Krypt3ia

(Greek: κρυπτεία / krupteía, from κρυπτός / kruptós, “hidden, secret things”)

Archive for the ‘Inspire’ Category

Inspire 17 Train Derail Operations

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Inspire is back trying to “inspire” the jihadi’s after taking a forced hiatus after many of the AQAP magazine’s creators got whacked by some raptor hellfire missiles. The latest installment is a call for those would be “lone wolves” in the USA to take up arms against our trains it seems. As usual from Inspire we have the normal calls to jihad using their interpretations of the Koran to push the agenda of radical terrorism. The long winded screeds on the rationalization of killing civilians is just that, long winded, and overall does not conform to anything but their own desires to kill and maim anyone who does not believe as they do. Honestly, I think if Saladin came back from the dead and saw this shit he would be bitch slapping them all the way back to Medina but here we are today again dealing with AQAP and AQ as Da’esh’s alleged caliphate crumbles and the movement dies a slow death.

To be honest the actions of those who claimed to be with Da’esh here in the States were to me just mentally unstable persons who needed an outlet to feel important and not impotent, so they went on rampages. Da’esh has never had the reach in the states that they seem to have had for a brief time in Europe but now they are marginalized enough to say that they are not a serious mass casualty threat in the way that AQ and AQAP still is. As terrorist groups go AQ and it’s subs has a far better grasp of OPSEC and operations as well as money and capabilities that we should still be worrying about. With this issue of Inspire not only do we see that they have re-constituted their graphics department but also that they also see the power vacuum that is taking place as Da’esh declines and becomes more marginalized.

Not only are they seeing their opportunity, they are also kind of calling out Da’esh as well in this issue for stealing their ideas down to the fact that Da’esh whole cloth plagiarized their magazine format and ideas for their own with the Dabiq knockoff’s they pimped over the years. It is amusing to watch as AQAP calls out Da’esh with the graphic above and chides them over failed operations as well as calling into doubt the operators choices like that of Sideeq (Orlando) for going after only “one” group. Basically they spent some time on the graphic to slap Zarqawi’s monsters for their lack of righteousness and operational planning. All in all it is just a slap fight between the overly pedantic AQ org with Ayman as their leader and Da’esh, with their Schrodinger’s Imam Baghdadi. The problem is that the precepts of both of their movements are advocating this open source jihad that AQAP invented, something that is now even being used by the white supremacists in actions like those in Charlottesville VA this last weekend.

This the new old problem that we always have been facing but never seem to be able to grapple with on how to stop. These magazines are passed out online and end up in many places including archive.org for anyone to grab. I got this one from <REDACTED> when it came out over the weekend but seriously, the genie is out of the bottle with this stuff. With this latest iteration though, the AQAP has given a lot of thought to honing their exhortations to open source jihad with a simple yet effective attack and vector; trains. The choice of trains is kind of a change for the AQ set in that for the most part they have advocated going directly for people and places where they congregate in the past. Now, with train attacks they can maximize damage and buzz with events that could not only cause deaths but mass deaths as well as huge news coverage.

Train attacks to me always remind me of T.E. Lawrence and the attacks he and the Arabs carried out on Turkish trains in WWI. These actions really did help stop Turkey from retaining power in the region during the war using asymmetric destruction of trains and tracks to damage or halt the supply chain for the Turks. In this modern scheme put forth by AQAP, they have moved the bar lower in many ways by not calling on their lone wolves to create and use explosives as much as use a tool to derail the trains in hopes of a 1970’s car flip explosion kind of thing. I have to say though, were they able to carry off the attack that they direct their followers to perform it could be rather messy depending on the train and it’s load.

The device the OSJ is proposing is a tool that the railroads have themselves but may be harder to acquire so these guys have plans to make your own in your mom’s kitchen (old joke) Anyway, the device is called a derailer, a simple piece of metal that attaches to the tracks. It’s function is simple enough, it raises and diverts the wheels off the track and boom, derailment. This has been used as a stopgap for runaway trains I hear and other functions that I do not care to go Google up right now. In this case though the Inspire folks want their minions to use it to derail trains off of high cliffs or into buildings from what they allude to in the magazine. Of course their solution to making one seems a bit too low tek DIY and might just smash into bits as the train hits it from what I am looking at.

I will not go into detail on the fabrication of the device they present to the lone wolves but suffice to say that I believe the percentage of success from this thing are low in my opinion. Perhaps if they had access to a serious 3D printer and some strong plastic maybe but not what they have laid out in this issue. However, I could be wrong and others out there may do their own mods to the fabrication process to make something more sturdy. If the thing works then it could be problematic and we could see some derailments come to pass. So yeah, the tech may work and the magazine spends some more time after the fabrication phase into the planning and carrying out of the attack phase with targeting advice that includes quite a bit of open sourced information on the railroads in the USA.

Recently at BlackHat myself and Kodor talked about OSINT being used to attack infrastructure by targeting leaked documentation and information. Well, it seems that the Inspire folks have the same idea here. In laying out the attack scenarios they give up some key points on the railroads, their weak spots, and the collateral damage from various scenarios of attack using the derailer. They also allude (as you can see from the picture above) that the attack is easier to hide and harder to detect if done properly. Honestly I think that last bit will be easy to see, I mean are they expected to run into the derailment and grab their tool back? One would assume too that unless you do a real job of it, one would leave forensically viable evidence in the device too so it could be tracked back to the culprit(s).

Frankly I should think that the DHS and other groups have a copy of this open on their desktops too right about now and working up some TLP’s for the railroads and authorities. I hope that is the case because this one is easy enough for the usual lone wolf jihobbyist to try at home and not blow themselves up without much effort. The question for me now is where will these guys try this? The exhortations are to do so with the most flare to cause the most fear. Honestly if they wanted to just be a pain in the ass and mess with the supply chain they could go out anywhere in the wilds where tracks are and pull this off. I guess time will tell but a recent link sent to me at least has this idea in the forefront of the minds of the security wonks for railroads.

Let’s hope they take this Inspire’s scenarios as seriously.

K.

Written by Krypt3ia

2017/08/15 at 16:52

Posted in AQ, AQAP, Inspire

Inspire 14: Assassination Operations and Dabiq 11: The War of Coalitions

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mags

 

Well it has been some time since I cared enough to actually look at the media being put out by Da’esh (Al-Hayat) never mind the ever present Inspire magazine put out by AQAP and Al-Malahem. Things however have reached a point where I am going to speak up again on what is going on with the GWOT as it is called. Yesterday there was a report put out about fifty intelligence analysts who officially complained about their analysis products being cherry picked or edited to suit the administrations needs and this in tandem with the drops of both magazines at nearly the same time had my interest piqued. It feels like once again history is repeating itself with intel being managed or changed to suit the needs of the politicians who are the consumers of that intel. Does anyone really remember the run up to the Iraq invasion and the machinations of the WHIG at all today? I guess in the vast sea of what is claimed to be journalism, the truth of matters is often lost but if you pay attention sometimes you can get some clarity.

The biggest part of the revelations by the intelligence community analysts is that they say we are losing ground with Da’esh in reality, not as the administration would like us all to think. Personally for me I have been of the opinion that drone strikes and a propaganda war has done absolutely nothing for the greater good and that we are in fact stagnant in ideas or means to stop the Middle East from becoming a sectarian bastion. The “Land War in Asia” thing aside, we have no real good plan for helping the moderates because we keep propping up the despots as bulwarks or as necessary evils in the game of Middle East Go. Since I am not a politician, nor am I anyone with any real pull I am stuck here just watching the conflagration while the rest of the world accepts media word-smithing ‘refugee’ to ‘migrant’ with bile rising in my throat.

Anyway….

Back to the magazines and their coincidental dropping at the same time on the same day. In looking at them they are both quite different in tone and direction. While the Inspire is the usual ideologue format it has some scary content in that it is giving directed ideas to the would be jihobbyists with their OSJ (Open Source Jihad) sections ranging from how to make a hand grenade to a call for the ‘Lone Wolf Caravan’ to carry out assassination operations. This call for the assassination ops has been one of the more focused notional magazines that I have seen out of AQAP and as such, with the successful attacks in recent past by lone wolves or small groups of actors without direct training by AQ/AQAP/Da’esh is concerning. Given the media savvy approach of the magazine with Inspire and then the alternative wind up of slick media on youtube by Da’esh, I have to think the synergy would create some new converts. Honestly folks, watching all this play out is much like watching the evolution of Batman and Joker.

Inspire 14

Here are some highlights from the Inspire 14 issue:

 

Screenshot from 2015-09-10 08:50:38

Screenshot from 2015-09-10 09:06:41Notice that the hybrid of separate groups of lone wolves and trained operational assets is being espoused (ala Hebdo)

Screenshot from 2015-09-10 09:24:15Using our own data in the media against us it seems. TSA is really just a street theater version of security anyway.

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Screenshot from 2015-09-10 09:25:47 Screenshot from 2015-09-10 09:26:04Target choice here is interesting. Going after the intelligentsia? Are they less likely to be carrying?

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Screenshot from 2015-09-10 09:31:04As you can see they are lining this all up for the jihobbyist.. Go pick someone out, find out everything about them with OSINT, and then choose your attack.

Screenshot from 2015-09-10 09:32:04Yet another IED but this time they want to have hand grenades much like the attack in Mumbai. The plans are simple and effective. One only hopes that some of these guys make a mistake and lose a limb in process

Screenshot from 2015-09-10 09:33:15They go on to offer targets like these you see here. Larry Ellison? Really? What did Oracle do to Islam? Bill Gates? What you are anti vaxers too?

Dabiq 11

Dabiq though, is another story altogether. It seems that the boys at Al Hayat are very very wordy. In their mag we have much more pedantic text concerning the millenarian ideal that Da’esh is purported to have. Though really only one section of the magazine has a direct line to that ideology at all. The rest is text, lots and lots of it, that may as well just be great swaths of the Qu’ran for all I care. I guess overall though I have to equate the Dabiq to everything I have seen out of Ayman Zawahiri on the depth and breadth of pedantic arguments. Ayman and others like to spout all kinds of erudite scripture while the AQAP guys are ‘BLOW SOME SHIT UP!” which is odd given the nature of the media campaign we see on Twitter and YouTube by Da’esh. There is some disconnect here in the Dabiq magazine with all the text but they do try to intersperse some blood and guts type of things as well to keep the reader interested.

Frankly, I think Da’esh are still trying to figure out the magazine business…

 

Highlights from Dabiq 11

 

 

Screenshot from 2015-09-10 09:46:02Interspersed pages with vid caps leading you to YouTube and their usual outlets. Note the cognitive dissonance of beheadings and happy Eid!

 

Screenshot from 2015-09-10 09:46:21Millennial? You want Millennial? Here you go. That’s about it really. The Mahdi.. Wooooo.

Screenshot from 2015-09-10 09:49:45Obviously they think that blowing up ruins is the shizzle. Yeah yeah, it’s all about the rhetoric (which goes on and on in the text) about fighting the kuffir and Rome.

Screenshot from 2015-09-10 09:51:15OH LOOK MORE VIDEOS!

 

Screenshot from 2015-09-10 09:59:24This stuff here… Well they always have to make their money it seems. Fuckers.

 

Screenshot from 2015-09-10 10:17:11Lastly, they have a section of “in the enemy’s own words” which is media coverage. In this case they picked up on a piece by Mike Scheuer which I will talk about below.

ASSESSMENT:

In an ideological war such as we are seeing played out by vying Islamist parties like Da’esh and AQAP the clear winner in trying to evince a more stable and likely successful attack by a jihobbyist would be what you see in Inspire. This has been the modus operandi of AQAP for some time anyway so there is nothing new. Meanwhile if you watch the news and look at the article written by Mike Scheuer Da’esh has been not only making noise online but also able to take key areas of the region physically. There is a propaganda war being played out but how much of that is really germane to the GWOT as a whole? With the death of Junaid Hussein for being a propaganda mouthpiece for Da’esh and the fallout since calling into question the extra-judicial nature of the killing one can see how much more prescient in the news cycle the propaganda war seems to be while the actual physical boots on the ground war is seemingly absent.

So yes, these two magazines show the varying ideals of how they want to prosecute the jihad. Da’esh seems to be very focused on the grounds for their beliefs to bolster their claim of a Caliphate while AQAP is actually prosecuting the war against the West hoping that players in the West will act. Given the nature of Inspire I can see this happening much more possibly than anyone sitting down for a good read of Dabiq. Frankly Dabiq is much like it’s cleric, shadowy, full of rhetoric, and in the end likely to be empty of any real Muslim ardour for religions sake. Either Abu Bakr is an Islamist Jim Jones cum Joker or he is a wannabe Ernst Stavro Blofeld in my mind.

My primary concern now is that Inspire has laid out some new ideas that the jihobbyists will take up and use. These are not super secret methods but things that with the advent of the internet are even easier to carry off (i.e. OSINT, planning, connecting etc) to carry off an assassination. It is also more a matter of action than it is discourse or belief in the Qur’an the way that the AQAP guys present the material. Sure the underpinnings are all about being a good Muslim and ridding the ummah of the West’s boot on their collective throat (perceived) but they are second to the slick pictures and notions of being a James Bond figure.

Finally, when Da’esh reaches the same point with their magazine I will worry more that a flotilla of fanboys will latch onto their crazy with much more information and perhaps pull off an assassination. Until then, I will just watch the propaganda war play out as we really do not much of anything in the field to really root out the problem in the first place. The games must end and this tit for tat drone war is not going to do it for us.

ANCILLARY DATA:

As an interesting aside to the more technical out there. When getting the new issues of the magazines it came to light that someone has been playing with the supply chain again. The August 31 drop of the alleged Dabiq 11 issue not only on archive.org but also on a slew of shortened addresses (t.co) were actually malware.

Screenshot from 2015-09-10 16:31:19

In this case the malware seems to have been a keylogger. I have seen other files come out the same way and one has to wonder if it is the IC or if it the guys playing the home game. In any case, when you download these things be sure you run them through some tests. That is unless you don’t care about being pwn3d by a nation state.

Screenshot from 2015-09-10 16:31:03

Cheers,

K.

Written by Krypt3ia

2015/09/10 at 20:35

Posted in Inspire, jihad

ASSESSMENT: INSPIRE 12 “Shattered”

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Screenshot from 2014-03-15 07:25:33

Inspire 12 Shattered:

Inspire issue 12 was dropped on Alplatform Friday night and this issue is somewhat different from past issues due to changes in staff and a change in thought probably brought on by the attrition that has occurred. It is also of note that this issue is ostensibly just put out by AQAP and makes no mention of Al Malahem which may show some of the fractions in the AQ umbrella as well as security issues that may have happened online in the recent past. Of course AQAP was the progenitor of the magazine but it was also a group effort for some time and that seems to have changed with the isolation of groups in part due to the death of OBL and the pedantic leadership of Ayman. This issue seeks to reach the “lone wolf” audience and broach the field of operations in the West as opposed to the Ummah in the lands which has been the standard of this magazine nearly from the beginning.

It has been some time since the last issue was released and I am assuming this was because of the attrition I spoke about before. Indeed there seems to be little input from Abu Al Amrici in this issue and there are new guest writers as well as a scope creep into other areas of concern such as North Africa which was a bit of a surprise but as you look at the bigger picture of the magazine that makes sense as the publishers are trying to change the scope to cover more areas of jihad outside the lands of the Ummah such as the EU and now Africa. Covering such things as an article on the bombings in Kenya by Al Shabaab and even having a Harakat (Shabab Youth Brigade)  guest writer. Overall, there are some subtle changes within this issue that analysts should take note of that bespeak a change in thought to a more global approach.

Contents Overview:

Screenshot from 2014-03-15 07:27:27

Changes From Previous Issues:

The biggest change in Inspire other than a change in staff and writers was the subtle tone from a more Koran centric and pedantic messaging to a more political and Western thought driven methodology. Through the course of the magazine the writers have been coming to grips with trying to motivate the Westerner to action while doing so with the call of jihad through the Koran and their particular spin on it. Over time I believe they have come to realize that to reach the Western audience that may be enamoured but unwilling to act solely on the Koranic call to jihad they have to reason with them in a more Western manner. In this issue there is a much more political and economic spin that attempts to spark a response in a Westerner against the actions of America in particular. 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.

The layout of the magazine is just as slick as before (because the authors have used the 2011 pdf frame used in the past from the metadata in the file) and the progression of the magazine’s dialectic is as follows;

  1. The state of the jihad (Koranic)
  2. The deen of jihad (Koranic)
  3. Interview/Questions on the reasoning of actions within Jihad with Anwar Al-Alawki (Koranic)
  4. Samir Khan on the politics of Palestine and the Jihad (Political)
  5. City Wolves “call to action” (political)
  6. Tawheed/Choosing AQ ( Doctrine/Koranic)
  7. Experience of Jihad (Koranic and Romanticism thereof)
  8. Q&A with President Obama *Q&A carried out by snippets of press conferences** (Political)
  9. The Sister’s corner *Mujahidah wives exhortations by Umm Yahya) (Koranic)
  10. Shattered *the political and economic bankruptcy of America and the West** (political)
  11. Open Source Jihad (IED’s)

Screenshot from 2014-03-15 07:30:13

Screenshot from 2014-03-15 07:52:37

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Screenshot from 2014-03-15 07:59:30

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Screenshot from 2014-03-15 08:04:26

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Screenshot from 2014-03-15 08:18:33 Screenshot from 2014-03-15 08:20:08

Screenshot from 2014-03-15 08:27:53

Screenshot from 2014-03-16 05:39:08

This shows more of a creep away from the hard edged issues in the past that focused on the “duty” of the Ummah via the Koran to a more balanced logical/rhetorical argument basis for Jihad with softened approaches more palatable to the Westerner. The issues of the day make their appearances covering not only drone strikes and the pull out of Afghanistan (2014 maybe?) as well as the surveillance state that has been revealed by the Snowden releases. This magazine talks about the Snowden files indirectly but also shows that they have taken heed by removing the Q&A section via email “due to security reasons” which obviously is due to the Snowden revelations.

Screenshot from 2014-03-16 06:56:49

For the most part this issue shows a direction change that is more subtle but perceptible if you look at the entirety of the issues from 1 to 12. The changes to the organization through attrition slowed them down but it also perhaps gave them new blood and pause to determine just how they could attract the Westerner better. Mentions of Faisal Shazad as well as Dzokhar and Tamerlan make it into the issue as well as add targeting ideas that will be explored below in the next sections. This of course is the more troubling thing about this issue with more of a focus on targeting and timing for attacks. Generally though this issue once again follows the basic formula to engage the would be “Lone Wolf” and exhort them to action. The main difference being that the tenor is less strident and more engaging and this is the primary difference.

Open Source Jihad: Car IED’s

Screenshot from 2014-03-16 05:39:46

One of the more troubling points of this issue however is an expansion on a theme. I had heard pundits in the past ask why AQ and others had not used the idea of car bombs here in the US more often. Well, now they are advocating this with a type of bomb that actually failed in Times Square by Faisal Shazad. The Open Source Jihad section this go around focused solely on car bombs. In this case it was focused solely on the use of gas canisters and oxidization. I am not showing the how to’s but suffice to say that they have a basic design that Shazad used but with some changes to make it more effective. The authors also revised their operations manual to offer the lone wolf the choice of martyrdom or remote/timed detonation systems. With these plans a would be wolf could do some serious damage were they to carry out their plan with a working IED in a car or, more to the point as they show in their final image of the magazine, a panel van.

Screenshot from 2014-03-16 05:55:40

TARGETING:

The most problematic part of the open source jihad section was a new feature called “Targeting” which needs no preamble. In this case the targeting is very directed and shows some thought post the bombings of the Boston Marathon. The authors are laying the groundwork for the wolves to be methodical about their target choices. In this case they have a focus on NY as always and Washington but also mandate that the UK has specific targets and times that are propitious for attacks to create the maximum kill ratios and fear factors. This is a significant change and what has me more worried is the whole package here. You have your device which is fairly easy to create with materials on hand (especially as summer approaches BBQ) and then you have directed targeting and times with which to carry out your action. The targeting also gives the wolf things to look for such as the usual congregating events but hints at specific events upcoming this spring and summer as well.

Screenshot from 2014-03-16 05:41:30

Screenshot from 2014-03-16 05:45:06

ANALYSIS:

The final analysis on this issue of Inspire is that the changes in staff have also garnered a change in tone and approach to radicalizing the lone wolves into action. These changes are showing how they are learning to approach the Westerner to incite action and given the climate today there may be more people who are moved toward this line of thinking. Though I would hasten to add that the mental status of the individuals who wish to be lone wolves plays a key role in their movement from just ideating on such actions to actually putting them into practice. In the case of the Boston bombers they both came from a region that was fraught with issues and both had issues stemming from broken home lives and a desire to feel they belonged somewhere. This and other factors make it possible that some other deranged and motivated individual of the Western persuasion will act out upon these orders by AQAP.

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. In this instance the IED’s are specifically designed for carnage to bystanders and not for demolition of buildings as well. This is I assume to generate the maximum amounts of fear from attack but also because the complexity of larger and more powerful bombs is higher and the likelihood of failure is more probable from the lone wolf set. I can imagine though that the AQAP set may in the future attempt to engage the wolves to come to the lands of the Ummah and train for those more complex missions in places like Syria or perhaps in Afghanistan post US pull out. Time will tell though and I am sure we will be seeing another issue of Inspire for summer soon enough.

K

Written by Krypt3ia

2014/03/16 at 11:39

Inspire 11: Hasty Pasty Propaganda

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inspire11_1

JYGRBGTAMQYOHVUSWRPAAIVNHLPNZPYIHT

Well after some confusion a couple weeks ago Inspire 11 finally was dropped on the jihadist boards. The issue was a hasty amalgam of the usual propaganda to get the Western ummah to rise up with a few new stories relevant to recent events. In fact I believe this issue was hurried out because of a couple of reasons. The first being the failure to launch on the first attempt (it was either fubar’d by the brothers or it was tampered with by the intelligence set) and the second due to unfolding events with the killing of a soldier in the UK by a couple of whacknut brothers.

inspire11_2

The file was dropped yesterday and once opened (in sandbox and under a full spectrum of malware/meta/data sniffing) you can see how slapdash this one is. One of the first tidbits though is a mention that though the Amriki brothers in Yemen had been whacked the brothers in Pakistan were still active and able to put out their magazine. This says a couple of things right off the bat, the first being “neener neener neener” and the second is “send the drones to Pakistan” but that’s just me. Overall though you can see just how rough this magazine is and how many new writers/designers there are and their competency levels in English as well as pagination (i.e. not much)

inspire11_3

The magazine though has the obligatory entry by Adam Gadahn who tries the sound and fury approach to whip up the Westerners into Jihad. It falls flat as usual but they really are making an effort to say “Hey get our iPAD Jihad App!” *blergh* That aside, this whole issue is a love fest for the Tsarnaev’s and their personal (lone wolf) jihad against the kuffar. As I predicted when this all went down April 15th 2013, the boys from AQAP/AQ have grabbed right onto the Tsarnaev incident and are trying to make them the poster children of the great cosmic battle for Islam. The usual exhortations and nasheeds are present as you can see from the image below where they have Tamerlan in the clouds.. What? No Virgins? DERP

inspire11_5

Another fun fact is that within this poorly constructed image of Tamerlan with his swanky sunglasses we see an alleged sms message to his mother. I am unsure if this actually happened or if they are just blue sky thinking here on this one. If indeed he had sent this to his mother the timing would be rather important. Of course mommy was on the phone with him talking about jihad when the FSB caught them with the wiretap so… One wonders just how complicit mumsy was to all of this. In the end though all their love for the Tsarnaev plot is nothing new. On the boards since 2:55 pm EST on April 15th the jihobbyists were all wanking off about the attack and hoping upon hope that it was and AQ plot of some kind. Funny enough though, that by day two no one knew just who really had done it and some of the brothers in the know were saying “it wasn’t us” and much pontificating went on.

After the brothers were killed/caught and other revelations came out, specifically the admission by Djokhar that it was indeed a movement against the US for their policies and in favor of Islamic jihad well they just went full on bananas on the boards. This is what I feared would happen if it were in fact lone wolves taking successful action against the US. Of course I do not expect a groundswell of incidents to follow but I do fully expect the AQ set to try and leverage the hell out of this incident and certainly this ersatz magazine is one of those attempts. They will continue to pump out this propaganda and try to energize the base but the fact is that they have nothing new to say. Their rhetoric is always the same and in fact you really could just take old copy and paste it into a new galley for the magazine with new images and voila! Instant crappy propaganda.

Sad to say it, but I miss the old crew.. At least they had some talent.

K.

Written by Krypt3ia

2013/05/31 at 14:36

Inspire 10: Changes In Attitudes.. Changes In Lattitudes…

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inspire10

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

We Are All Usama

Well the boys out of Yemen have created a new-ish version of Inspire Magazine and put it out for the masses of “Lone Wolves” in the West.At least that is their hope for their target audience though I am afraid that it is much more likely that the real readers are analysts like me and the press in reality however. This go around though they are in fact making some strides towards having a more “Western” and compelling message for those weak enough of mind to buy into their arguments of why a Muslim must perform Jihad.One of those exhortations is the phrase “We are all Usama” which somewhat resembles other catch phrases in past Western movements such as the 99% OWS movement today of “We are the 99%” What it shows is that the creators of the magazine are becoming more savvy to the ways of propaganda and are likely at home right now studying Goebbels and the films of Leni Riefenstahl for clues on how to get their brand across. Speaking of branding this whole magazine idea has been a leap forward for their means of trying to propagate their radical ideas and with each one they get a little closer to content that can actually sway the weak minded and this is almost worrisome… Almost. For the most part the magazine is still a ham-fisted attempt at trying to sway the believers into action but there are areas of subtlety that I think people should pay attention to.

Some New Twists

On the whole this is the same magazine that we have seen in the last 9 iterations. There are the usual citations of the Koran and Muhammad that attempt to focus in on the demand of Jihad by him as well as how through it you will gain rich rewards with him in the afterlife. However in this issue we have some new angles;

  • We have a Muslima section by “Umm Yahya” *Mother of Yahya* that attempts to move Muslim women to push their men to jihad
  • We have the “We are all Usama” catch phrase that has been set up to be a kind of TURK182  graffito to be splayed anywhere and everywhere
  • A less strident tone overall that attempts to cajole the audience
  • The use of ethics discourse on how the West is corrupt
  • The coining of new portmanteau words such as Zio-Crusade and Zio-Crusaders
  • Mirroring the political campaigns of the West using imagery and propaganda techniques

It seems that since the death of Samir the AQAP Al-Malahem group also had a new player in Askar Abu Yazeed who has since been killed in a drone attack. He may in fact have been one of the creators of some of this new spin but I can also assume that they have had plenty of time to try and come to grips with their issues of messaging in the interim. As I have said before in reports on issues 1-9 they have been grappling with a way to get their message to those Westernized Muslims and sway them to action. So far they have had very limited success with this and thus they are working the problems out with propaganda tools and psychology. As the Al Qaeda aegis wanes and the movement keeps having to move (or expand as they see it) to other countries like Mali (also mentioned in this issue as a great victory for them in their minds) I believe that the core group thinks the only way to revive the movement is to get a win on Western soil and that means to charge up the “lone wolves” of the Americas.

gloriuswomenmujahid

gloriuswomenmujahid2

yeswecan

novalues

ethics

weareallusama

This also applies to any Westernized group and in fact the issue also makes this point clear that their main targets are America, England, Germany, and to a lesser extent anyone who sides with America. Generally though AQAP wants to move those on the cusp of action into it now by more subtle means as well as the overt. This magazine has a little of both in there which should be something we pay attention to in the CT community. It’s not just a war of bullets, it’s now a war of minds seeking to control others to get them to radicalize and act. AQAP has wanted that pivot point for some time and since AQ has been marginalized they want it even more. So much so that a new pivot has been introduced on the jihadist boards online where they set forth a plan to train people in the Pakistan and other areas then send them back to the West to train others in terror. No longer are they asking the proto jihadi to come to them nor are they saying to make bombs in mom’s kitchen (this did not work out well) they are instead becoming more tactically savvy. Will these tactics win out in the end and lead to some lone wolf carrying out a plan to fruition? I am not so sure but one has to pay attention to the message here to understand where the battle is going. I have to say that this issue was the closest one for me to something that would indeed get someone to move closer to action out of them all.

Subtleties

At the end of the day I have to say that the AQAP group is becoming more savvy and thus more of a limited danger. I say limited danger because I can only foresee a few jihobbyists being moved by these magazines to literal action. The psychology and sociological gaps between experiences here in the West as opposed to those in the lands of the Ummah are large and so radicalization here is a tough nut to crack. One of the more notable things in this issue are the subtleties that have been employed by the writers. They have begun to use manipulative means of guilt such as an article about those still sitting behind the shahid (meaning those who have not taken action and become martyrs) to chide those reading the magazine. They also have begun using the Muslima angle rather adroitly with the article by Umm Yahya which starts off stating that she would love to be a mujahideen and would gladly become shahid. It goes on to wind its way to exhort the other Muslima out there to urge their men to become jihadi’s and fulfill their greater destiny. It’s a sly way to get a synergy going with those true believers to act and it’s really the first time I have seen this out of the AQAP/Malahem machine. Overall I don’t believe that this will win hearts and minds that in turn will beget lone wolf actors but I cannot discount the odd whacknut who buys it hook, line, and sinker either. I guess it’s just the next wave in the jihadi propaganda war that will mostly be played out online… And that is just fine with me because it is still one that never will be won by AQ.

K.

Written by Krypt3ia

2013/03/02 at 12:21

AQ, AQAP, BVD Bombs, CIA, INSPIRE, Mass Media, Moles OH MY!

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X

It’s been busy lately in AQAP HQ

Well, as the news cycle of late has been showing, it has been the busy season for AQAP, in between rocket attacks from drones, they have been busy evidently devising a new type of underwear bomb that is “super sophisticated” according to the press accounts.

*snort*

I would say that they have in fact worked out a better way to get a bomb of reasonable size onto a plane with the right shahid but as for it being so “sophisticated” I cannot say that I think it is all that and a cup of coffee. Currently the FBI (Quantaco) lab boys have the briefs in hand and are looking into the design and so much as we know at present, it has no metal parts. So, this means its all plastics and liquid/soft (semtex/c-4 plastique) explosives. So, where’s the innovation? I would have to say detonator and just design to be slim, as powerful as possible (you only need to blow a hole in the fuselage) and not easily detected in pat downs or body (mm-wave) scans. The detonator though has been the failure point for the last couple of shoe/underwear bombs that were tried, so I would say that if they innovated, it would have been in this area.

Oh well.. But that hasn’t been the BIG story has it concerning AQAP huh? Nope, everyone is abuzz that the CIA had an asset in AQAP for a “few weeks”

Whoa! *sarcasm implied*

Moles and Assets in AQAP: Paradigm Change

As win’s go, this “shahidi asset” in AQAP who turned over the bomb and also helped with intel on the location of Fahd Mohammad Ahmed Al-Quso for a drone strike that killed him, was a pretty good one, though, now with all of the leaking of that this was an inside asset working for <REDACTED> intelligence agencies, I have to think that maybe it wasn’t so much a planned thing as an “opportunity” that presented itself. Since the asset saw no other way than to just turn over the device (because they joined up to be a suicide bomber from the start) they were pretty much burned from the get go here. Once their operation was set in motion and sent to the airport, well, it’s not like they could turn up the next day and say “oops, it didn’t work” So, this was a VERY perishable operation and so far, I am not hearing that from the press nor the administration’s leaks on this.

Context is a key thing kids.

So, if you turn on the news you hear the crowing going on that we got a “spy” in AQAP… Yes, sure… No… Not really. I suspect that this person was in a position of contact with AQAP, wanted as a “shahidi suicide bomber” and either was available to being turned, or went directly to the intelligence service for their country and said “Hi, AQAP called and they want me to go BOOM” I could be wrong, but I suspect that this is the case, either way, the asset was cultivated for this one off and it worked. Now, as for having long term assets in AQ or AQAP, well that is another kettle of fish altogether. Something that is seeming to be misconstrued a bit in the media reports. So far as I know it, we have not had very much HUMINT of this nature within AQ/AQAP/The Salafist Jihad movement because they are so paranoid and tribal.. As well as we had a total FAIL on grooming assets from the region to begin with.

So, post this little operation, where will we stand? Well, lets see…

Pro: We got the bomb, and we whacked a major player as well as gathered other intel from the asset who was embedded for a while

Con: Now they are gonna even be more paranoid…

Pro: Now they are gonna be even more paranoid!

Con: Likely we will not have any more assets on the ground for a while because the are paranoid

Well, there you have it. It was a win, but not as much as it’s being made out to be I think personally from an intelligence gathering standpoint. Who knows maybe we will get lucky again with another shahidi huh? Won’t hold my breath though.

Post UBL, Samir, Anwar, etc etc.

So, once again back to the changing times. Lets see, we had the recent anniversary of UBL’s death and the trucking out of the stories again. I personally have been reading Peter Bergen’s book on it all called “Manhunt” and found some interesting details in there. However, with that and the letters from Abbottabad, one gets an interesting picture of not only UBL’s last 6 years, but also the state of affairs between rival groups and personalities. If the documents are to be believed (yes some are saying there are reasons for these documents being released without the context of the whole trove and what “can” be declassified) then we see a picture of UBL as trying to thread the needle a bit on how to handle the monster that had gotten away from him.

AQAP it seems was a group that he did not officially sanction (franchise) and the name is their own doing. In fact, the letters show that UBL was not a fan of Al-Awlaki and thought that AQAP was doing a little too much indiscriminate killing of Muslims in the lands. Something I can see being the case as in the end UBL was ethnic Yemeni and his last wife (#4) was as well. So perhaps there is some truth to the idea that not only was UBL not a fan of the groups actions but was so because of ties to the area. I also suspect that there may also have been some reservation on the part of UBL on Anwar because of the places that they found themselves; UBL in confinement, marginalized, and Anwar out and about, preaching and gathering a real following amongst the younger jihadi set.

Jealous much?

Of course that is all supposition on my part and from reading the letters that were released. Anyway, we whacked Anwar and his boys including Samir, the head of “Inspire” magazine which lead the unthinking masses to believe that AQAP and AQ (from all deaths above) were pretty hurt to the point of being almost intert. Well, they were wrong of course and as we have seen were busy making new plans to attack the US.. Which was what UBL was re-iterating to AQAP and others before he got his-self whacked. All of this goes to show that it’s not just the leaders that you have to kill, it’s the premise of their war. Sure, taking out leaders helps a lot, but, it seems with jihad, that there is a ideological element that is tough to put down.

So they continue on… And so will the GWOT.

What I can say about Inspire

Well, speaking of AQAP and Samir etc, we had the dump of Inspire 8 & 9 last week and it was only a matter of time really. It seems that Samir had 8 in the can mostly before he got his personal bomb blast, but 9 is whole cloth the creation of those he left behind, including I suspect the guy who wrote the eulogy for Samir. Inspire 8 is oddly formatted and contains more kluge-y language but 9 seems to be back to the more slick jihadi hipster that it was before.

Not much has changed on content though, or thought for that matter. They did have some more detail on things.. But.. I cannot talk about it…. Wouldn’t wanna be one of those “leakers” ya know…Lets see what they come up with for 10 and see where they are headed. The one thing they did learn from all of the DoS and hacks, at the top of the mag they tell the brothers to post it everywhere, not just on the boards. Seems they have the whole internet to work with and not just their php pages huh? Now who’da thought that?

Election Season and Leaks of INTEL

Speaking of leaks and leakers! Can you tell its election season? I certainly can with all this hoo-ha over UBL’s demise and campaign ads! Now though, we have this leak about the underwear plot and how the <REDACTED AGENCY> got their guy in there.

*sigh*

Really? I don’t know about you all,  but I am feeling rather jaded at the “inside sources in CT” being cited on this whole intelligence coup. Evidently now too the CIA and other entities are claiming that they are “looking into” the leak.

Hmm lemme see, who woulda leaked that? Maybe the intelligence agencies themselves? Perhaps even it was a “condoned” leak maybe?

Yeah..

Look, like I said before this guy had a one way mission and he was burned as soon as he left the compound to go on that flight (a highly perishable asset) so who’s losing out here that this information is leaked. (once again see above) I dunno, I may be being a bastard here, but this is how I see it. It was convenient on many levels to leak this to the press. Just as it was for Gdub to leak Valerie Plame’s name right?

Say Scooter, how’s life now that you have been thrown to the wolves on that… Feelin the love still?

INFOWARS: AQ/AQAP/iJIHAD

Meanwhile, the war rages on for the black hearts and mushy minds of those jihobbyists out there who wanna join AQ/AQAP or any of the other franchises. The latest releases of Inspire pretty much say it all. They are following what UBL laid out as a broad base ideal, get the locals to attack the US. The jihadi boards online as well are a great part of this picture as well, giving the ability of propaganda and spin to those out there who would be a “lone wolf” as well as a repository for Inspire.

The boards of late have been under fire though by the patriot hackers as well as intelligence agencies though. Recent times have seen them taken offline not only via DoS but also being hacked and deleted offline. Of course they come back fairly quickly as the owners/operators have backups of them in other places and they are mirrored. So, once they get that master database back up, they all pop up away they go. Interestingly though, recent events have shown just how the boards play one role while technology is being used in another way to keep communications secret.

With the release of the Abbottabad letters we have seen how UBL and the networks have been using little technology to communicate via courier. Of course they are still using technology but only minimally and it seems in the case of UBL (that we know of) without actually using encryption on their hard drives or USB drives, that is until recently. An AQ operative was recently caught with a USB drive full of porn amongst other things. Within that porn there was, steganographically hidden, files for the jihad. These documents were future plans and other materials that will be ever so helpful in the war on terror. However, the point being is that this is the first acknowledged case of Steg being used by AQ and that is interesting. What I find most interesting about this though is the hindsight issue here. A case could be made that AQ learned from the fact that (as we know it by accounts) UBL did not crypt any of his stuff and the SEAL’s took it all. This would have put a severe crimp in AQ’s plans and as we have seen since UBL’s demise, we have been in a drone war that we have been winning much of the time. So, all that intel (pocket litter) we obtained from Abbottabad really came in handy and must have been an object lesson for those left in command of AQ.

Moving forward though, I expect that, from my reading of Inspire, AQAP has a plan to leverage the internet even more than they already are. I believe that they will continue to put the magazine out and perhaps inspire others to make clones. The ubiquitous nature of the internet will only serve to allow their propaganda to be loosed upon us all. The key though, is that their propaganda only appeals to a very small, and mentally damaged group that in reality will lose in the end. Why? Because there are far more sane people out there than there are those bent on AQ’s particular brand of “jihad”

Expect More as We Move Towards November

Well, I guess as a final conclusion to this screed, I just want to say that you all should expect more of all of this. The political season is upon us and the powers that be will be attempting to leverage all of this as well as the AQ’s of the world. Remember Azzam Al Amriki is still out there at present, and if he had his way, we’d be seeing Ayman on ABC news doing interviews.

*ugh*

No one needs that kind of pedantry… No… Really…

K.

Written by Krypt3ia

2012/05/09 at 17:27

Inspire 6: Operational Methods Changes

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Inspire vol 6 came out yesterday and for the most part, it was more of the same ol same ol. Long diatribes on AQ doctrine, the usual shahidi laments and exhortations, a bomb making cook recipe for Acetone Peroxide (I can see more than a few jihobbyist fingers getting taken off accidentally) and then the little section below screen captured titled “Jihadi Experiences”

Jihadi Experiences:

After OBL was sent to his pineapple under the sea, I had written a post titled “Al Qaeda: The Case of A More Diffuse and Autonomous Organisationin which I made the observation that AQ might be re-thinking its C&C structure as well as its organizational groups. This part of the Inspire magazine is saying that very thing.

  • Point one on the list is the fact that they need to re-tool their operations to have more diffused and compartmented cells. They want to have cells that operate in a way that if one of their members gets caught, they will not know the whole picture and be able to give away the rest of the team.
  • Point two notes that they need younger recruits but those recruits seem to not want to commit themselves fully to the cause. They are observing that perhaps they could get the youth involved by contributions but not having them commit fully. This seems to be the essence of the jihobbyist to me. Looks like they want to use this.
  • Point three re-iterates the need for more diffused, mobile, and agile units because the battle space is not longer driven by discreet front lines.
  • Point four makes a key statement that the drone strikes are causing problems for them and backs up point three in that wherever they are meeting or hiding, even underground, we are using technology to find them and strike them.
The summation though from these points is rather telling however;
  • Firstly, they have renamed jihad to “resistance” its a bit more Western friendly term for those jihobbyists who do not speak Arabi well and it is a paradigm change. You are fighting a battle of resistance against the oppressor instead of being mandated by Allah and the Koran to do so. It goes to the whole idea of using the youth as a movement without the absolute commitment to Jihad.
  • The second statement re-iterates the need for a new youth movement that will ease them all into the ideology of jihad. Once again, using the key word of “resistance”
  • The third and fourth statements have key changes but ones that has been building. They are aiming for more lone wolf jihadi acts. They say this though, with the intent of directing those lone wolves to key targets. I believe that they want to deploy the command and control over the propaganda wing’s postings online. This would make sense, just dangle targets out there and exhort the ‘youth ummah’ to go forth and commit jihad.
  • The fifth statement concerns their ongoing efforts online to spread jihadi ‘sciences’ as well as political doctrine. Of late, the forums have been under attack by differing factions. Mostly though, the actors taking down the sites seem to be non state actors (patriot hackers) egged on by the recent spate of Anonymous hacks and attacks. However, there have been other issues the jihobbyists have been facing. Their Facebook jihad has been failing because Facebook keeps taking their pages down. It has been suggested that they create front pages with links to harder content that is hidden to prevent this. All of this though is tempered with the fact that they do not want to be caught, like said Anonymous actors who lately have been scooped up by the authorities.
  • Statements six and seven are interesting. They speak of creating cells of resistance and re-naming them systems of action “Nizam Al-Amal” and not as secret organizations for action “Tandim Lil-Amal” Once again, the movement is looking to have secure cells that will have a C&C but not so much that if any of their members are caught, the cell will not be taken down nor will that effect the upper echelons security.
This section of the magazine is the most interesting to me. It shows just how much harder is has become for the jihad to function with our intelligence apparatus and drone strikes going on. Obviously AQAP has been feeling the bite of counterintelligence operations as well as counter insurgency efforts. The problems they face though are pretty tough. Just how do you go on to inspire the ummah with no way to really have a command and control apparatus to guide them?
Even with all the subtle changes to language here (neuro-linguistic programming) I don’t see that any organization like theirs can have what they seek. After all, the basic premise that AQ and other radical orgs have used to to indoctrinate the youth in places like the madrassa’s of Afghanistan. They only teach them the Koran and they only teach them barely what they need to function, all the while controlling very carefully, the youth’s doctrinal belief. Without this, and seeking a Western cache of jihadi troops to fill their ranks, they are seeking a new way not only to bring them to the ‘resistance’ but also to control them.
Guess what AQ, it will fail. No matter what method you finally try to use.
Look at this from the anonymous perspective of command and control. They claim to be headless but in fact they have always had an underlying structure. There will always be need for command and control over any operational force that goes into battle.
And with that C&C structure, there will always be a method to get inside it and tear it apart…  As the Anonykids are discovering now (see yesterday’s arrests of 14 more anons)
So, we can see that AQAP is grappling with the issue and perhaps their base is eroding even further. I am glad to see that they are having problems and trying to work them out in a public forum for me to watch. I am sure others in the community are as well…
Keep giving us all your ideas AQAP. The more you give, the sooner we will have you all wrapped up.
K.

Written by Krypt3ia

2011/07/20 at 10:36