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

By: Steven Stalinsky and Ruhama Sosnow*

February 5, 2015

Table Of Contents

Government Officials Warn Of Jihadi Use Of Encryption; U.S. Tech Giants Add Encryption Technology Expected To Be Heavily Used By Jihadis Due To Snowden Revelations

Al-Qaeda In The Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) Uses Encryption In First Issue Of Its English-Language Magazine Resurgence

Al-Qaeda In The Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Inspire Magazine Issue 13 – Magazine Known For Using Encryption Technology; Second Edition In A Row To Have Suspended Email Address For Security Reasons – Utilizes Encryption

GIMF Releases Updated Version Of Android Secure Communication App, Refers To The ‘Cooperation Of Global [Communication] Companies With The International Intelligence Agencies’ As Reason Behind Update

Al-Fajr Technical Committee Releases Android App For Secure Communication, Announces New Website

Islamic State (ISIS) And Encryption

Islamic State Releases Third Issue Of Its English-Language Magazine Dabiq, First Time It Releases Encryption Technology

Pro-Islamic State (ISIS) Twitter Account Provides Guidelines For Using Tor, Encrypted Communication

Islamic State (ISIS) Bans Use Of Electronic Devices With GPS, Says Apple Products Are Particularly ‘Dangerous’

ISIS-Affiliated Twitter Account Tells Mujahideen: Insulate Your Mobile Phones So Spy Planes Can’t Pinpoint Your Location

ISIS-Affiliated Forum Posts French-Language Guide To Help French Speakers Join The Forum And Write On It Using Tor

Shumoukh Al-Islam Forum Opens Doors For Jihadis Including ISIS And Al-Qaeda Affiliate In Syria Jabhat al-Nusra, To Submit Questions To Fighting Jihadi Groups In Syria, Provides Public Key For Secure Communication Via Asrar Al-  Mujahideen Program

Pro-ISIS Jihadi Forum Warns Members Against Using Private Messages On Forum, Recommends Using Asrar Al-Mujahideen Program For Secure Communication

Pro-ISIS Jihadis Offer Tutorials On Obtaining Fake U.S. Phone Numbers To Maintain Access To Social Media, Circumvent Censorship

Jihadis Circulate Tutorials On Maintaining Online Anonymity And Security, Suggest Ways To “Hide From The Crusader Alliance”

Jihadis Discuss “Ways Of Hiding From The Crusader Alliance”

Jihadi Warns Against Enemy Use Of Metadata, Offers Ways To Remove It

Ask.fm: Gateway To More Secure Jihadi Chat; As Kik, ChatSecure Grow In Popularity, Jihadis Become Wary Of These And Other Encryption Services

SureSpot – Latest App Used By Online Jihadis, Including The Infamous ShamiWitness

On Twitter, Jihadis Discuss Benefits Of Using SureSpot

Appendix: Mysterious Online “Global Islamic Intelligence Media” (GII) Releases Video Via Twitter And Youtube Detailing Phone Tracking Technology, Advises Jihadis On Ways To Avoid Detection And ‘Spies’; “Every Mujahid That Does Not Take The Right Precautions [Online] Can Be A Tool In The Hand Of The Enemy”


Government Officials Warn Of Jihadi Use Of Encryption; U.S. Tech Giants Add Encryption Technology Expected To Be Heavily Used By Jihadis Due To Snowden Revelations

On January 16, 2014, at a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron, President Obama said, when asked about methods used by terrorists to avoid intelligence collection: “[W]ith respect to the issue of intelligence-gathering, signal intelligence, encryptions, this is a challenge that we have been working on since I’ve been President… Social media and the Internet is the primary way in which these terrorism organizations are communicating… when we have the ability to track that in a way that is legal, conforms with due process, rule of law, and presents oversight, then that’s the capability that we have to preserve… we’re working with partners like Great Britain and the United Kingdom, but we’re also going to be in dialogue with the companies to try to make that work.”[1]

As research from the MEMRI Jihad & Terrorism Threat Monitor has extensively documented, 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.[2] 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, 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, discussed the organization’s use of encryption software and its use for talking to recruits, planning attacks, and other strategic purposes:[3] “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’ software and employing the proper security measures…”[4]

Numerous current and former U.S. and Western government officials have discussed the issue of Al-Qaeda’s and other terrorist groups’ growing reliance on encryption technology. On September 10, 2014, Nicholas Rasmussen, who is now director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said at a September 10, 2014 Senate hearing titled “Cybersecurity, Terrorism, and Beyond: Addressing Evolving Threats to the Homeland: “Al-Qaeda’s core is increasingly encouraging groups and individuals to act independently in support of the global movement. With no longer holding an expectation that regional affiliates will discuss or clear their operations plans with Al-Qaeda senior leadership prior to execution. And this evolution is the result of an adaptive enemy… Our counterterrorism operations continue to degrade Al-Qaeda’s core ability to lead the global terrorist movement and to plan sophisticated attacks from its place in the FATA [Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan]. But as a result of leaks and disclosures, including those attributable to Edward Snowden, terrorists now understand the scope and scale of Western collection capabilities, and they’re changing the way they communicate. They’re adopting encryption technologies. They’re shifting accounts, or avoiding altogether the use of electronic communications, all of which frustrate our counterterrorism efforts…In short, we cannot connect the dots… if we can’t collect the dots that matter the most. And our collection is challenged in this new environment.”

Former National Counter Terrorism Center director Matthew Olsen told CNN on October 21, 2014: “They’ve changed how they encrypt their communications and adopted more stringent encryption techniques. They’ve changed service providers and email addresses, and in some cases have dropped off altogether. They suspected we had this capability before the NSA stolen documents were made public. But is has become a really concerted effort by a number of these targets, people we were following, and it’s made it harder for us to collect against them.”[Q: Have we lost them as a result of that?] “Yes. We’ve lost a collection against some individuals. People that we were concerned about. We are no longer collecting their communications. So we lost insight into what they were doing… People we were concerned about.”

Robert Hannigan, the director of the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), wrote on November 3, 2014 in the Financial Times: “The ISIS leadership understands the power this gives them with a new generation … capitalizing on Western freedom of expression … for encrypting messages or making them anonymous which were once the preserve of the most sophisticated criminals or nation states now come as standard. These are supplemented by freely available programs and apps adding extra layers of security, many of them proudly advertising that they are ‘Snowden approved.’ There is no doubt that young foreign fighters have learnt and benefited from the leaks of the past two years. GCHQ and its sister agencies, MI5 and the Secret Intelligence Service, cannot tackle these challenges at scale without greater support from the private sector, including the largest US technology companies which dominate the web…”

While Al-Qaeda had been using encryption technology since 2007, the emphasis it has placed on such 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; however, some groups, as this report will show, have now gone back to their previous methods.

Another recent development was highlighted by a report by Ellen Nakashima in the Washington Post, according to which the instant messaging platform WhatsApp, bought recently by Facebook and increasingly popular among jihadis, had begun encrypting all data by default. According to the article, “Open Whisper Systems… [has] partnered with WhatsApp to build in end-to-end encryption that will make it impossible for foreign governments and U.S. agencies to intercept text messages, even with a warrant.” Apple and Google have also announced that the data on their mobile devices would be encrypted by default. While privacy advocates claim that this will help dissidents and human rights activists protect their communications against governments and hackers, law enforcement officials said that the encryption hinders legitimate investigation of suspects: “FBI Director James Comey said recently that the ‘post-Snowden pendulum has swung too far,’ referring to tech companies’ reactions to the revelations of widespread government surveillance by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.”[5]

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo and subsequent attacks in Paris, British Prime Minister David Cameron said, on January 12, 2015, that he would consider banning encryption services, such as Snapchat and WhatsApp, if they did not allow his country’s intelligence agencies access to sought communications. In view of this proposed strategy, Prime Minister Cameron urged President Barack Obama to pressure Facebook, Twitter and others to cooperate more with British intelligence agencies against extremism.[6]

Andrew Parker, the head of the UK’s MI5, warned Apple and Google on January 8, 2015 that their efforts to keep its users’ communications private was “closing off” his agency’s ability to locate and apprehend terrorists. He went on to state, “Wherever we lose visibility of what they are saying to each other, so our ability to understand and mitigate the threat that they pose is reduced.”[7]

L. Gordon Crovitz, former publisher of The Wall Street Journal, criticized U.S. social media companies on November 23, 2014 for their plans to add encryption: “Apple, Google, Facebook and others are playing with fire,” he wrote, adding that their behavior “highlights the risks that Silicon Valley firms are taking with their reputations by making it impossible for intelligence agencies or law enforcement to gain access to these communications. In September, marketers from Apple bragged of changes to its operating system so that it will not comply with judicial orders in national-security or criminal investigations…”Unlike our competitors,” Apple announced, “it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants.” This encryption was quickly matched by Google and the WhatsApp messaging service owned by Facebook.”[8]

The Snowden revelations have had a direct impact on the way jihadis have been using the Internet and social media, and have even generated an extraordinary level of paranoia among them. For example, on December 13, 2014, 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.” It should be expected that if and when companies, including Google, Android, WhatsApp, and Apple, add encryption technology, they will be heavily utilized by jihadi groups.

A recent example highlighting how jihadis are following developments related to the Snowden revelations is a January 21, 2015 retweet by Abu Jisr (@iKhilafaS) of an article in the Independent warning about iPhone’s “secret software.”

This report will explore developments in jihadi use of encryption over the last six months, since MEMRI’s previous report on this subject.

See also:

     *Al-Qaeda’s Embrace of Encryption Technology – Part I: 2007-2011

     *Al-Qaeda’s Embrace Of Encryption Technology – Part II: 2011-2014, And The Impact Of Edward Snowden

Al-Qaeda In The Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) Uses Encryption In First Issue Of Its English-Language Magazine Resurgence

In its new published English-language magazine Resurgence, the first issue of which was released on October 19, 2014,[9] Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) provided an email address and a public encryption key for those looking to contact it. Resurgence is a “humble effort to revive the spirit of jihad in the Muslim ummah,” according to the magazine. It also encouraged its readers to “participate with us in this effort.” In that regard, AQIS welcomed any “advice, feedback, and contributions” from its readers, who were provided with the contact email address resurgencemag@ yahoo.com.

Readers were also encouraged to use the Asrar Al-Mujahideen encryption program to contact the magazine, with a public encryption key provided for this purpose. “Take all necessary measures to hide your real identity,” the magazine warned, and advised against revealing any personal or sensitive information, even if it was sent securely. “This [i.e. Asrar Al-Mujahideen] software is only a human effort to ensure online security. We do not guarantee that information sent using this software cannot be read by the enemies.”[10]

Al-Qaeda In The Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Inspire Magazine Issue 13 – Magazine Known For Using Encryption Technology; Second Edition In A Row To Have Suspended Email Address For Security Reasons – Utilizes Encryption

As the MEMRI report Al-Qaeda’s Embrace Of Encryption Technology – Part II: 2011-2014, And The Impact Of Edward Snowden highlighted, another sign that the Snowden revelations have impacted Al-Qaeda’s communications was the March 15, 2014 release of Issue XII of Al-Qaeda’s English-language magazine Inspire. Since its launch in 2010, Inspire has been known for its efforts to reach out to potential Western recruits. These efforts appear to have been successful; to date, over 20 young people have been arrested on terrorism-related charges with copies of Inspire in their possession.[11] Issues I through XI of Inspire provided readers with encryption information for securely contacting the magazine.

The 13th issue of Inspire, the second since the Edward Snowden affair, released on December 24, 2014, notes on the first page, in all-capital letters: “DUE TO TECHNICAL AND SECURITY REASONS, WE HAVE SUSPENDED OUR EMAIL ADDRESSES TEMPORARILY.” Since, as mentioned, Inspire has always provided email addresses and encryption information for readers wishing to contact it, and, as a major part of its outreach efforts, urged readers to write in, its decision to suspend its email is meaningful.[12]

This issue of Inspire also includes quotes from famous hacker Krypt3ia, who focused on Snowden: “There are some subtle changes that analysts should take note of that bespeak a change in thought to a more global approach… The authors have seized upon the times (i.e. Snowden releases, war weariness, and economic climate issues) to try and sway the reader into action. If anything, though, this publication is sure to get a reaction from the government and security around events throughout the world will be tightened even more than they might have been post the marathon bombing.”[13]

GIMF Releases Updated Version Of Android Secure Communication App, Refers To The ‘Cooperation Of Global [Communication] Companies With The International Intelligence Agencies’ As Reason Behind Update 

In July 2011, MEMRI published a report, Al-Qaeda’s Embrace of Encryption Technology: 2007-2011, which covered the period beginning January 1, 2007, when the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF) announced the imminent release of new computer software, Asrar Al-Mujahideen (“Mujahideen Secrets”).[14] The promotional material for the software stated that it was “the first Islamic computer program for secure exchange [of information] on the Internet,” and noted that it provided users with “the five best encryption algorithms, and with symmetrical encryption keys (256 bit), asymmetrical encryption keys (2048 bit) and data compression [tools].” Since then, in addition to Asrar Al-Mujahideen, GIMF has released Asrar Al-Dardashah, an encryption plugin for instant messaging (February 2013),[15] and a mobile version of Asrar Al-Mujahideen (September 2013).[16]

On July 12, 2014, the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF) released an updated version of its Android mobile app for secure communication.

GIMF released the first version of the app in September 2013.[17] The newer version, explains GIMF, “enables the encryption of files directly from the mobile Android [device].”

Following is the brief English-language announcement from GIMF regarding the update:

“…With the increased spread and circulation of smartphones worldwide, especially phones running the Android operating system, users in the Arab and Muslim countries have become very reliant on them in their daily life. Smartphones are used for internet access, emails, and navigating news and social networking websites, and thousands are even using smartphones to follow the news of jihad in Islamic countries. This requires a degree of security precaution, in accordance with the words of Allah the Almighty [Koran (4:71)]: ‘Take your precautions,’ especially in the midst of the rapidly developing news about the cooperation of global companies with the international intelligence agencies, in the detection of data exchanged over smartphones.

“Your brothers in the Technical Department of the Global Islamic Media Front are pleased to present to you an updated version of the Android Mobile Encryption Program (V 1.1) enabling the encryption of all kinds of files and sending e-mail securely and encrypted.”[18]

Al-Fajr Technical Committee Releases Android App For Secure Communication, Announces New Website 

On June 7, 2014, the Al-Fajr Technical Committee (FTC) released an Android version of its ‘Amn Al-Mujahid (“The Mujahid’s Security”) encryption program. The FTC also announced the launching of its new website – alfajrtaqni.net.


Snapshot from FTC website

The FTC was established in September 2012. It comprises an unknown number of individuals with various technical backgrounds. In December 2013, the FTC launched the first version of its encryption program ‘Amn Al-Mujahid.[19] ‘Amn Al-Mujahid followed a number of other encryption programs that have been deployed by jihadis in recent years. For a comprehensive review of these, see MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1086, Al-Qaeda’s Embrace Of Encryption Technology – Part II: 2011-2014, And The Impact Of Edward Snowden, April 25, 2014.

Commenting on its new Android app, the FTC wrote on its website: “Your brothers in the Technical Committee, which belongs to Al-Fajr [media] center, were able to write the ‘Amn Al-Mujahid program. The ‘Amn Al-Mujahid program is characterized by a strong encryption, and it is the best aid for the brothers since it follows the technological advancements [in the field]. The encryption scheme of the program [can be] easily developed and updated [further] if necessary. That is in addition to the program being able to run on mobile phones. Add to that the technological experience… of the brothers in the [Al-Fajr] Technical Committee in the field of encryption, and which made this program more secure. The ‘Amn Al-Mujahid program has been provided with a 4096bit public key [encryption]… making it the most secure system among the other [encryption] algorithms.”

The Android app can be downloaded off the FTC’s website (see below). The app comes in a 4.02MB zipped file that includes the executable application file (named “Amn Al-Mujahid.apk”), and two PDF user manuals, one in English and another in Arabic.  Below are various images from the user manual:

Along with its new app, the FTC also announced the launching of its new website (alfajrtaqni.net). Up until the launch, the FTC operated out of the Al-Fida’ and Shumoukh Al-Islam forums, where it held official accounts. FTC’s decision to expand beyond the password-protected jihadi forums shows the group’s interest in reaching a wider audience while making its tools available to the masses as well. Also, up until the 2013 launch of the first version of ‘Amn Al-Mujahid, the jihadi tech capabilities, namely in the field of developing encryption methods, were led by the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF).


“Protect yourself and your brothers, and encrypt your communications [since] the enemy is lying in wait” (alfajrtaqni.net, June 10, 2014)

Alfajrtaqni.net is registered privately. Its domain was created on April 14, 2014, and its IP address is 5.135.47.38.[20] The website is hosted by the French web hosting service company OVH.[21]


Alfajrtaqni.net info page (netcraft.com, June 10, 2014)[22]

Islamic State (ISIS) And Encryption

Islamic State Releases Third Issue Of Its English-Language Magazine Dabiq, First Time It Releases Encryption Technology

On August 29, 2014, the Islamic State (ISIS) released the third issue of its English-language magazine Dabiq, which was the first and only time to date that ISIS publicly provided encryption for followers in the West to reach it. The issue, which is called “A Call To Hijrah,” focuses primarily on Western Muslims and calls upon them to promptly make hijra (emigrate) to the caliphate. The magazine also touts ISIS’s beheading of American journalist James Foley, while blaming the Obama administration for his death.

The third issue of its magazine Dabiq was the first to feature email addresses for contacting it ([email protected][email protected], and [[email protected]), stating, “The Dabiq team would like to hear back from its readers, and for this reason, we are providing email addresses to submit your opinions, suggestions, and questions.” It also includes a public encryption key “for those of you who would like to use Asrar Al-Mujahideen” encryption software for secure communication.

Pro-Islamic State (ISIS) Twitter Account Provides Guidelines For Using Tor, Encrypted Communication

The pro-Islamic State (ISIS) twitter account Omarov Al-Jallad (@omarovsir) recently posted guidelines for using Tor (The Onion Router), and on taking various steps to protect one’s communications. Omarov said he put together the tutorial in response to the “fierce campaign” against people reporting what is “truly” happening on the ground, as well as to the “repetitive closure” of Twitter accounts. His comments refer to ISIS supporters tweeting about the group’s activity, and Twitter management’s closure of pro-ISIS accounts, respectively. He also has an account on Ask.fm (ask.fm/Sir_masool2), where he wrote that he is from the Arabian Peninsula but is currently in the U.K. for studies. Stating that he has no plans to return home, he said that the only place he would go back to would be a “just Islamic State [that] establishes the shari’a.” Omarov doesn’t appear to have any plans to travel to a jihad front to join the jihad there; instead, he says, “each person has his [own] circumstances, and I consider my pen [i.e. writing] [to be my form of] jihad for the sake of Allah.” He also provides random information about ISIS on his Ask.fm account. For example, he details ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi’s lineage, and when asked about the best route from Saudi Arabia to Syria in order to join ISIS, he denies knowing such a route, but adds that anyone wishing to join ISIS must be vouched for by two trusted individuals.


Omarov’s Ask.fm page

On his Twitter account, Omarov often posts computer security related content, in addition to pro-ISIS content.


Omarov’s Twitter page

On December 18, 2014, Omarov posted a tutorial on securing one’s communications online.[23]  The tutorial, he said, was a response to the closure of Twitter accounts, a reference to pro-ISIS accounts that are shut down by Twitter’s administration: “After the fierce campaign against [anyone] writing and reporting the truth about what is taking place on the ground, and [after] the repetitive closure of Twitter accounts, there is no doubt that the security of your communication is important.”

Providing recommendations for various products that can secure one’s communication and presence online, he recommended using Tor and VPN networks for anonymous surfing; Photo GPS Editor to modify the geolocation parameters found on images; TrueCrypt and the ThinkPad encrypted external hard drives for encrypting data; Telegram and Threema for secure instant messaging on mobile phones; and Blackphone as a secure phone. Below are images from Omarov’s tutorial:


Clockwise from top left: Installing Tor; Using TrueCrypt and ThinkPad’s encrypted external hard drive; Modifying GPS data on images; Using Blackphone for secure mobile communication.[24]

Islamic State (ISIS) Bans Use Of Electronic Devices With GPS, Says Apple Products Are Particularly ‘Dangerous’

The Islamic State (ISIS) issued an order dated December 13, 2014 banning its fighters from using “any electronic device or communication methods” that include GPS services. The ban comes in light of the coalition airstrikes against ISIS’s soldiers, which ISIS claims utilized the GPS capabilities of those devices to pinpoint fighter location on the ground. ISIS also banned all Apple phones and tablets for being “dangerous.”

ISIS gave its soldiers one month to comply with the order, after which, it said, any devices found would be confiscated, and their owner would be questioned. It also designated technicians in all its provinces who would assist anyone in “disabling and removing” the GPS service from their devices.[25]

ISIS-Affiliated Twitter Account Tells Mujahideen: Insulate Your Mobile Phones So Spy Planes Can’t Pinpoint Your Location 

On December 22, 2014, the @salm4198 Twitter account, which is affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS), published a document explaining to mujahideen how to prevent bombings by spy planes that pinpoint their locations using their mobile phones. The document was written by “Al-Mukhtar Al-Muqafi.”

Al-Muqafi first explains that the new-generation mobile phones are equipped with GPS which links directly to satellites, and that therefore their location can be pinpointed. These devices, he says, use many frequencies, including radio and electromagnetic waves, that operate in a frequency range where jamming to prevent monitoring of their uses is difficult – and cannot be done even by removing the device’s battery or SIM card.

Accordingly, Al-Muqafi suggests insulating the devices to prevent any transmission, in or out, of these frequencies. This, he says, makes monitoring the device difficult or impossible, and it can be done using a readily available sheet of aluminum foil. He gives directions as follows: Wrap the device well in a sheet of aluminum foil, leaving nothing exposed and phone the device to verify that it is insulated and does not ring. The device may then be placed in a case without worry.

Al-Muqafi includes images and diagrams showing how spy planes are tracking the mujahideen’s mobile devices to locate their owners, whether they are alone or among other people and without their knowledge.

He concludes by calling on the mujahideen everywhere, of every rank, to use this method because it is highly effective.[26]

ISIS-Affiliated Forum Posts French-Language Guide To Help French Speakers Join The Forum And Write On It Using Tor

On October 29, 2014, Abu Osama Al-Karar, a senior member of the Islamic State (ISIS)-affiliated forum Alplatformmedia.com, posted a French-language guide to help speakers of that language join the forum and publish materials on it. The guide was posted in a special section of the forum that is devoted to material in French. Its publication coincides with the increasing closure of pro-ISIS accounts on many social media platforms, and with other efforts by jihadi networks to increase online security for users.[27]


“Invitation for French speaking brothers to register on the mujahideen platform”

The guide provides step-by-step instructions for using the forum, with screenshots. French-speakers are invited to obtain a username and password by contacting the author of the guide via a special Gmail account. The guide also provides instructions for using the forums private messaging system to communicate with other forum members. It recommends using TOR software to navigate the forum, since this software is designed to conceal the user’s IP address, thus assuring anonymity.


The red bubbles contain French instructions for navigating the forum

The author asks readers to share and spread the guide on Twitter and Facebook.


“Please spread the following message on Twitter and Facebook and other [social media]…: To our French speaking brothers, we invite you to join the French section of the Islamic State supporters’ network on the Mujahidin Media Platform”

Responding to the post, an anonymous forum member warned that TOR does not maintain the user’s anonymity, due to a software security breach,[28] and suggested alternative methods for avoiding detection by the authorities: users should purchase a second-hand computer or tablet online and avoid using it for any purpose that could betray the their identity, such as accessing a personal Facebook,  email or social security account, and they should connect to the internet only via public WiFi hotspots that are not associated with the user in any way (he provides passwords for some of these public networks). The author adds that he personally maintains his anonymity online by using a mobile broadband modem that he purchased online using an alias. He explains that this can be done by obtaining a false bank identity statement, which enables one to buy a prepaid credit card under a false name. He also recommends having the modem delivered to a P.O. box rented under an alias.[29]

Shumoukh Al-Islam Forum Opens Doors For Jihadis Including ISIS And Al-Qaeda Affiliate In Syria Jabhat al-Nusra, To Submit Questions To Fighting Jihadi Groups In Syria, Provides Public Key For Secure Communication Via Asrar Al-Mujahideen Program 

On May 22, 2014, the Shumoukh Al-Islam forum announced that it would be opening the doors for forum members to submit their questions and comments for the fighting jihadi groups in Syria (i.e., Jabhat Al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), in particular).

The reason behind the initiative, as the announcement says, is to enable fellow Muslims to reach out to the “ummah’s vanguard” (i.e. the mujahideen in Syria) with questions and comments. The vanguards of the ummah, it says, have always had the “paradox of arrogance,” meaning that individuals who attain prominence in the ummah, and are expected to act arrogantly, become in fact more humble, and today’s mujahideen are no different.

Questions and comments could be submitted within a day and a half from the date of publishing the announcement. The Shumoukh Al-Islam forum also said that it preserved the right to edit any question, or to group similar questions. It also asked jihadis to refrain from including any details which might pose a security risk. The forum also provided its public key for secure communication, and asked jihadis to submit their questions via the Asrar Al-Mujahideen encryption program. [30]

Pro-ISIS Jihadi Forum Warns Members Against Using Private Messages On Forum, Recommends Using Asrar Al-Mujahideen Program For Secure Communication

The general manager of the Jihadi Media Platform forum (alplatformmedia.com), a pro-ISIS online forum, Al-Muwahid Billah, recently issued a warning to fellow members regarding the use of the private messaging function on the forum. Al-Muwahid Billah urged members to be cautious when communicating with other people, including outside the forum’s confinements. He also recommended members use encryption programs like Asrar Al-Mujahideen to safeguard their communication.

“We bring to the attention of our brothers the need to be careful when [sending] messages on [jihadi] forums and elsewhere. [Those messages should be sent] only via Asrar Al-Mujahideen program or any similar encryption programs,” Al-Muwahid Billah wrote. He added: “There is no choice but to pay attention to these issues, work on them, and never take them lightly under any circumstances.”

Al-Muwahid Billah also asked other forum members with expertise on the matter to share their knowledge, while adding that the forum will support any work that is done in that regard: “We hope that the brothers who have expertise in this field share their knowledge with their brothers. And the forum is open for any brother who finds the ability within himself to benefit his brothers in that aspect. And we will not delay in providing any space for this very important work.”[31]

Pro-ISIS Jihadis Offer Tutorials On Obtaining Fake U.S. Phone Numbers To Maintain Access To Social Media, Circumvent Censorship

In August 2014, several tutorials dealing with jihadis obtaining fake U.S. phone numbers, as well as various advices on maintaining security and anonymity online, were posted online. Jihadis are at times faced with the need to provide a working phone number that is used to open a new account online or to verify, as part of a security measure, already working ones.  Phone numbers are required as well to use a number of messenger apps.

Following are the main posts on the matter:

On August 12, 2014, the pro-Islamic State (IS) Twitter account @Juhaimaan published a tutorial on improving online security and anonymity. The tutorial mentioned, for example, how to perform a DNS (Domain Name System) flush, how to change the DNS settings on someone’s computer, and how to encrypt DNS requests, in order to lessen the amount of footprints that jihadis leave behind online. It also recommended using the ZenMate browser add-on for increased online anonymity.


Image: Juhaimaan DNS tutorial (@Juhaimaan, August 12, 2014)

A few days earlier, the same Twitter account published a different tutorial that also dealt with online security. The bulk of the tutorial included a step-by-step explanation on obtaining a fake U.S. phone number. According to @Juhaimaan, jihadis can use those fake numbers to activate whatever online accounts they have, which in turn would give them “complete freedom” to use social media outlets. Those phone numbers can be also used to activate email accounts, and for actual communication in messenger apps like WhatsApp, Viber, and Telegram. In order to obtain those phone numbers, @Juhaimaan recommended using the free messenger app Pinger (pinger.com), which gives new users the option to choose a phone number from practically any place in the U.S.

On August 20, 2014, Abu ‘Omar Al-Iraqi (@losten1) posted a tutorial that also explained how to obtain fake U.S. phone numbers for the same purposes mentioned by @Juhaimaan. Al-Iraqi however suggested using the Android app TextNow for that purpose.

On August 19, 2014, Amreeki Witness (@AmreekiWitness) published a tutorial on remaining anonymous online, which, he said, was in particular important for Muslims living in the West. Amreeki Witness suggested using anonymity tools like Ghost VPN (cyberghostvpn.com), and Tor (The Onion Router). And for secure communication, he suggested tools like Bitmessage.ch, a decentralized, encrypted, and peep-to-peer messaging protocol, Cryptocat, and ChatSecure. Interestingly, Amreeki Witness said that although users could access their social media accounts via the previous tools, he personally was vehemently against doing so. Amreeki Witness nonetheless provided a disclaimer (see below) that Muslims should append to their accounts to supposedly avoid any legal repercussions for materials posted on their accounts:

“I recant all opinions deemed dangerous or violent expressed on this page. This page was run for educational and analytic purposes only, to study the radical Muslim community for recreational purposes. I invite all those who follow this page to leave such corrupt ideology. I am not affiliated with any groups or organizations deemed terrorist or dangerous otherwise by any Western government or union of governments. I am a law abiding citizen in every regard.”

Jihadis Circulate Tutorials On Maintaining Online Anonymity And Security, Suggest Ways To ‘Hide From The Crusader Alliance’

ISIS jihadis have recently increased their efforts to remain anonymous online, especially in light of the coalition attack against it, including by circulating various tutorials pertaining to online anonymity and security in recent weeks. The tutorials aim at diminishing jihadis’ digital footprints in order for them to remain hidden from the “Crusader alliance.” Among the recommendations are ways to get rid of metadata, which the enemy can use to reveal a jihadi’s identity and location. These safety precautions, as one jihadi noted, are aimed at protecting not only ISIS mujahideen but also its contingency of online supporters as well, who face danger of being arrested or even killed.[32]

Jihadis Discuss “Ways Of Hiding From The Crusader Alliance”

On September 25, 2014, ISIS supporters circulated an instruction sheet that included various recommendations on maintaining online anonymity. The sheet, which was called “Ways of Hiding from the Crusader Alliance,”[33] was written by Abu Khadija Al-Muhajir, aka Iraqe Hacker. Al-Muhajir wrote: “After the declaration of the abhorrent Crusader alliance against the Islamic State and its supporters, it became mandatory upon us to be careful of them since the targeted weren’t only the mujahideen, but their supporters as well. And targeting the mujahideen will be [done] by bombing their locations. As for us, the supporters, we don’t rule out that our homes will be targeted [as well] after our locations are determined, [and that will be done] either by bombardment or by arrest.”

Al-Muhajir provided various methods to hide someone’s identity while online. For example, he suggested changing the IP and MAC addresses (known as IP and MAC spoofing, respectively). He also suggested modifying the DNS, either manually or via a program. Below are a number of images from Al-Muhajir’s instructions:


Promo for tutorial on hiding from the Crusader alliance (Source: Twitter.com/amarr_2025, September 25, 2014)


Modifying the DNS


Testing IP and DNS settings

Jihadi Warns Against Enemy Use Of Metadata, Offers Ways To Remove It 

On September 9, 2014, Al-Husam Media (@al_husam_media) published a tutorial on removing metadata from various files that jihadis typically upload online.[34] The tutorial was written by Irhabi Sifr (“Terrorist Zero”). In it, Irhabi Sifr warned about security gaps that arose in light of a significant increase in jihadi material output. One of those gaps, he said, was metadata which the enemy would use to reveal the true identity of jihadis as well as the location of the mujahideen.

Irhabi Sifr suggested several ways to find metadata that is typically hidden in a file. He suggested, inter alia, using programs like PhotoME Beta and Exiftool to uncover metadata, while using programs like Metanull to remove any metadata. Below are snapshots from Irhabi Sifr’s tutorial:


Left: Metadata obtained with PhotoME Beta; right: removing metadata

Ask.fm: Gateway To More Secure Jihadi Chat; As Kik, ChatSecure Grow In Popularity, Jihadis Become Wary Of These And Other Encryption Services

There has also been paranoia among online jihadis about the use of other popular services, such as Ask.fm, Kik, and ChatSecure. For example, on November 4, 2014, a follower of ISIS on Twitter, @Abu_Umar_8246, warned about the Canada-based smartphone messaging service Kik, urging his readers not to use it “when chatting about sensitive Jihadi stuff” because “it is not secure.” He included a link to an article titled “Which Messaging Technologies Are Truly Safe And Secure?” and enumerated six chat programs that he claimed were secure. A discussion on his Twitter account followed.

The Latvia-based Ask.fm, which in December 2014 was purchased by Ask.com and moved to Ireland, is a social media website in which interactions take the form of questions and answers. It states on its website that it “allows for anonymous content which ask.fm does not monitor.” Last week Ask.fm announced that in light of jihadi use of their platform, they would explore steps to address this problem, including by creating a panel of advisors to recommend strategies.[35] MEMRI has published a number of reports about jihadis in Syria using Ask.fm to answer questions from readers wanting to know about joining the jihad there. According to media reports, it was a key communication tool for British-born terrorists fighting in Syria and their followers in the UK.

Jihadis have used Ask.fm in tandem with other closed services; it serves as a gateway for more sensitive communications on services that are more secure. Conversations are first developed on Ask.fm, as well as on Twitter, and an interlocutor requesting sensitive information is specifically referred to the jihadi’s Kik account or, more recently, accounts on other, more secure services, for a continuation of the discussion.

Conversations have also focused on encryption. For example, American ISIS supporter AmreekiWitness, who is prolifically active across popular social media, and who is one of many Americans and other Westerners who now vocally support ISIS on social media, provides privacy information to his followers on his pages: 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.” He writes: “Don’t make these statements inside US unless you’re operating through TOR and Ghost VPN.” Asked on July 13, 2014 on Twitter, “Why are people asking about how to use TOR?”, Amreeki Witness replied: “To be anonymous online, they don’t want the government seeing what they do and getting them in trouble.” In both tweets, he links readers to the identical questions and answers on his Ask.fm account. Amreeki Witness’ logo on his Twitter and Ask.fm accounts uses the seal of the U.S. State Department, and his profile says that he is “Dedicated to raising awareness about the upcoming conquest of the Americas, and the benefits it has upon the American people.” His Twitter account links also to his WordPress.com blog.[36]

A British jihadi using the alias Abu Abdullah Al-Britani, who is believed to have travelled via Turkey to Syria to join ISIS and to be fighting close to the Syria-Iraq border, is active on Twitter, originally as @Al_Brittani, and, after that account was suspended, as @AlBrittani. However, Abu Abdullah is also active on Ask.fm, where he answers questions about jihad, travelling to Syria, weapons, fighting, and so on. On Ask.fm, he confirms that his old Twitter account was suspended, discusses how important the use of social media is to ISIS, and refers to using Kik.

Other jihadis in Syria using Ask.fm have been asking readers to contact them via Kik, which has also been adopted by Western jihadi recruiters and foreign fighters in Syria to assist in recruitment and in transportation to and from Syria. For example, on his Ask.fm account, Abu Fulan Al-Mujahir discussed the use of Kik and another messaging program, Surespot, for purposes of jihadi communications with a follower: 

Jihadis are also providing their Ask.fm and Kik contact information on their Twitter profiles.

Another jihadi in Syria on Ask.fm, “Abu Uthman Al Britani,” who says he is British/Bangladeshi, in his mid-20s, and with ISIS, answers questions about conditions fighting with ISIS, how ISIS takes care of its fighters, other foreign fighters, and more – and even fields numerous marriage proposals. He notes that there are “loads of English-speaking people here” and that his love for martyrdom has grown, adding that he has “lived too long.” His profile image glorifies martyrdom and he refers readers asking questions such as how to reach Syria and whether he is interested in marrying a particular “sister” to his Kik account. Responding to a reader’s question, “why do our Mujahid brothers use Kik, is it safer or something?” He replies: “Don’t know, maybe because there’s more privacy.” He has also told others: “Ask personal questions on kik.”

SureSpot – Latest App Used By Online Jihadis, Including The Infamous ShamiWitness

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.[37] 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 their communication. The website solicits donations in form of bitcoin, a common currency used on the deep web. The domain (.me) for SureSpot’s website is from Montenegro.[38]

From the Surespot.me website:

“We don’t know or share anything about you and we certainly don’t believe in making money by analyzing you. surespot is about taking back your right to privacy and it is made free to provide unrestricted access for everyone. If you enjoy using surespot please show your support by contributing. You can assist with translation, review and add code, tell all of your friends about surespot and donate some cash or bitcoin.”

“Imagine you are on vacation in Italy, Florence to be precise, and you send a postcard to your sister in London. As the postcard travels anyone that touches it can read it. 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. To illustrate this we can run the traceroute command which shows the hops your data is taking to reach its destination.

“Surespot solves these problems by using end to end encryption. Whereas SSL can be thought of as client to server encryption where the hops cannot access the plain text but the server can, end to end encryption encrypts the data so that only the end users can decipher it. 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.”[39]

On Twitter, Jihadis Discuss Benefits Of Using SureSpot:


Twitter.com/ShamiWitness


Twitter.com/AchwaqKhalid


Twitter.com/AbuZubayr


Twitter.com/Abu_Butayn


Twitter.com/bi12bi11


Twitter.com/abunuh_alfarsi


Twitter.com/ProtocolJihad01


Twitter.com/UthmanMhajir


Twitter.com/Abu_Butayn


Twitter.com/taifboy2005

@aquaraya: “@AntiCoupMU Telegram features, and why I should use it cyberkov.com/p=1354, alternative programs to WhatsApp, encrypted Wickr and SureSpot [apps]”

@DqpDx: “Alternative programs to WhatsApp:- Telegram program, especially with SecretChat; Threema program [has] the best encryption; Wicker program is encrypted;  SureSpot program is encrypted”

@aquaraya: “@Batiel_Official please, communication must be always on Twitter for all of the groups and by [using] Telegram, Wicker and SureSpot programs”

@7rbn7r1400: “Alternative programs to WhatsApp:- Telegram program, especially with SecretChat; Threema program [has] the best encryption; Wicker program is encrypted;  SureSpot program is encrypted”

@alarab_2011: “Alternative programs to WhatsApp:- Telegram program, especially with SecretChat; Threema program [has] the best encryption; Wicker program is encrypted;  SureSpot program is encrypted”

@MxoxoxoxoxoM: “@landofeman [unclear] SureSpot”

@enan2010hh1: “Encrypted programs [that] also protect your privacy instead of WhatsApp:- 1-SureSpot 2-Telegram 3-Threema 4-MyEnigma 5-Wickr 6-ChatSecure, and don’t use 1-BBM 2-Line”

@hassanasiri36: “Alternative programs to WhatsApp:- Telegram program, especially with SecretChat; Threema program [has] the best encryption; Wicker program is encrypted;  SureSpot program is encrypted”

@aquaraya: “@3farit_AntiCoup Alternative programs to WhatsApp [are] encrypted Wicker and SureSpot [apps]”

@aquaraya: “@Esam_Baraka Telegram features, and why I should use it cyberkov.com/p=1354, alternative programs to WhatsApp, encrypted Wickr and SureSpot [apps]”

@sowaralsham: “Alternative programs to WhatsApp:- Telegram program, especially with SecretChat; Threema program [has] the best encryption; Wicker program is encrypted;  SureSpot program is encrypted”

@elBtar: “@JehadNews @icancanthecan “Alternative programs to WhatsApp:- Telegram program, especially with SecretChat; Threema program [has] the best encryption; Wicker program is encrypted;  SureSpot program is encrypted”

Appendix: Mysterious Online “Global Islamic Intelligence Media” (GII) Releases Video Via Twitter And YouTube Detailing Phone Tracking Technology, Advises Jihadis On Ways To Avoid Detection And ‘Spies’; “Every Mujahid That Does Not Take The Right Precautions [Online] Can Be A Tool In The Hand Of The Enemy”

On November 6, 2014, Twitter user AdamB2B1 posted a video titled “Mujahed Security Precautions,” explaining mobile tracking technology and advising jihadis on how to avoid it. The video, in Arabic with English subtitles, was released by a group calling itself GIIMedia (Global Islamic Intelligence Media). Not much is known about this group, but it should be noted that the speaker in the video has strange pronunciation in Arabic and is likely not a native speaker.

The Twitter account that originally posted the video appears to belong to the GIIMedia group and features a link to their Facebook page, which states that the group is “exhibiting jihadi networks with English translations” and that it was established in 2006. The video was also reported on by well-respected security writer Robert Verkaik in the UK’s Daily Mail, on January 20, 2015.[40]

In response to his article, Adrian Culley, a former senior detective with London’s Metropolitan Police Computer Crime Unit, told the Daily Mail on January 20, 2015: “It is clear the Snowden leaks have raised cyber security issues in the minds of terrorists. This video is concerned with techno fear and propaganda. We are in a cyber arms race with the terrorists and the security agencies have to be always one step ahead of the jihadists who only need to be lucky once to score a terrorist hit.”

The video states: “In our first lecture entitled ‘Security Advise on Mobile Tracking,’ we informed you how [easily] your mobile phone can be tracked. InshAllah we will now show you some different ways how the enemy can track you and have a view at some modern war technologies. All mobile phone providers use the same software. Your device continuously is in contact with the nearest tower. As you are moving around, your coordinates are tracked and stored. All your calls, messages and Internet history are stored in this same place. Spies have access to these files and can know your daily routine, friends, and what you are planning to do tomorrow night at that tall building. Allah created us with a unique voice, this can be used to track you anywhere no matter [whether] you buy a new phone, SIM card, or satellite phone.”

“A cheaper way to track you is through the touchscreen mobile phones. The moment you touch the sensor or screens, your fingerprint will be stored in the database. With your fingerprint in the database, it is very easy to filter and track you as long as you keep using any type of touchscreen device.”

“Different companies offer spyware that can spy on you. Governments around the world have contracts with these corporations. Spy packages vary from tracking your exact locations, Internet activities, planting viruses, fake updates with spyware to secretly turning on your camera, access to your microphone and record audio.”

“Every Mujahid that does not take the right precautions can be a tool in the hand of the enemy. With his phone, tablet or laptop, the enemy can listen [to]/record all conversations even in secret locations and meetings. The enemy can even turn on the camera and have a view of your surroundings.”

“When you are surfing, they can download anything you have on your device… The Italian NetApp, using equipment from American and European companies, is right now providing [the] Bashar [Al-Assad regime] all they are able to collect from the ones that do not take enough precautions. Make sure friends and others follow this rule. If the enemy is not able to know what you’re doing, they can use other people carrying devices to know more about you, i.e. mobile phone that can be used to listen, see or track movements to your location.”

“… Have a special place for Internet and Phone use. If you are being monitored, they will do anything to catch you. Let them work hard, make it difficult for them. In addition, make sure that if the enemy hacks through your precautions, there is nothing they may not hear or see. For example, leave your phone next to the television in a different room. If the enemy has hacked your microphone of your phone, he will only be able to hear the sound of the television of your favorite channel.

“Have one clean/empty device just for Internet activities. Use only Internet that cannot be related back to you. Have a good firewall; change your browser privacy settings; delete tracking data regularly; explore similar software from this list. Change which search engine you use. Google and other major search engines track what you search, as well as other information. Consider using Linux, block cookies, location data… Browse with web extensions, Proxy servers, web Proxy servers, or Virtual Private Networks that do not acquire payment through bankcards.

“Never trust the kuffar [infidels]. Emails can be intercepted and content can be enhanced on their way from or to you. Someone can sell our browsing activities to government agents. Best to minimize use of mobile [phones] or avoid them all together. Keep in mind that the enemy has lots of experience and that you have Allah on your side; they [do] not. Use different Internet access for official things such as online banking. You have the power to let these spies (only) know what YOU want them to know.

“…We destroyed America with a civilian plane. The WTC was turned into a pile of rubble.”

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

Endnotes:

[1] Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom in Joint Press Conference, January 16, 2015. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/01/16/remarks-president-obama-and-prime-minister-cameron-united-kingdom-joint-

[2] Al-Qaeda’s Embrace Of Encryption Technology: 2007-2011, July 12, 2011,  http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/5457.htm; Al-Qaeda’s Embrace Of Encryption Technology – Part II: 2011-2014, And The Impact Of Edward Snowden, April 25, 2014, http://www.memrijttm.org/al-qaedas-embrace-of-encryption-technology-part-ii-2011-2014-and-the-impact-of-edward-snowden.html

[4] MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis Report No. 704, Al-Qaeda’s Embrace Of Encryption Technology: 2007-2011, July 12, 2011.

[6] David Cameron seeks cooperation of US president over encryption crackdown, The Guardian, January 15, 2015. http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jan/15/david-cameron-ask-us-barack-obama-help-tracking-islamist-extremists-online

[7] UK spy chief warns Apple, Google privacy effort is “closing off” ability to catch terrorists, ZDNet.com, January 12, 2015. http://www.zdnet.com/article/uk-spy-chief-warns-apple-google-privacy-effort-is-closing-off-ability-to-catch-terrorists/

[8] Terrorists Get a Phone Upgrade, L. Gordon Krovitz, Wall Street Journal, 23 November 2014.

[11] Al-Qaeda’s Embrace Of Encryption Technology – Part II: 2011-2014, And The Impact Of Edward Snowden, April 25, 2014, http://www.memrijttm.org/al-qaedas-embrace-of-encryption-technology-part-ii-2011-2014-and-the-impact-of-edward-snowden.html

[12] Al-Qaeda’s Embrace Of Encryption Technology – Part II: 2011-2014, And The Impact Of Edward Snowden, April 25, 2014, http://www.memrijttm.org/al-qaedas-embrace-of-encryption-technology-part-ii-2011-2014-and-the-impact-of-edward-snowden.html

[13] Inspire Magazine, #13.

[14] MEMRI JTTM report GIMF Announces Imminent Release Of New Software, January 3, 2007.

[18] GIMF Releases Updated Version Of Android Secure Communication App, Refers To The ‘Cooperation Of Global [Communication] Companies With The International Intelligence Agencies’ As Reason Behind Update, July 14, 2014, http://www.memrijttm.org/gimf-releases-updated-version-of-android-secure-communication-app-refers-to-the-cooperation-of-global-communication-companies-with-the-international-intelligence-agencies-as-reason-behind-update.html

[19] See MEMRI JTTM report Al-Fajr Technical Committee Releases New Encryption Program, December 13, 2013.

[22] Al-Fajr Technical Committee Releases Android App For Secure Communication, Announces New Website, June 1, 2014, http://www.memrijttm.org/al-fajr-technical-committee-releases-android-app-for-secure-communication-announces-new-website.html

[23] http://justpaste.it/aljlad_omarov , accessed December 31, 2014.

[24] Pro-Islamic State (ISIS) Twitter Account Provides Guidelines For Using Tor, Encrypted Communication, December 31, 2014, http://www.memrijttm.org/pro-islamic-state-isis-twitter-account-provides-guidelines-for-using-tor-encrypted-communication.html

[25] Islamic State (ISIS) Bans Use Of Electronic Devices With GPS, Says Apple Products Are Particularly ‘Dangerous’, December 22, 2014, http://www.memrijttm.org/islamic-state-isis-bans-use-of-electronic-devices-with-gps-says-apple-products-are-particularly-dangerous.html

[26] ISIS-Affiliated Twitter Account Tells Mujahideen: Insulate Your Mobile Phones So Spy Planes Can’t Pinpoint Your Location, December 23, 2014, http://www.memrijttm.org/isis-affiliated-twitter-account-tells-mujahideen-insulate-your-mobile-phones-so-spy-planes-cant-pinpoint-your-location.html

[29] ISIS-Affiliated Forum Posts French-Language Guide To Help French Speakers Join The Forum And Write On It, November 3, 2014, http://www.memrijttm.org/isis-affiliated-forum-posts-french-language-guide-to-help-french-speakers-join-the-forum-and-write-on-it.html

[30] Shumoukh Al-Islam Forum Opens Doors For Jihadis To Submit Questions To Fighting Jihadi Groups In Syria, Provides Public Key For Secure Communication Via Asrar Al-Mujahideen Program, May, 22, 2014, http://www.memrijttm.org/shumoukh-al-islam-forum-opens-doors-for-jihadis-to-submit-questions-to-fighting-jihadi-groups-in-syria-provides-public-key-for-secure-communication-via-asrar-al-mujahideen-program.html

[33] justpaste.it/h94v, accessed October 27, 2014.

[34] justpaste.it/h0t5, accessed October 28, 2014.

[38] https://surespot.me , 13 January, 2015.

[39] http://surespot.me, January 4, 2015.

[40] Daily Mail (UK), January 20, 2015.