beards for deceptive purposes." It advises "Practicing Muslims" to "not remove their beard if they already have one. This would only draw unwanted attention to yourself from friends and family, and this will in turn lead them to spy on you."

    The e-book recommends to women: "If you wear a hijab and go to a place where Muslims are searched (i.e. airports) then do not wear a black hijab, but a colored one instead. Muslim women who wear black hijabs are searched more in airports than those wearing other colored hijabs. This is merely due to a stereotype of fully black-clothed Muslim women being stricter in their religion." 

    Chapter 2: "Disguise"

    The e-book suggests that extremists should disguise themselves and alter their appearance to resemble non-Muslims in the West. In addition, they should change their first name or their nickname. "When a Muslim goes out in public, he wants to fit into society to make himself look as normal as possible. Remember this isn't because he fears his Islamic identity, but he is doing this so he is not suspected of being an outsider enemy."

    It is also recommended that Muslims in the West change their behavior and go out of their way to appear more friendly, for example, by: "making yourself look more friendly and open minded to the Western public – For example: Muslims who call themselves by a Western nickname gain more acceptances by their non-Muslim colleagues."

    According to this chapter, having a Western name carries additional advantages: "People with Islamic names get less jobs than those without Islamic names. This alias might be important if you need an important position in a specific job, i.e. Mujahideen send people to work in power plants or enemy governmental positions to spy on and leak reports to the Islamic State leadership (as double agents)."

    The book even suggests that agents change their voices, for example, when speaking anonymously to others they should put a cloth over the telephone receiver, or use a different tone or accent. 

    Chapter 4: "Internet Privacy"

    This section is broken down into two types of Internet privacy. The first deals with having a clean home IP address. It explains, "When you browse the Internet, you want your Internet activity to look as normal as possible. You do not type anything jihadi, and possibly not even Islamic on your searches, and especially not in your computer."

    The second type of Internet privacy focused on concerns the use of the anonymization tool TOR when searching for and researching jihadi topics online.[32]

    The chapter also states: "The safest way to get a basic overview on Jihad is to watch the news channels (such as Al-Jazeera). They do not tell the clear picture, but at least you get an overview of what is going on. This is safe because these channels are broadcasted on Satellite for free, and no one can do a search on your history." 

    Chapter 10: "What Happens When You Are Spied On And Get Raided"

    The next chapter provides instructions on what jihadis should do and say if their homes are raided by authorities, and how to tell whether they are being spied on:

    "If the intelligence agencies or police has some suspicion that you are doing some criminal activity, you will be spied on and your house could be raided. The raid will begin within the later parts of the night (after 4 am) or in the early morning (usually before or during the Fajr prayer time). The reason why it is done at this time is to scare you and catch you unprepared because most people are asleep during this time period. Days before the raid, you may be being watched by the intelligence agencies because they want to know your habits. The best way to know if you are being followed is by doing the 'circular route' method. All secret agents do this and it becomes a mandatory security habit whereby you will do a full circle route before you go anywhere important.

    "The circular route method: You will set off from point A and travel to different places while looking from the corner of our eye to see if you are seeing any same person following you everywhere you go. If you see someone going every place you go, you will finally reach point A again. This is a fully circular route because you have gone back to your original point. Now if you set off again to where you need to go, look from the corner of your eye again. Is that same person still following you? If yes, then they are no doubt a spy. They had no reason to follow your full circular route and set off in your destination again except to spy on where you go and see what you do."

    The chapter goes on to describe what items could be incriminating if found in a raid: "They will search your house for: weapons, cash (if you have a lot you will be asked where it came from), files /papers/computers which may contain terrorist information. Even anything written in Arabic or your child's small iPad will be taken and examined. You will be taken to custody and imprisoned for up to a month while they can look through the collected evidences for proof against you. Note: They will not break into your walls to look for things there, unless you have left big clues which make it look like you've put something there. Cageprisoners.com has sections on their website about what questions you have to answer, when you can say, 'no comment,' and what you can answer with a lawyer." 

    Conclusion: "Resources"

    The book's final page is dedicated to useful resources: "TOR Browser, Twitter.com/search, Startpage.com (anonymous searches on Google), Temp-Mail.org (to use temporary email addresses for fake registrations i.e. on Twitter) Dispostable.com, Emkei.cz (send fake emails from any fake email address of your choice), Tumblr.com (make your own blog – they do not ban jihadi blogs yet), archive.org (upload files with direct link downloads), 2shared.com, Scribd.com (share e-books)." 

    Continued Use Of TOR  

    Jihadis continue to extensively use TOR, the free anonymization tool originally developed in the 1990s to protect online U.S. intelligence communications.


    Advice for viewing ISIS videos without turning on scripts; turning on scripts makes the viewer more vulnerable to detection and scripts can also be manipulated to be malicious or to install spyware. 

    TOR's use is recommended by jihadis for accessing jihadi forums,[33] and is also recommended by some Al-Qaeda affiliates.[34] It is discussed at length on their forums, often in the sections dedicated to technology-related matters.[35] For example, on the leading jihadi forum Shumoukh Al-Islam, which is pro-ISIS, on May 10, 2015, a member noted that TOR had announced that it is no longer providing anonymous cloud browsing due to technical reasons.[36] Also, TOR use and TOR browsing were highlighted in a CNN Arabic report on ISIS's use of the Dark Web[37] to recruit fighters and plan attacks.[38]  

    On June 11, 2015, Virginia resident Ali Shukri Amin, 17, who had been arrested March 4, 2015,[39] admitted in court that he had operated the prolific pro-ISIS Twitter account @AmreekiWitness.[40] As MEMRI revealed in its December 2014 report From Al-Qaeda To The Islamic State (ISIS), Jihadi Groups Engage in Cyber Jihad, he was also extremely active on the Q&A social media service Ask.fm. His profile description on his Ask.fm page stated: "Dedicated to raising awareness about the upcoming conquest of the Americas, and the benefits it has upon the American people."  

     

    On his accounts, he provided privacy information to his followers, and referred to TOR repeatedly. For example, on his Twitter page on July 4, 2014, he admonished a reader who asked him about his recommendations "for a brother inside US who would like to fight against kufr": "Don't make these statements inside US unless you're operating through TOR and Ghost VPN." Asked on July 13, 2014 "Why are people asking about how to use TOR?", @AmreekiWitness replied, "To be anonymous online, they don't want the government seeing what they do and getting them in trouble." He also noted on his Ask.fm page that "killing men from the kuffar [i.e. infidels] is halal" – i.e. permitted, and noted a fatwa about "killing children of kuffar.. is halal" with which he said he disagreed. He also stated, "Killing the men without a treaty is halal, this is well known from the Sunnah."[41]

    He stated around September 2014 on his Ask.fm page, "I am now shutting down this account and will not be online any longer."[42]  

     

    Shortly before that, he advised a follower who said he would email him but was worried about exposure to use TOR.[43]   

    British ISIS Fighter Pens Guide To Islamic State – Including Chapters On Technology, Says "Apps Such As Skype, Kik, Whatsapp And Telegram... Are Great"

    On May 20, 2015, well-known British ISIS fighter Siddhartha Dhar, aka Abu Rumaysah al Britani, published online a guide for prospective immigrants to the Islamic State that included a chapter titled "Technology in the Caliphate." Abu Rumaysah was an associate of Anjem Choudary and Abu Baraa in London and moved to Syria with his family in October 2014.[44]

     

    In his chapter on "Technology," Abu Rumaysah praises the tech skills of the media releases distributed by Al-Furqan, the ISIS media wing, and then discusses the impressive advances and innovations to be made in the warfare arena: "As long as the Caliphate continues to wage jihad, and it has to, then the creative juices of inventors will flow and lead to bold advances... The natural progression for technology on the frontlines has to be, in my opinion, anti-aircraft artillery, and if the Caliphate is successful in producing something viable then it should be a real game changer. The Islamic State's deft use of media and hi-tech weaponry to further its aims also shows that Islam is not an enemy to modern technology, and in many ways it has propelled the Caliphate brand into something that is stylish and cool."

    Assuring readers that the Islamic State is equipped with Western technology, he wrote: "Inside the Islamic State you will have access to the usual gizmos such as laptops, mobile phones, and of course the internet. Keep in mind that mobile networks are still in the making, but apps such as Skype, Kik, WhatsApp and Telegram, to name but a few, are great alternatives." He adds: "As far as the future is concerned, the renewable and non-renewable energy is one place where the Caliphate can move [in] leaps and bounds. Nestled in an energy hotspot, Islamic State scientists will, no doubt, think of innovative ways to tap into the vast amount of resources locked into their surroundings, including amongst others, wind, sunlight, fossil fuels, timber, earth minerals, metal ores, and fresh water; however, this is just one idea amongst a sea of others, and I would still advise keeping your eyes firmly on the battlefields for the real movers and shakers." 

    British ISIS Fighter In Syria Tweets Warning On Honey Traps And Surveillance, Shows ISIS Electronic Lab

    On April 20, British ISIS fighter Muslim Al-Britani tweeted a warning to fellow mujahideen to beware of "honey traps" on social media. He included several tips on online security and advised against sharing personal details with users online. "The kuffar are tracking your account," he wrote, "conclude everyone here is a spy and don't trust anyone with any information. Muslim lives depend on it!" He also warned that the U.S. was "running thousands of undercover accounts on Twitter for intelligence gathering and combating us" and thus jihadis should "never share" information such as their names, photos of themselves or of people close to them, or screenshots showing their mobile carriers. He specifically cautioned: "You think you are safe from 'consequences' because this is the virtual battleground? Akh Shami [Witness[45] ] might face life in jail because he tweeted info... some of you are tweeting day and night about beheadings."

     

    Al-Britani also shared several photos of schematics of various weapons and tools. "Have many old notes on Electronics & Weapons in English," he wrote, "can be useful for bros learning & who don't speak much Arabic." Also on April 20, he tweeted a series of pictures of an electronics lab and wrote that he was working on "the best electronics lab in the Islamic State" that will be "producing sophisticated IEDs."

    American Female ISIS Member Tweets About Life In The Islamic State, Talks To Other Jihadis About Western Authorities Monitoring Them With GPS And Google Maps

    An American woman using the Twitter name Irina is a new resident of the Islamic State. Her handle @IrinaHolmess may be her actual name. Irina's profile image is of a woman in a niqab, and her Twitter byline reads: "I've heard the blood of the kuffar [infidel] is delicious. I came here to enjoy it."

     

    Irina's U.S. Origins

    On February 14, 2015, Twitter user S2 asked Irina, "Where are you from?" She replied, "from the U.S." On February 13, she engaged in a debate with the anti-ISIS @ImLoveStoned2, who argued that the Islamic State was a dirty and dangerous place to live. Irina challenged this, writing, "Babe I'm American & this place is much cleaner than most of the places in the states. If you know what I mean."

    Other Twitter users chided her for posting photos; user Abu Umar Al-Ansari wrote to her, "your photo has GPS metadata which can be traced, which means the kuffar can raid this brothers position." She replied, "This picture is not that new. Also my location is off. You don't need to worry." User Prince Khattab tweeted, "Your positions can be easily found with Google Maps by someone who knows Syrian terrain and landmarks." Abu Umar Al-Ansari wrote again, "sister, high-level Dawlah [ISIS] personnel are saying not to post photos of Dawlah positions or from cities. Please respect this." Another user entered the conversation, adding, "#CIA #Pentagon have access to Twitter, they can locate you from your IP."

     

    Following this faux-pas, on February 15 Irina cautioned, "Be careful about what you say on the social network sites. If you are planning to come here, don't announce it."

     

    Jihadis Tweet Warnings Not To Post Photos

    Other jihadi accounts are also tweeting warnings against posting photos taken with smartphones, because they may include GPS data and reveal the user's identity. A May 13, 2015 tweet stated: "WARNING! DO NOT post pictures on twitter that you made with your phone as they mostly include GPS data. This can reveal your identity."

     

    Pro-ISIS "Jihadi Media Platform" Provides Tutorial On Cyber Security Using Detekt Tool To Identify Spyware

    On December 20, 2014, a user on the pro-ISIS Jihadi Media Platform message board named Ahmed al Ansari posted a tutorial on cyber security using a free software tool known as Detekt.

     

    Detekt, which was developed in partnership with Amnesty International, identifies surveillance malware.[46] The tutorial begins:

    "In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Gracious

    "Resist Surveillance – Detekt

    "Detekt is a free tool that scans your Windows computer for traces of FinFisher and Hacking Team RCS, commercial Surveillance spyware that has been identified to be also used to target and monitor human rights defenders and journalists around the world. Read more about our Intentions & Methods.

    "It has been well documented that governments are using Surveillance technology to target human rights defenders, journalists, NGOs, political opponents, religious or ethnic minorities and to conduct countrywide surveillance.

    "In recent years we have witnessed a huge growth in the adoption and trade in communication Surveillance technologies. Such spyware provides the ability to read personal emails, listen-in [to] skype conversations or even remotely turn on a computers camera and microphone without its owner knowing about it. Some of this software is widely available on the Internet, while some more sophisticated alternatives are made and sold by private companies based in industrialized countries to state law enforcement and intelligence agencies in countries across the world.

    "There is little to no regulation currently in place to safeguard against these technologies being sold or used by repressive governments or others who are likely to use them for serious human rights violations and abuses. You can find many reports on the use of spyware against civil society here. You can learn more about the trade in unlawful Surveillance equipment by visiting the Coalition Against Unlawful Surveillance Exports website...

    "Please beware that Detekt is a best effort tool. While it may have been effective in previous investigations, it does not provide a conclusive guarantee that your computer is not compromised by the spyware it aims to detect. The tool is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees of any kind."

    Following detailed instructions and explanations, including numerous diagrams, the tutorial concludes with a section about Detekt's creation:  

    "About The Organizations Behind Detekt

    "Detekt is released in partnership with Amnesty International, Digitale Gesellschaft, Electronic Frontier Foundation and Privacy International

    "This tool has been released publicly in order to provide researchers, human rights workers, journalists and others who suspect they are targets of unlawful Surveillance with the means to easily test their computers for known spyware

    "Detekt was developed by Claudio Guarnieri with the invaluable help of Bill Marczack, Morgan Marquis-Boire, Eva Galperin, Tanya O'Carroll, Andre Meister, Jillian York, Michael Ligh, Endalkachew Chala. The tool is free and open source software and is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees of any kind."

    Jihadis Continue To Move To Newest Apps, Platforms  

    Jihadis are always looking for newer and better apps and technology, in order to maintain their online presence on as many outlets as possible. Ask.fm, once known as a key communication tool for British and other jihadis fighting in Syria as well as for their followers in the West,[47] has, under new management by Ask.com and following the December 5, 2014 publication of MEMRI report From Al-Qaeda To The Islamic State (ISIS), Jihadi Groups Engage in Cyber Jihad, announced that in light of jihadi use of their platform, they would explore steps to address this problem.

    One recently emerged alternative to Ask.fm is the Germany-based Q&A social media service Ask-book.com. Ask-book.com states in its Terms of Service, in very poor English, that it "may not be used to threaten, harass or the rights (including moral rights) to hurt others," that it "assumes no liability for damages resulting from the use of its communication platform, prospective registrants or third parties," and that "each member agrees to [absolve] ask-book.com from any liability and from all liabilities, expenses and claims arising from damages for libel, slander, invasion of personal privacy... for violation of intellectual property or other right showed lawsuits..."[48]

     

    In early June 2015, British ISIS fighter Qa'Qa Al-Baritani tweeted that he was looking for a service to replace Ask.fm, due to its suspensions of accounts. A reader suggested Ask-book.com.

     

    Shortly thereafter, on June 9, Al-Baritani tweeted that he was no longer using Ask.fm, provided his Ask-book address, and also asked if anyone knew of a better service. Also, on his Ask-book, he refers readers to his Surespot. 

     

    Taliban English-Language Magazine Warns Users Contacting It To Avoid Using Their Personal Email Accounts And Personal Computers

    The Taliban English-language magazine Ihyae Khilafat invited users to "contact us for suggestions, questions, positive criticism and submission of articles" via an email address, but warned them to write only "from a freshly created email account" and to "use that account from a public internet access such as an Internet café." It underlined this by stating: "Try not to contact us through your personal computer or email for your own safety."

     


    *Steven Stalinsky is Executive Director of MEMRI; R. Sosnow is Head Editor at MEMRI.

    Endnotes:

    [1] See: Al-Qaeda's Embrace Of Encryption Technology Part III – July 2014-January 2015: Islamic State (ISIS) And Other Jihadis Continue To Develop Their Cyber And Encryption Capabilities; Post-Snowden Fears Lead Them To Test New, More Secure Technologies And Social Media, February 4, 2015; Al-Qaeda's Embrace Of Encryption Technology - Part II: 2011-2014, And The Impact Of Edward Snowden; April 25, 2014; Al-Qaeda's Embrace of Encryption Technology: 2007-2011, July 12, 2011.

    [2] "Mujahideen Secrets" is encryption software that was first released in early 2007 by the Global Islamic Media Front, and has since been updated. See MEMRI JTTM reports GIMF Announces Imminent Release of New Software," January 3, 2007; Al-Ekhlas Announces New Version of 'Mujahideen Secrets' Software, January 14, 2008.

    [3] See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1143, Al-Qaeda's Embrace Of Encryption Technology Part III – July 2014-January 2015: Islamic State (ISIS) And Other Jihadis Continue To Develop Their Cyber And Encryption Capabilities; Post-Snowden Fears Lead Them To Test New, More Secure Technologies, February 4, 2015.

    [4] ABCnews.go.com, May 20, 2015.

    [5]  Dni.gov/files/documents/ubl/english2/Letter%20to%20Shaykh%20Abu%20Abdallah%20dtd%2017%20July%202010.pdf.

    [6] See: Al-Qaeda's Embrace Of Encryption Technology Part III – July 2014-January 2015: Islamic State (ISIS) And Other Jihadis Continue To Develop Their Cyber And Encryption Capabilities; Post-Snowden Fears Lead Them To Test New, More Secure Technologies And Social Media, February 4, 2015; Al-Qaeda's Embrace Of Encryption Technology - Part II: 2011-2014, And The Impact Of Edward Snowden; April 25, 2014; Al-Qaeda's Embrace of Encryption Technology: 2007-2011, July 12, 2011.

    [7] See MEMRI JTTM report Interview With Computer Science Student From Madagascar Who Joined ISIS, June 5, 2015.

    [8] Homeland.house.gov/hearing/hearing-terrorism-gone-viral-attack-garland-texas-and-beyond, June 3, 2015.

    [9] Static.newamerica.org/attachments/3138--113/Encryption_Letter_to_Obama_final_051915.pdf.

    [10] FCW.com, May 19 and 20, 2015. 

    [11] New York Times, May 19, 2015.

    [12] See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1136, From Al-Qaeda To The Islamic State (ISIS), Jihadi Groups Engage in Cyber Jihad: Beginning With 1980s Promotion Of Use Of 'Electronic Technologies' Up To Today's Embrace Of Social Media To Attract A New Jihadi Generation, November 19, 2014.

    [13] Globe and Mail (Canada), March 16, 2015. 

    [14] DailyMail.co.uk, February 23, 2015. 

    [15] Telegram.org/faq#q-which-country-is-telegram-from

    [16] Ft.com, August 25, 2014

    [17] PCworld.com, November 20, 2014. 

    [18] DailyMail.co.uk, February 23, 2015.

    [19] ABC, June 8, 2015. 

    [20] PCworld.com, February 20,. 2014. 

    [21] Channel4.com, May 26, 2015. 

    [22] June 5, 2015. See MEMRI JTTM report British ISIS Fighter Qa'qa' Al-Baritani, Prominent Fixture On Social Media, Shares His Experiences Fighting in Syria, Aids Prospective Jihadis, November 26, 2014.

    [23] Telegram.org/faq#q-what-is-telegram-what-do-i-do-here.

    [24] Sydney Morning Herald, April 19, 2015. 

    [25] Channel4.com, May 26, 2015. 

    [26] Theguardian.com, June 10, 2015; see also MEMRI Special Dispatche No. 5969, Sheikh Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi's Efforts To Arrange Prisoner Exchange Deal To Free Jordanian Pilot, February 19, 2015. 

    [27] See MEMRI JTTM reports Mujahid Miski – An American-Born Al-Qaeda Fighter In Somalia, May 19, 2014; Texas Attackers Communicated With Islamic State (ISIS) Operatives On Twitter,  May 4, 2015; and more. 

    [28] The Sydney Morning Herald, May 7, 2015. 

    [29] Daily Mail, February 23, 2015. 

    [30] DailyMail.co.uk, February 23, 2015. 

    [31] See MEMRI JTTM report Pro-ISIS Group Gives Advice On Android Security, May 4, 2015.

    [32] For more on jihadis' use of TOR, see MEMRI JTTM report The 'Dark Web' And Jihad: A Preliminary Review Of Jihadis' Perspective On The Underside Of The World Wide Web,  May 21, 2014.

    [33] See MEMRI JTTM report AQIM Publishes First Installment In Electronic Jihad Series, September 20, 2013;  Shumoukh Al-Islam Warns Its Members Not to Log In Without Taking Appropriate Cyber Safety Measures, December 7, 2011. See also MEMRI JTTM report The 'Dark Web' And Jihad: A Preliminary Review Of Jihadis' Perspective On The Underside Of The World Wide Web,  May 21, 2014.

    [34] See MEMRI JTTM report AQIM Publishes First Installment In Electronic Jihad Series, September 20, 2013. See also MEMRI JTTM report The 'Dark Web' And Jihad: A Preliminary Review Of Jihadis' Perspective On The Underside Of The World Wide Web,  May 21, 2014.

    [35] MEMRI JTTM report The 'Dark Web' And Jihad: A Preliminary Review Of Jihadis' Perspective On The Underside Of The World Wide Web, May 21, 2014.

    [36] Shamikh1.info, May 10, 2015.

    [37] See MEMRI JTTM report The 'Dark Web' And Jihad: A Preliminary Review Of Jihadis' Perspective On The Underside Of The World Wide Web, May 21, 2014.

    [38] CNN Arabic, May 13, 2015.

    [39] The Washington Post, Marh 4, 2015. 

    [40] The Washington Post, June 11, 2015.

    [41] Webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:w3DfppQUuRIJ:ask.fm/AmreekiWitness+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us accessed June 11, 2015.

    [42] Webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:w3DfppQUuRIJ:ask.fm/AmreekiWitness+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us, accessed June 11, 2015.

    [43] Webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:w3DfppQUuRIJ:ask.fm/AmreekiWitness+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us, accessed June 11, 2015.

    [44] See MEMRI JTTM reports British ISIS Fighter Pens Islamic State Travel Guide, May 20, 2015 and British ISIS Fighter Boasts About Outsmarting British Intelligence; Moves To Syria With Family, December 2, 2014.

    [45] MEMRI Special Announcement No. 350, Days After MEMRI Highlights Leading English-Language Pro-ISIS Tweeter In Landmark Report, He Is Exposed As Indian Executive, Not Fighter In Syria/Iraq; Now At Large In India, December 12, 2014. 

    [46] PCworld.com, November 20, 2014. 

    [47] Mirror.co.uk, February 15, 2014, and MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 5529, On Tumblr, British Member Of ISIS Who Recently Arrived In Syria Opens Q&A Session With Readers, Explains How He Reached His Destination, Quotes Bin Laden And Al-Awlaki, Speaks About His Jihadi Companions, November 20, 2013 and MEMRI JTTM report American ISIS Member From Chicago Active On Twitter And Facebook: 'Internet, Restaurants, Cars, iPhones... Allah Has Made... Jihad In Sham [Syria] So Easy', January 2, 2014.

    [48] Ask-book.com/about/terms#, accessed June 11, 2015.