New Pro-Islamic State Of Iraq And Syria (ISIS) ‘News’ App For Android, Available At Google Play Store

April 24, 2014

The following report is a complimentary offering from MEMRI’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.

A pro-Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) app that was designed for use on Android machines has recently become available. The app, named “Fajr Al-Basha’ir” (Dawn of Glad Tidings), can be found on the Google Play webpage.[1]  According to the app’s description on Google Play, it delivers “the latest news and events in Syria, Iraq, and the Muslim world.” The app however, according to those behind its release and promotion, has an entirely different goal, which “aims to support the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria by monitoring its entire field and media activities, and [by] publishing everything that relates to supporting it and defending it.”[2]


Fajr Al-Basha’ir on the Google Play webpage

The app, according to its page on Google Play, was developed by an individual named Hamza Moula. Moula is behind a number of other innocuous apps. As of this writing, the app has been installed between 500 – 1,000 times. Its content is rated as “High Maturity,” and the email address [email protected] was provided for the “Email Developer” field. In addition, a link to a pro-ISIS jihadi blog el-pashaer.tumblr.com was provided under the “Visit Developer’s Website” section.


Snapshot from the app as it appeared on Google Play webpage: (top) “#images from Al-Anbar battles…”

The app has a webpage (fajer.info) as well. According to it, the app “aims to support the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria by monitoring its entire field and media activities, and [by] publishing everything that relates to supporting it and defending it.” The webpage includes links to download the app from Google Play, and links to the Twitter account @dawlanoor, where the app is promoted. That Twitter account has over 25,000 followers.

According to whoisrequest.org,[3] fajer.info is registered to Mohamed Jouda, with an address in Nusirat, Gaza. The registrant phone number is +63 592133915, and the email [email protected] web search of that email address leads to the webpage mojo.ps, which belongs to a web developer and a programmer of the same name. Fajer.info is hosted by GloboTech Communications (gtcomm.net).[4]

The identity of those behind the app initiative is unknown, but they appear to be Palestinians, according to their stated goals on fajer.info: “Thanks to Allah, who blessed us with the Islamic State [i.e. ISIS], and harnessed [our efforts] to support it and defend it, since this is the least we can offer to this great project, which we think was established only to support the religion of Allah, and bring back Allah’s ruling on earth, and to recover Muslims’ stolen lands. And we in Beit Al-Maqdis [i.e. Jerusalem] still see in it [i.e. in ISIS] the hope, after Allah, to be a reason for its [i.e. Jerusalem’s] recovering from the hands of the violating Jews… [And] we reaffirm our complete support … to our mujahideen brothers in the Islamic State, [in its] leadership and soldiers, since they have a just cause, and clear program…”

People, including jihadis, have expressed excitement about the app. On the comments section of the Google Play webpage, the app has thus far received a 5-star rating (the highest rating possible) from a total of 147 reviews. Reviewers congratulated ISIS for its new app, with one person writing in English: “Very… very… good! And it’s the best app I have!!!”

On Twitter, the app received endorsement from several top names in jihadi cycles. Salafi-jihadi sheikh Abu Sa’d Al-‘Amili endorsed the app under the Hashtag #AppFajrBasha’irSecureTrustedAndRepresentsUs.[5] Abu Malik Shaiba Al-Hamad (@shaiba_alhamad), a supporter of ISIS, who has over 30,000 followers on Twitter, reassured people that the app was the “work of virtuous trustworthy brothers…”[6]

Other comments on Twitter, however, wondered whether the app was secure, even if those behind it were vouched to be trustworthy. One person responding to Al-‘Amili’s endorsement tweeted: “The source for this app might be trusted… But most importantly, is the data encrypted when it’s uploaded from the Internet?”

Endnotes:

[2] Fajer.info, accessed April 22, 2014.

[3] http://whoisrequest.org/whois/fajer.info, accessed April 22, 2014.