A WhatsApp group chat called Caliphate Upon the Methodology of the Prophethood, which has 159 participants, was hijacked by a number of Jabhat Fath Al-Sham (JFS) supporters. The group chat was initially called The Provinces’ News, and the link to it was first circulated on a pro-ISIS Telegram channel, Al-Muhajireen and Al-Ansar, on October 26, 2016. Soon after the link was shared, JFS supporters joined the pro-ISIS group and flooded the chat, posting insults often used for ISIS supporters by its opponents – for example, calling them “khawarij” [a pejorative term designating an early dissenting sect of Islam that rebelled against central Islamic authority and declared other Muslims as infidels]. Shortly after the chat was hijacked, the offenders were removed, and the group was renamed.
As indicated by the phone number provided, the WhatsApp group was created by someone in Malaysia. Participants in the group chat are from over a dozen different countries, among them the U.S. The U.S. states represented in the chat include New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Washington, North Carolina, Indiana, Georgia, Kansas, and Ohio. One of the group’s admins has a North Carolina phone number.
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