Yesterday’s Islamic State (ISIS) video, which featured statements by the perpetrators of the November 13, 2015 Paris attacks, included two secret messages. One of these messages, which was both encrypted and decrypted, appeared at the beginning of the video, and detailed the targets for the Paris attacks. The second message, which was encrypted, came at the end of the video, and may include information about ISIS’s next target, which the video implied would be the UK.
The threat against the UK appears at the end of the video, when various locations in London are shown along with footage of British Prime Minister David Cameron with his head in crosshairs. The video promises retaliation against countries that are fighting ISIS.
Edward Snowden commented on ISIS’s secret messages on his Twitter account, claiming, “It turns out that ISIS can’t even fake crypto properly” and noting a discrepancy in the timestamp in the first message, about the Paris attacks, showing that it was created on November 16, three days after the attacks.
ISIS supporter Rami (@RamiAlLolah) refuted Snowden claims, saying that ISIS’s secret messages were in fact real, and that they had been inserted to pose a challenge for Western intelligence agencies. He tweeted on January 24: “#ISIS challenges the world to decrypt a PGP message dated 2015-11-16 for the next attack after #ParisAttacks #France.”
Responding to Snowden’s claim of time discrepancy, Rami said that the November 16 date was in fact referring to ISIS’s next attack, not to the Paris attack.
It is noteworthy that only the first encrypted message included a timestamp and other details. The video includes only an encrypted version of the second message.
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