Krypt3ia

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

Archive for the ‘Mapping Internet Jihad’ Category

The Psychology of “Neo Jihad” Radicalization

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The Paradigm Pivot:

Soon after the attacks on 9/11 the US and other countries began a “War On Terror” that attempted to disrupt and destroy the Al Qaeda networks. The military and intelligence wars on AQ have been very successful in that they have splintered the group, cut its main lines of C&C, and forced them to scatter into the hills of Waziristan and other places. The intelligence war began with stepped up surveillance technically as well as, after much spin up, getting physical assets on the ground and inserted into the intelligence gathering apparatus. Once the networks were set up, and the AQ infrastructure fractured, it became apparent to the leaders of AQ that they needed to proselytize in a different way to get more “recruits” for the global jihad that they wanted.

Once the realization set in, the AQ leadership began to move online to communicate, radicalize, and recruit new jihadi’s to the cause. As time went by and more of the networks were broken, the ranks of jihad began to thin out. This became a real problem for Al Qaeda and it realized that it needed a new paradigm to reach the “Western” ummah that they could try to sway to jihad. With the creation of GIMF, and AQAP later on, the footprint of jihadi propaganda and radicalization took shape online. Since 2001, we have seen AQ and affiliates grapple with how to get their message across as well as create channels for those who are not in the 2 lands, to radicalize, and then come to jihad.

This post is about not only the means that AQ, AQAP, and others have come up with as a response to the problem, but also a profile of the GEN2 jihadi’s online that are being radicalized and who have acted in the past as well as those who may in the future.

Online Jihad: 10 Years of Internet Jihad

A plethora of sites on the internet have been set up over the years by AQ and its affiliates to propagandize and communicate. many of these sites at first were just simple file upload areas and small bulletin boards. Today we have many mass media style sites including videos, tutorials, online chat areas, and private messaging. The PHP bulletin boards set up on domain named sites or on servers (stealth) that have been hacked, have been the most popular of all. With these sites, the jihad radicalization goes on with postings within pass-worded group sites like Shamukh (AQ) or Ansar.com.

For the most part, these sites have only been partially successful in being a command and control mechanism for AQ. They have failed to gather the swelling support that they would have liked on the part of the Western ummah and it is this lack of fervor that has them vexed. I have personally seen this vexation in AQAP’s “Inspire Magazine” as they have been trying to become more “Hip and Western” to get a new audience. All of their efforts though, have had lackluster returns. This lack of response on the part of the young westernized groups that they are targeting is likely to a few factors;

  1. The radicalization process is not in person
  2. The western mindset of the targets is more secular in nature and separate from the core AQ groups experiences
  3. These youths are not living in lands where war is ongoing
So, the target populations that they are aiming at are hard to reach and likely not predisposed to radicalization online easily. However, there are others who they do reach. These are a smaller group of individuals who are outlined below in the GEN2.0 section of this post. First though, there needs to be an explanation of the psychology of radicalization that will backstop the three points above on why the jihad is missing the mark with the western youth.

The Psychology of Radicalization:

Radicalization: The process in which an individual changes from passiveness or activism to become more revolutionarymilitant or extremist. Radicalization is often associated with youthadversityalienationsocial exclusionpoverty, or the perception of injustice to self or others.

Much of the classic radicalizing that happens within movements such as Al Qaeda happens when the like minded get together under the penumbra of a stronger personality that leads them. In the case of Islamic Jihad, there have been many Imam’s and leaders who preach this type of thought within their right wing versions of Islam. This is the core of the idea behind raising the ummah army to fight a jihad, the radicalization of the parishioners through direct proselytizing. Since 9/11 though, much of the Muslim community has come under scrutiny from intelligence gathering groups seeking to find the next cell of terrorists being exhorted to jihad by an imam or another leader.

In other cases secular leaders may arise, this may take shape in the form of someone like Mohammad Atta, or the like who are within a circle of like minded people (What Dr. Marc Sageman calls “a group of guys” theory) who “self radicalize” and either make contact with core AQ, or, they decide to act on their own, using the internet as their guide to jihad techniques and ideals. This may happen with two or more individuals seeking like minded people, or, a leader may inculcate them into their particular brand of thought.

A third and seemingly rising type of radicalization seems to be the Lone Wolf or Loner. This is a person either seeking to belong to something greater than they are, or, someone mentally unbalanced and moving along the lines of their own particular mental illness. The Lone Wolves and the Loner’s are dangerous in that they are now one of the primary targets of AQ and their propaganda/radicalization drive other than the “group of guys” The reason for this is that all of these groups can “self radicalize” without having to step into a mosque by reading online and digitally relating with other like minded jihadi’s online. The major difference being that there is no direct contact and, for most, this method of contact and radicalizing lacks the added social element of being in person as a part of a group.

This is a key feature of radicalization that needs to be understood. Since we are social animals, we need to feel that kinship and the only real way to do this primarily is to be within a social dynamic structure that includes physically being there. Online it seems, just does not cut it for most. However, there are others, the mentally ill, and those who are so socially awkward, that online seems to be the only way that they can relate, that have become the next generation of jihobbyists. This in tandem with the fact that now it is rather hard to make contact with, and access the core AQ group physically (i.e. going to a training camp in Waziristan) has made the online radicalization process the pre-eminent way for the jihadi process to carry on.

Jihad GEN 2.0: Lone Wolves, Wolf Packs, & Loners

  • Lone Wolves: Single actors who radicalize either by self or online groups but act alone
  • Wolf Packs: “The Group of Guys” Who radicalize together as a unit and attempt jihad
  • Loners: The single player who radicalizes online and may have contacts with some but is not a team player
These terms above have been bandied about for a while now in the CT arena. The reason for this is two fold. One, we have been seeing these types radicalizing and acting out. Two, AQ has also seen this trend and they are trying to leverage these small groups or single individuals to action. As stated at the top of this post, the lines of communication and radicalization have had to change since the war on terror began. It is because we have so cornered AQ and their afiliates in the 2 lands, that they have resorted to these tactics, and, they are finding it hard to have any good results. This however, has not stopped them from trying and also trying to innovate new ways to radicalize the Western ummah.

Lone Wolves, or the “Lone Wolf” The most likely candidate for the lone wolf is a second generation immigrant who feels some sort of synergy with their parents homeland. There have been a spate of cases where Al Shebaab had converts sneak off from the US to Somalia to train with them. The majority of these lone wolves in this case, were kids in their teens or early twenties that took off to join the jihad there. The premise though, is that these are people who are not necessarily part of any one group but seek out the jihad on their own. They often connect with the core jihadi groups in some way (Malik Hassan and Anwar Al Awlaki) and then act on their own in a more constructed and supported way from the core AQ groups.

A number of these “lone wolves” were caught here in the US when they were intercepted by the FBI in sting operations. These operations mostly consisted of assets talking to the lone wolf and asking them what they would do for jihad. What operations would they like to pull off, and offer that wolf the means to carry out their intentions. This for some, treads the line of entrapment, but for me, I think it is fair game because either way, the individual, unless being held captive and tortured etc, is not suffering from “Stockholm Syndrome” and thus acting under their own will. Social dynamics aside, these actors sought out the jihad, and in my mind, already have instabilities and predispositions that will inevitably lead them to do something with or without the help of an agent provocateur.

Wolf Packs are groups of like minded individuals who have either come together and then radicalized, or, have formed due to a strong leader. These are the most dangerous of the groups because they tend to be groomed by core AQ and, as a group, not only self radicalize, but they re-enforce their belief and action as a social dynamic. Wolf packs have been seen as the more organized and thus more dangerous element in this behavior model. An example of the wolf pack would be the Lackawana 6 or others who banded together and eventually went to an AQ training camp. Though, in the case of the Lackawanna 6, it seems as though they came back from the trip decidedly lacking the motivation to carry out a mission. This is likely because of their Westernized mind set. They did however provide material support to the jihad, and were convicted of this.

Another wolf pack though are the 19 who carried out the attacks on 9/11. The Hamburg Cell, as they were called, came together in Germany where they self radicalized at a local mosque and eventually made contact with the core AQ group. This group would be considered the progenitor of the wolf pack jihad itself and are lauded by AQ for their success. They are the model for AQ’s blueprint originally on reaching a western audience.

Loners are the last type of jihadi that the AQ core are seeking to incite. The loner tends to be an individual who is socially inept to the degree that some have actually been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. Still others have proven to be mentally ill individuals who latch onto the jihad for whatever reasons are driving their psyche. On average, the loner can be seen as the spree killer of the group that feeds the need of the jihad in that they sow fear and confusion while potentially taking out numbers of people. An example of a loner would be Nidal Malik Hassan (Ft. Hood Shooter) who clearly was mentally unstable and went on a shooting rampage injuring 30 and killing 13.

Loners tend to be more the spree killers with guns than they are bomb makers. Another loner type would be Faisal Shahzad, who attempted to make a propane bomb alone. His training was incomplete or he was inept, because the device failed to go off. In the case of Shahzad, he also spent time in Pakistan (from where he emigrated to the US) with the Pakistani Taliban. His radicalization went on unseen by others around him and his actions became more erratic as time went on. I have not seen a psych evaluation of him, but from all that I have seen, it may well be that he too is mentally unstable.

Another couple of reasons to worry more about the “loner” type of jihadi are these:

  • They are loners, thus unless someone in the family see’s whats going on, it will likely go unseen until its too late
  • They are often here in the US and with guns easily available, make their spree killing scenarios most likely to work
In all, these three types of jihadi’s are the main targets now for the AQ and other core groups to radicalize and energize. The jihad needs recruits to carry out their war and the Qaeda have learned that they need not be the devout and pious to do so. The weak minded and the socially inept will do just fine.

Online Radicalization: Propaganda, Congregation, Synergy & The Online Shadow War

As mentioned above, the radicalization process online has mainly consisted of websites that cater to the newbie to the jihad up to the hard core members. Primarily though, these sites have been a means to gain new recruits for the holy war. These sites had been for a long time, rather blatantly operating online because the governments had not caught up with the technology. Recently though, there has been a change going on within the online jihad. Due to many factors including actions on the part of the hacker community, the propaganda machine that has been the jihadi bulletin board system online has begun to go underground as well as redouble its propaganda efforts.

AQAP’s “Inspire Magazine” releases also have been slowed down and the core’s processes for distribution tightened because of tampering with the files in the past and the worries that they have been compromised as a network online. Spooks and hackers have been infiltrating their networks and websites for a while now and they have caught on. Of course in some ways, the assumption should always have been so. However, attacks on the AQ propaganda sites have increased over the last couple of years to include complete take downs of certain sites through DD0S as well as compromise and destruction of their back ends. Since these occurrences, the smarter of the group have decided that it was time to create a new propaganda jihad.

Abu Hafs alSunni alSunni, is an exemplar of this mindset. He espouses that the propaganda jihad needs to be more layered and secret. His proposal is to hide the online jihad in plain sight, by making pages that have stealth links (gateway sites) that will lead the knowing, to the real sites where content can be obtained and ideas shared. His ideas were a bit ahead of the curve for most on the boards, but now, post 2011, the administrators and the core AQ I think, are taking a closer look at this model. As online sites that are non secret become more and more targeted, it is only natural that they jihad would eventually have to go underground to continue and flourish from a command and control as well as radicalization standpoint. By locking down the content with gateways to it, those who are serious could congregate behind the digital curtain and carry on, while the digital bill boards call to all those thinking about joining the fray.

As the online jihad progresses technically, so too will their followers and this is a concern. With technologies such as TOR (The Onion Router) and their “Hidden Services” one can now easily hide all content behind a network that cannot be tracked or traced. Online chats can be had in total anonymity as well as files can be left within the confines of such networks for only those who have the right address to get them (net/net meet the new digital anonymous dead drops) and it is here that once again the pivot happens within the dynamic of online jihad. Once the technological skills of the jihadi’s come online, so too will the types of attacks online that could be carried out by them as well as the success rates of kinetic attacks because they are using solid methods to transmit and connect with each other to plan operations.

Already we have seen this movement happening on the forums and it really is only a matter of time until some of these guys read the man page on how to configure their own TOR node with hidden services turned on. It is clear that the technologies are making it easier for them to hide in plain site as well as behind the technical curtain, so, it is my proposition that the next iteration of the GWOT have a component of psychological operations more involved. Just as I have said about the Anonymous situation ongoing, the greater successes are likely to come about because we better understand the players motivations and psyche’s.

Countering The Threat:

In conclusion, I see a two pronged method of attack to fight the online jihad:

  1. Psyops: The idea that psychological operations has always been a part of the counter insurgency effort. However, in the digital world this has been more the spooks territory than the digital warfighter. Of course the digital war is new as is the online jihad so it is a natural progression to see this type of warfare as well as detective process being implemented.
  2. Technical Counter-Insurgency Operations: As the technological adroitness grows on the part of the jihadi’s so should the capabilities on the counter insurgency online. It is understood that the US has quite a bit of technical know how online so it is an easier supposition to make that we will be able to step up quickly. However, it is the melding of the two (psyops/pscyhology and technical ops) that must happen to wage this battle well.
We are going to have to step up our online activities to meet the challenge and as far as I have knowledge of, certain areas of law enforcement need to play catch up. The AQ core will continue to reach out to the lonely and dispossessed to radicalize the newcomers as well as use the technologies we have created (privacy/hacking utilities included) to effect the outcomes they desire and we need to be able to counter them.

APPENDIX A:US Cases of Terrorism since 9/11

2002

• José Padilla. José Padilla (32), a native U.S. citizen, convert to Islam, and al Qaeda

operative, was arrested upon his return from the Middle East to the United States.

Although there is no question of his al Qaeda connection, his mission remains unclear.

He was convicted for providing material support to al Qaeda and sentenced in 2008.

A co-defendant, Kifah Wael Jayyousi (40), a naturalized U.S. citizen from Jordan, was

also convicted.

• The Lackawanna Six. Six Yemeni-Americans—Sahim Alwar (26), Yahya Goba (25),

Yasein Taher (24), Faysal Galab (25), Shafal Mosed (23), all born in the United States,

and Muktar al-Bakri (21), a naturalized citizen—were arrested for training at an

al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan.

• The Portland Seven. Seven individuals—Patrice Lumumba Ford (31), Jeffrey Leon

Battle (31), October Martinique Laris (25), Muhammad Ibrahim Bilal (22), Ahmed

Ibrahim Bilal (24), all native U.S. citizens; Habis Abdulla al Saoub (37), a U.S. perma-

nent resident from Jordan; and Maher Hawash (38), a naturalized U.S. citizen from

Jordan—were arrested for attempting to join al Qaeda and the Taliban.

• Earnest James Ujaama. Earnest James Ujaama (36), a native U.S. citizen, was arrested

for providing support to the Taliban.

• Imran Mandhai. Imran Mandhai (20), a U.S. permanent resident from Pakistan, told

an FBI informant that he wanted to wage war against the United States. He planned

to assemble an al Qaeda cell and attack various targets in Florida, including electrical

substations, Jewish businesses, a National Guard armory, and also, improbably, Mount

Rushmore. Under surveillance for a long time, Mandhai was arrested and subsequently

convicted of conspiracy to destroy property.

• Anwar al-Awlaki. Anwar al-Awlaki (31), a U.S. citizen born in New Mexico, studied

engineering in college and motivation in graduate school, then became an increasingly

radical imam. After being questioned by the FBI several times, he left the United States

in 2002 and went to Yemen, where he is now a leading spokesperson for al Qaeda.

2003

• Adnan Gulshair el Shukrijumah. A provisional arrest warrant was issued for Adnan

Gulshair el Shukrijumah (27), a Saudi national and legal permanent resident, who grew

up and worked in the United States. Shukrijumah was suspected of involvement in a

number of terrorist plots. In 2010, he was indicted for his involvement in the 2009 Zazi

plot to blow up New York subways.

• Iyman Faris. Iyman Faris (34), a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan, was arrested

for reconnoitering the Brooklyn Bridge for a possible al Qaeda attack.

• The Northern Virginia Cluster. Eleven men were arrested in June 2003 for training

at a jihadist training camp abroad, intending to join Lashkar-e-Toiba, and planning

terrorist attacks: Caliph Basha Ibn Abdur Raheem (28), a native U.S. citizen; Sabri

Benkhala (27), a native U.S. citizen; Randoll Todd Royer (39), a native U.S. citizen;

Ibrahim al-Hamdi (25), a Yemeni national; Khwaja Mahmood Hasan (27), a natural-

ized U.S. citizen from Pakistan; Muhammed Aatique (30), a legal permanent resident

from Pakistan; Donald T. Surratt (30), a native U.S. citizen; Masoud Ahmad Khan

(33), a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan; Seifullah Chapman (31), a native U.S.

citizen; Hammad Abdur-Raheem (34), a U.S.-born citizen and Army veteran of the

first Gulf War; and Yong Ki Kwon (27), a naturalized U.S. citizen from Korea. Two

other individuals were also arrested in connection with the group: Ali al-Timimi (40), a

U.S.-born citizen, and Ali Asad Chandia (26), a citizen of Pakistan. Six of the accused

pleaded guilty, and another three were convicted. Benkhala was acquitted but was later

charged and convicted of making false statements to the FBI. Al-Timimi was convicted

in 2005. The case against Caliph Basha Ibn Abdur Raheem was dismissed.

• Uzair Paracha. Uzair Paracha (23), a legal permanent resident from Pakistan, was

indicted for attempting to help an al Qaeda operative enter the United States in order

to attack gas stations. He was convicted in 2005.

• Abdurahman Alamoudi. Abdurahman Alamoudi (51), a naturalized U.S. citizen from

Eritrea, was indicted in the United States for plotting to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s

Prince Abdullah.

• Ahmed Omar Abu Ali. Ahmed Omar Abu Ali (22), a native U.S. citizen, was arrested

by Saudi authorities and later extradited to the United States for providing support to

a terrorist organization and plotting to assassinate the president of the United States.

2004

• Mohammed Abdullah Warsame. Mohammed Abdullah Warsame (31), a legal perma-

nent resident from Somalia, was arrested for conspiring to support al Qaeda. He was

found guilty and sentenced in 2009.

Chronology of the Cases

• Ilyas Ali. Ilyas Ali (55), a naturalized U.S. citizen from India, pleaded guilty to provid-

ing material support to the Taliban and al Qaeda. He attempted to sell hashish and

heroin in return for Stinger missiles, which he then planned to sell to the Taliban. Two

other defendants, Muhammed Abid Afridi and Syed Mustajab Shah, both Pakistani

nationals, were also convicted in the case.

• Amir Abdul Rashid. Ryan Gibson Anderson (26)—a native U.S. citizen and convert to

Islam who called himself Amir Abdul Rashid—was a soldier in the U.S. Army at Fort

Lewis, Washington, when he was arrested in February 2004 for contacting Islamic

websites related to al Qaeda and offering information about the U.S. Army.

• Mark Robert Walker. A Wyoming Technical Institute student, Mark Robert Walker

(19), a native U.S. citizen who, according to reports, became obsessed with jihad, was

charged with attempting to assist the Somali-based group, Al-Ittihad al Islami. He

planned to provide the group with night-vision devices and bulletproof vests.

• Mohammed Junaid Babar. Mohammed Junaid Babar (31), a naturalized U.S. citizen

from Pakistan, was arrested in New York for providing material support to al Qaeda.

• The Herald Square Plotters. Shahawar Martin Siraj (22), a Pakistani national, and

James Elshafy (19), a U.S.-born citizen, were arrested for plotting to carry out a terrorist

attack on New York City’s Herald Square subway station.

• The Albany Plotters. Yassin Aref (34), an Iraqi refugee in the United States, and

Mohammad Hossain (49), a naturalized U.S. citizen from Bangladesh, two leaders of a

mosque in Albany, New York, were arrested for attempting to acquire weapons in order

to assassinate a Pakistani diplomat.

• Adam Yahiye Gadahn. Adam Yahiye Gadahn (26), a native U.S. citizen and convert to

Islam, moved to Pakistan in 1998. By 2004, he was identified as a member of al Qaeda

planning terrorist attacks in the United States, and he subsequently became one of

al Qaeda’s principal spokesmen. He was formally indicted in 2006.

• The Abdi Case. Nuradin Abdi (32), a Somali national granted asylum in the United

States, was indicted in June 2004 for plotting with Iyman Faris to blow up a Colum-

bus, Ohio, shopping mall. (He was arrested in November 2003.)

• Gale Nettles. Gale Nettles (66), a native U.S. citizen and ex-convict, was arrested in

August in an FBI sting for plotting to bomb the Dirksen Federal Building in Chi-

cago and for attempting to provide al Qaeda with explosive material. His motive was

revenge for his conviction as a counterfeiter, but he wanted to connect with al Qaeda,

which he figured would pay him for his excess explosive materials. He was convicted

on the terrorist charge in 2005.

• Carpenter and Ransom. Two New Orleans men, Cedric Carpenter (31), a convicted

felon, and Lamont Ransom (31), both native U.S. citizens, intended to sell fraudulent

identity documents to the Philippine jihadist terrorist group Abu Sayyaf in return for

cash and heroin. Ransom, who had previously served in the U.S. Navy, was familiar

with the group. Both were convicted and sentenced in 2005.

2005

• The New York Defendants. Three defendants—Mahmud Faruq Brent (32), a U.S.-

born citizen who had attended a training camp in Pakistan run by Lashkar-e-Toiba;

Rafiq Abdus Sabir (50), a U.S.-born citizen and medical doctor who volunteered to pro-

vide medical treatment to al Qaeda terrorists; and Abdulrahman Farhane (52), a natu-

ralized U.S. citizen from Morocco who agreed to assist in fundraising for the purchase

of weapons for insurgents in Chechnya and Afghanistan—were linked to defendant-

turned-informant Tarik Shah (42), a U.S.-born citizen who was arrested in May 2005

for offering to provide training to insurgents in Iraq. Shah identified his co-defendants,

and all four were convicted.

• The Lodi Case. Hamid Hayat (22), a native-born U.S. citizen, and his father, Umar

Hayat, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan, were arrested in June 2005 for secretly

attending a terrorist training camp in Pakistan. Umar Hayat ultimately pleaded guilty

of lying to federal authorities.

• The Torrance Plotters. Kevin James (29), Levar Washington (21), and Gregory

Patterson (25), all native U.S. citizens and converts to Islam, and Hammad Riaz Samana

(21), a permanent resident from Pakistan, were charged in August 2005 with planning

to carry out terrorist attacks on National Guard armories, a U.S. military recruiting

center, the Israeli consulate, and Los Angeles International airport. (This case is some-

times referred to as the Sacramento Plot.)

• Michael Reynolds. Michael Reynolds (47), a native U.S. citizen, acquired explosives

and offered them to an informant whom he believed was an al Qaeda official to blow

up the Alaska Pipeline in return for $40,000.

• Ronald Grecula. Ronald Grecula (70), a native U.S. citizen, was arrested in Texas in

May 2005 for offering to build an explosive device for informants he believed to be

al Qaeda agents. He pleaded guilty to the charge in 2006.

2006

• The Liberty City Seven. Seven men—Narseal Batiste (32), a native U.S. citizen;

Patrick Abraham (39), a Haitian national illegally in the United States after over-

staying his visa; Stanley Grunt Phanor (31), a naturalized U.S. citizen; Naudimar

Herrera (22), a native U.S. citizen; Burson Augustin (21), a native U.S. citizen; Rothschild

Augustin (26), a native U.S. citizen; and Lyglenson Lemorin (31), a legal permanent resi-

dent from Haiti—were charged in June 2006 with plotting to blow up the FBI build-

ing in Miami and the Sears Tower in Chicago. Herrera and Lemorin were acquitted.

Chronology of the Cases

• Syed Hashmi. Syed “Fahad” Hashmi (30), a Pakistani-born U.S. citizen, was arrested

in London on charges of providing material support to al Qaeda.

• Derrick Shareef. Derrick Shareef (22), a native U.S. citizen and convert to Islam, was

arrested for planning a suicide attack on an Illinois shopping mall. He intended to

place hand grenades in garbage cans, but the plot also involved handguns.

• The Fort Dix Plotters. Six men—Mohammad Ibrahim Shnewer (22), a naturalized

U.S. citizen from Jordan; Serdar Tatar (23), a legal permanent resident from Turkey;

Agron Abdullahu (24), a U.S. permanent resident from Kosovo; and Dritan Duka (28),

Shain Duka (26), and Elljvir Duka (23), three brothers from Albania living in the

United States illegally—were charged with plotting to carry out an armed attack on

soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey.

• The Toledo Cluster. Mohammad Zaki Amawi (26) and Marwan El-Hindi (43), both

naturalized U.S. citizens from Jordan, and Wassim Mazloum (25), a legal permanent

resident from Lebanon, were arrested in Toledo, Ohio, for plotting to build bombs to

use against American forces in Iraq. Two additional persons were also charged in this

case: Zubair Ahmed (26), a U.S.-born citizen, and his cousin Khaleel Ahmed (25), a

naturalized U.S. citizen from India.

• The Georgia Plotters. Syed Harris Ahmed (21), a naturalized U.S. citizen, and Ehsanul

Islam Sadequee (20), a U.S.-born citizen from Atlanta, Georgia, were arrested in April

2006 for discussing potential targets with terrorist organizations and receiving instruc-

tion in reconnaissance.

• Daniel Maldonado. Daniel Maldonado (27), a native U.S. citizen and convert to

Islam, was arrested for joining a jihadist training camp in Somalia. He was captured

by the Kenyan armed forces and returned to the United States.

• Williams and Mirza. Federal authorities charged two students at Houston Commu-

nity College—Kobie Diallo Williams (33), a native U.S. citizen and convert to Islam,

and Adnan Babar Mirza (29), a Pakistani national who had overstayed his student

visa—with aiding the Taliban. According to the indictment, the two planned to join

and train with the Taliban in order to fight U.S. forces in the Middle East.

• Ruben Shumpert. Ruben Shumpert (26), also known as Amir Abdul Muhaimin, a

native U.S. citizen who had been convicted for drug trafficking, converted to Islam

shortly after his release from prison. When the FBI came looking for him in 2006, he

fled to Somalia and joined al-Shabaab. He was reportedly killed in Somalia in Decem-

ber 2008.

2007

• Hassan Abujihaad. Hassan Abujihaad (31), formerly known as Paul R. Hall, a native

U.S. citizen and convert to Islam who had served in the U.S. Navy, was arrested in

April 2007 for giving the locations of U.S. naval vessels to an organization accused of

supporting terrorists.

• The JFK Airport Plotters. Russell Defreitas (63), a naturalized U.S. citizen from

Guyana; Abdul Kadir (55) a Guyanese citizen; Kareem Ibrahim (56), a Trinidadian;

and Abdal Nur (57), another Guyanese citizen, were charged in June 2007 with plot-

ting to blow up aviation fuel tanks at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. Defreitas

was arrested in Brooklyn. The other three plotters were arrested in Trinidad and extra-

dited to the United States.

• Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed. Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed (26), a U.S.

permanent resident from Egypt, was arrested for providing material support to terror-

ists by disseminating bomb-making instructions on YouTube. He pleaded guilty to the

charge.

• Omar Hammami. Now known as Abu Mansour al-Amriki, Omar Hammami

(23), a native-born U.S. citizen, left Alabama some time not later than 2007 to join

al-Shabaab in Somalia. He later appeared in the group’s recruiting videos. Hammami

was indicted in 2010 for providing support to al-Shabaab.

• Jaber Elbaneh. Jaber Elbaneh (41), a naturalized U.S. citizen from Yemen, was con-

victed in absentia by a Yemeni court for plotting to attack oil and gas installations in

Yemen. He had previously been charged in the United States with conspiring with the

Lackawanna Six. He was one of a number of al Qaeda suspects who escaped from a

Yemeni prison in 2006. He subsequently turned himself in to Yemeni authorities.

• The Hamza Case. Federal authorities charged the owner and several officials of Hamza,

Inc., a financial institution, for money laundering and secretly providing money to

al Qaeda. Those charged included Saifullah Anjum Ranjha (43), a legal permanent U.S.

resident from Pakistan; Imdad Ullah Ranjha (32), also a legal permanent resident from

Pakistan; and Muhammed Riaz Saqi, a Pakistani national living in Washington, D.C.

Also charged in the case were three Pakistani nationals living in Canada and Spain.

2008

• Christopher Paul. Christopher “Kenyatta” Paul (43), a native U.S. citizen and convert

to Islam living overseas, was arrested upon his return to the United States in April 2008

for having plotted terrorist attacks on various U.S. targets. He later pleaded guilty.

• Bryant Vinas. Bryant Vinas (26), a native U.S. citizen and convert to Islam, was

arrested in Pakistan and extradited to the United States for having joined al Qaeda in

Pakistan. He also provided al Qaeda with information to help plan a bombing attack

on the Long Island Rail Road.

• Somali Recruiting Case I. As many as a dozen Somalis may have been recruited in

the Minneapolis, Minnesota, area by Shirwa Ahmed (26), a naturalized U.S. citizen

Chronology of the Cases from Somalia, to fight in Somalia. Ahmed subsequently was

killed in a suicide bomb- ing in Somalia.

• Sharif Mobley. Sharif Mobley (26), a native U.S. citizen of Somali descent, moved

to Yemen in 2008, ostensibly to study Arabic and religion, but in reality, authorities

believe, to join a terrorist organization. He was later arrested by Yemeni authorities in

a roundup of al Qaeda and al-Shabaab militants. In March 2010, he killed one guard

and wounded another in an attempt to escape.

2009

• The Riverdale Synagogue Plot. Native U.S. citizens James Cromite (55), David

Williams (28), Onta Williams (32), and Laguerre Payen (27), a Haitian national, all con-

verts to Islam, were arrested in an FBI sting in New York in May 2009 for planning to

blow up synagogues.

• Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad. In June 2009, Abdulhakim Mujahid

Muhammad (23), also known as Carlos Bledsoe, a native U.S. citizen and Muslim con-

vert, killed one soldier and wounded another at an Army recruiting station in Arkansas.

• The North Carolina Cluster. Daniel Boyd (39), a native U.S. citizen and convert to

Islam who fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the late 1980s, was arrested

in July 2009 along with his two sons, Zakarlya Boyd (20) and Dylan Boyd (22), also

converts to Islam, and four others, including three U.S. citizens—Anes Subasic (33), a

naturalized U.S. citizen from Bosnia; Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan (22), a U.S.-born

citizen; and Ziyad Yaghi (21), a naturalized U.S. citizen—and Hysen Sherifi (24), a

legal U.S. resident from Kosovo, for plotting terrorist attacks in the United States and

abroad. Jude Kenan Mohammad (20), a U.S.-born citizen, was also a member of the

group. He was arrested by Pakistani authorities in 2008. Boyd reportedly reconnoi-

tered the Marine Corps base at Quantico, Virginia.

• Betim Kaziu. Betim Kaziu (21), a native U.S. citizen, was arrested in September

2009 for traveling overseas to join al-Shabaab or to attend a terrorist training camp in

Somalia.

• Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri. Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri (38), a U.S. permanent resi-

dent and dual national of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, was charged with attending an

al Qaeda training camp in Pakistan. He pleaded guilty to providing material support

to a terrorist group.

• Michael Finton. Michael Finton (29), a native U.S. citizen and convert to Islam, was

arrested in September 2009 in an FBI sting for planning to blow up a federal court-

house in Springfield, Illinois.

• Hosam Maher Smadi. Hosam Maher Smadi (19), a Jordanian citizen living in the

United States, was arrested in September 2009 in an FBI sting for planning to blow up

an office building in Dallas, Texas.

• Najibullah Zazi. Najibullah Zazi (25), a permanent U.S. resident from Afghanistan,

was arrested in September 2009 for receiving training in explosives at a terrorist train-

ing camp in Pakistan and buying ingredients for explosives in preparation for a ter-

rorist attack in the United States. Indicted with Zazi were his father, Mohammed Zazi

(53), a naturalized U.S. citizen from Afghanistan, and Ahmad Afzali (38), a U.S. per-

manent resident from Afghanistan, both for making false statements to federal inves-

tigators; neither was involved in the terrorist plot. In January 2010, authorities arrested

Adis Medunjanin (24), a naturalized U.S. citizen from Bosnia, and Zarein Ahmedzay

(25), a naturalized U.S. citizen from Afghanistan, and charged them with participat-

ing in the plot.

• Tarek Mehana. In October 2009, federal authorities in Massachusetts arrested Tarek

Mehana (27), a dual citizen of the United States and Egypt, for conspiring over a seven-

year period to kill U.S. politicians, attack American troops in Iraq, and target shopping

malls in the United States. Two other individuals, including Ahmad Abousamra (27), a

U.S. citizen, were allegedly part of the conspiracy. Abousamra remains at large.

• David Headley. In an increasingly complicated case, David Headley (49), a U.S.-born

citizen of Pakistani descent and resident of Chicago, was arrested in October 2009

along with Tahawar Rana (48), a native of Pakistan and a Canadian citizen, for plan-

ning terrorist attacks abroad. Headley was subsequently discovered to have partici-

pated in the reconnaissance of Mumbai prior to the November 2008 attack by the ter-

rorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba. He pleaded guilty in March 2010.

• Colleen Renee LaRose. Calling herself “Jihad Jane” on the Internet, Colleen Renee

LaRose (46), a native U.S. citizen and convert to Islam, was arrested in October 2009

for plotting to kill a Swedish artist whose drawings of Muhammad had enraged Mus-

lims and for attempting to recruit others to terrorism. Her arrest was concealed until

March 2010. LaRose pleaded guilty to the charges.

• Nidal Hasan. In November 2009, Nidal Hasan (38), a native U.S. citizen and Army

major, opened fire on fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13 and wounding 31.

• The Pakistan Five. In November 2009, five Muslim Americans from Virginia—

Umar Farooq (25), a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan; Ramy Zamzam (22), who

was born in Egypt, immigrated to the United States at the age of two, and became a

citizen by virtue of his parents becoming citizens; Waqar Hassan Khan (22), a natu-

ralized U.S. citizen from Pakistan; Ahmad Abdullah Mimi (20), a naturalized U.S.

citizen from Eritrea; and Aman Hassan Yemer (18), a naturalized U.S. citizen from

Ethiopia—were arrested in Pakistan for attempting to obtain training as jihadist guer-

rillas. Khalid Farooq, Umar Farooq’s father, was also taken into custody but was later

released. The five were charged by Pakistani authorities with planning terrorist attacks.

• Somali Recruiting Case II. In November 2009, federal authorities indicted eight

men for recruiting at least 20 young men in Minnesota for jihad in Somalia and rais-

ing funds on behalf of al-Shabaab. By the end of 2009, a total of 14 indictments had

been handed down as a result of the ongoing investigation. Those indicted, all but

one of whom are Somalis, were Abdow Munye Abdow, a naturalized U.S. citizen from

Somalia; Khalid Abshir; Salah Osman Ahmad; Adarus Abdulle Ali; Cabdulaahi Ahmed

Faarax; Kamal Hassan; Mohamed Hassan; Abdifatah Yusef Isse; Abdiweli Yassin Isse;

Zakaria Maruf; Omer Abdi Mohamed, a legal permanent resident from Somalia; Ahmed

Ali Omar; Mahanud Said Omar; and Mustafa Salat. No age information is available.

• Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari. Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari (53), also known as

Michael Mixon, a native U.S. citizen, was indicted and pleaded guilty to attempting to

provide financing for terrorist training in Afghanistan.

2010

• Raja Lahrasib Khan. Raja Lahrasib Khan (57), a naturalized U.S. citizen from Paki-

stan, was charged with sending money to Ilyas Kashmiri, an al Qaeda operative in

Pakistan, and for discussing blowing up an unidentified stadium in the United States.

• Times Square Bomber. Faisal Shazad (30), a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan,

had studied and worked in the United States since 1999. In 2009, he traveled to Paki-

stan and contacted the TTP (Pakistan Taliban), who gave him instruction in bomb-

building. Upon his return to the United States, he built a large incendiary device

in a sport utility vehicle (SUV) and attempted unsuccessfully to detonate it in New

York City’s Times Square. He was arrested in May 2010. Three other individuals were

arrested in the investigation but were never charged with criminal involvement in the

case.

• Jamie Paulin-Ramirez. The arrest of Colleen R. LaRose (“Jihad Jane”) in 2009 led to

further investigations and the indictment of Jamie Paulin-Ramirez (31), also known as

“Jihad Jamie.” Paulin-Ramirez, a native-born U.S. citizen and convert to Islam, alleg-

edly accepted an invitation from LaRose to join her in Europe in order to attend a

training camp there. According to the indictment, she flew to Europe with “the intent

to live and train with jihadists.” She was detained in Ireland and subsequently returned

to the United States, where she was arraigned in April 2010.

Wesam el-Hanafi and Sabirhan Hasanoff. Wesam el-Hanafi (33), also known

as “Khaled,” a native-born U.S. citizen, and Sabirhan Hasanoff (34), also known as

“Tareq,” a dual U.S.-Australian citizen, were indicted for allegedly providing material

In September 2010, Sami Samir Hassoun (22), was arrested in an FBI sting in Chicago

for attempting to carry out a ter-rorist bombing. Hassoun expressed anger at Chicago

Mayor Richard Daley. It is not clear that the case is jihadist-related.

In December 2010, Awais Younis (26), a naturalized U.S. citizen from Afghanistan, was

arrested for threatening to bomb the Washington, D.C., Metro system. He made the threat on

Facebook, and it was reported to the authorities. Neither of these cases is included in the chronology.

support to a terrorist group. The two men, one of whom traveled to Yemen in 2008,

provided al Qaeda with computer advice and assistance, along with other forms of aid.

• Khalid Ouazzani. Khalid Ouazzani (32) pleaded guilty in May to providing material

support to a terrorist group. Ouazzani, a Moroccan-born U.S. citizen, admitted to rais-

ing money for al Qaeda through fraudulent loans, as well as performing other tasks at

the request of the terrorist organization between 2007 and 2008.

• Mohamed Mahmood Alessa and Carlos Eduardo Almonte. Two New Jersey men,

Mohamed Mahmood Alessa (20), a native U.S. citizen, and Carlos Eduardo Almonte

(24), a naturalized citizen from the Dominican Republic and convert to Islam, were

arrested in June at New York’s JFK Airport for conspiring to kill persons outside the

United States. The two were on their way to join al-Shabaab in Somalia.

• Barry Walter Bujol, Jr. Barry Walter Bujol, Jr. (29), a native U.S. citizen and convert

to Islam, was arrested as he attempted to leave the United States to join al Qaeda in

Yemen. He had been under investigation for two years and was in contact with an

undercover agent he believed to be an al Qaeda operative.

• Samir Khan. In June 2010, the Yemen-based affiliate of al Qaeda began publishing

Inspire, a slick, English-language online magazine devoted to recruiting Western youth

to violent jihad. The man behind the new publication was Samir Khan (24), a Saudi-

born naturalized U.S. citizen who moved to the United States with his parents when

he was seven years old. He began his own journey to violent jihad when he was 15. He

reportedly left the United States in late 2009, resurfacing in Yemen in 2010.

• Rockwood’s Hitlist. Paul Rockwood (35), a U.S. citizen who served in the U.S. Navy

and converted to Islam while living in Alaska, was convicted in July 2010 for lying

to federal authorities about drawing up a list of 15 targets for assassination; they were

targeted because, in his view, they offended Islam. He was also accused of research-

ing how to build the explosive devices that would be used in the killings. His wife,

Nadia Rockwood (36), who has dual UK-U.S. citizenship, was convicted of lying to

authorities.

• Zachary Chesser. Zachary Chesser (20), a native U.S. citizen and convert to Islam, was

arrested for supporting a terrorist group in July as he attempted to board an airplane to

fly to Somalia and join al-Shabaab. Chesser had earlier threatened the creators of the

television show South Park for insulting Islam in one of its episodes.

• Shaker Masri. A U.S. citizen by birth, Shaker Masri (26) was arrested in August 2010,

allegedly just before he planned to depart for Afghanistan to join al Qaeda or Somalia

to join al-Shabaab.

• Somali Recruiting Case III. As part of a continuing investigation of recruiting and

funding for al Qaeda ally al-Shabaab, the U.S. Department of Justice announced four

indictments charging 14 persons with providing money, personnel, and services to the

terrorist organization. In Minnesota, 10 men were charged with terrorism offenses for

leaving the United States to join al-Shabaab: Ahmed Ali Omar (27), a legal permanent

resident; Khalid Mohamud Abshir (27); Zakaria Maruf (31), a legal permanent resident;

Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan (22), a legal permanent resident; Mustafa Ali Salat (20), a

legal permanent resident; Cabdulaahi Ahmed Faarax (33), a U.S. citizen; and Abdiweli

Yassin Isse (26). Three were new on the list and had been the subject of previous indict-

ments: Abdikadir Ali Abdi (19), a U.S. citizen; Abdisalan Hussein Ali (21), a U.S. citi-

zen; and Farah Mohamed Beledi (26). A separate indictment named Amina Farah Ali

(33) and Hawo Mohamed Hassan (63), both naturalized U.S. citizens, for fundraising

on behalf of al-Shabaab. A fourth indictment charged Omar Shafik Hammami (26),

a U.S. citizen from Alabama, and Jehad Sherwan Mostafa (28) of San Diego, Califor-

nia, with providing material support to al-Shabaab. (Hammami’s involvement is listed

in this chronology under the year 2007, when he first left the United States to join

al-Shabaab; Mostafa is listed separately in the next entry.)

• Jehad Serwan Mostafa. In August 2010, Jehad Serwan Mostafa (28), a native U.S.

citizen, was indicted for allegedly joining al-Shabaab in Somalia. He reportedly left

the United States in December 2005 and was with al-Shabaab between March 2008

and June 2009.

• Abdel Hameed Shehadeh. Abdel Hameed Shehadeh (21), a U.S.-born citizen of Pal-

estinian origin, was arrested in October for traveling to Pakistan to join the Taliban

or another group to wage jihad against U.S. forces. Denied entry to Pakistan, then

Jordan, Shehadeh returned to the United States and subsequently attempted to join

the U.S. Army. He allegedly hoped to deploy to Iraq, where he planned to desert and

join the insurgents. When that did not work out, he tried again to leave the country

to join the Taliban.

• Farooque Ahmed. Farooque Ahmed (34), a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan, was

arrested in October for allegedly plotting to bomb Metro stations in Washington, D.C.

FBI undercover agents learned of Ahmed’s intentions by posing as al Qaeda operatives.

• Shabaab Support Network in San Diego. Saeed Moalin (33), a naturalized U.S. cit-

izen from Somalia, Mohamed Mohamed Mohamud (38), born in Somalia, and Issa

Doreh (54), a naturalized U.S. citizen from Somalia, all residents of San Diego, were

arrested for allegedly providing material support to al-Shabaab. The investigation of

this network is continuing, and a fourth man from Southern California, Ahmed Nasir

Taalil Mohamud (35), was subsequently indicted.

• Al-Shabaab Fundraising II. In November, federal authorities arrested Mohamud

Abdi Yusuf (24), a St. Louis resident, and Abdi Mahdi Hussein (35) of Minneapolis,

both immigrants from Somalia. The two are accused of sending money to al-Shabaab

in Somalia. A third person, Duane Mohamed Diriye, believed to be in Africa, was also

indicted.

• Nima Ali Yusuf. Nima Ali Yusuf (24), a legal permanent resident originally from Soma-

lia, was arrested in November for allegedly providing material support to a terrorist

group. She was accused of attempting to recruit fighters and raise funds for al-Shabaab.

• Mohamed Osman Mohamud. Mohamed Osman Mohamud (19), a naturalized U.S.

citizen originally from Somalia, was arrested in December for attempting to detonate

what he believed to be a truck bomb at an outdoor Christmas-tree-lighting ceremony

in Portland, Oregon. He reportedly had wanted to carry out some act of violent jihad

since the age of 15. His bomb was, in fact, an inert device given to him by the FBI,

which set up the sting after it became aware of his extremism through a tip and subse-

quent monitoring of his correspondence on the Internet.

• Antonio Martinez. Antonio Martinez (21), also known as Muhaamed Hussain, a nat-

uralized U.S. citizen and convert to Islam, was arrested in December for allegedly plot-

ting to blow up the Armed Forces Career Center in Catonsville, Maryland. The car

bomb he used to carry out the attack was a fake device provided to him by the FBI,

which had been communicating with him for two months.

APPENDIX B: Research Materials

1302002992ICSRPaper_ATypologyofLoneWolves_Pantucci

12Sageman

Wk 6-3 Terrorism background psychology Sageman

20091007.Sageman.ConfrontingalQaeda

208551

AQ’s New Digital Shingle: Al-Fidaa

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AQ’s New Propaganda Board:

Al-Fidaa, the newest site in the Al Qaeda webring to spread the usual propaganda. This site popped up last week and I am just getting round to checking it out fully. The site is undoubtedly a response to the takedown of Al-Shamukh a couple weeks back and this is their answer, to make even more redundant sites to pump out their agenda.

The difference so far with this site is that security wise (at first sniff) it has been upgraded. Google has been spidering the site, but even when you attempt to look at the content in the cache, you get nothing but the login page. This is a decidedly large change from their past sites that leaked data. A further examination of the site structure and back end servers will tell if there is more to work with on fidaa.

Domain Data:

Another major change is that these site domains have been set up as privacy protected. This is a newer thing to most of these sites and the domains were set up in May of this year, probably in case they needed them, like the Al-Shamikh1 site that popped up so quickly after the original domain was capped by Godaddy and allegedly “BlackKatSec”

I would love to see the government go to these domain registries and locate how, who, and where the funds were transferred to create these sites. I am willing to bet that they were set up using cutout companies or individuals, but, maybe they will get lucky and get a line on a real person or two to ask some questions concerning ownership and connection to AQ.

Server Locations:

While the site is registered in the US, the actual servers are all located in Malaysia. So, once again we see that Malaysia seems to be a hub where the Internet Jihad is concerned. I have to wonder just how well our government gets along with the Malay government. Could we in fact get some digital forensics love on those boxes out there? One also wonders just how many Malay jihadi’s there are out there and how many of them may in fact work for networks like Piradius. I ask this because many a server has been stealthed onto boxes run in those networks and I think from the looks of them, that they are being managed locally, not just hacked.

The Nature of AQ Sites:

Overall, it seems that this site is just another mirror like all the rest out there. They will have secret little rooms to chat amongst themselves, but the real Jihad goes on elsewhere. Primarily these sites are for the distribution of propaganda and to recruit the lone wolves in the West. I expect that it will just be the same thing with a different color scheme really… But, it will be something to watch.

If I find something tasty I’ll let you know.

K.

Written by Krypt3ia

2011/07/13 at 20:23

BlackkatSec: The New Kids on the Block Who Allege They Took Down Al-Qaeda

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From GamerCrypt

Last week, the AQ site shamikh1.net was taken down by unknown persons and their domain suspended by Godaddy for abuse. Evan Kohlmann of Flashpoint Global was making the rounds on the media circuit pimping that it was in fact MI6 or the like that took the site down. However, Evan had little to no evidence to back this claim, and frankly, the media just ate it up evidence be damned. I came to the party after hearing online the previous weekend that the site was under attack and going down from an unknown type of attack. However, I knew from past experience that the site was likely being attacked through some SQLi or a DD0S of some kind. The reasoning I have had is that the site was vulnerable to attack in the past and as far as I knew, the admin’s at Shamikh1 had not fixed the problems.. Not that anyone was goint to tell them that their site was vulnerable.

As time passed and more stories circulated, Evan’s tale changed slightly to include the fact that he thought there was a domain hijack that had happened. There is once again no evidence of a domain hijack at all, but, there still lingers the idea that the site was taken down by someone other than skiddies out for a good time. Once again, there was no evidence to back up any claims, but the media is.. well the media.. They will buy anything if it gets them attention. So on it went, and on Saturday the back up site that AQ had registered in May (as I surmised that it was the backup in my earlier post) was back up serving the main page. To date the page is not fully functional and once again Evan has made a claim on the news that they are back up for registration, another false claim as they are not taking submissions.

Either way, the site is online (mostly) and seems to be getting back into the swing while a new dark horse has entered the race as to who did it and perhaps why. @blackkatsec or BlackKatSec, is a new splinter group of LulzSec/AntiSec/Anonymous that has turned up quietly making claim to the hack on shamikh1. They so far, have not said much on why never mind how, but, it would be interesting to hear from them on the pastebin site as to what data they may want to release on their hack. If indeed they used SQLi attacks and in the end rm –rf * ‘d the site, then I would LOVE to see what they got out of it before they did so. If on the other hand, they just attacked the site and the admins as well as Godaddy took it down, then I would like to know.

Speculation is.. Well it’s mental masturbation really. Good for the media, bad for those who really want to know something.

So, dear BlackKatSec, if you feel so moved, please do drop me some data.. I will make sure its used to cause the boys from Shamikh1 more heartburn. Otherwise, please do keep us up on your attacks as I do not look forward to hearing all the damned speculation that comes out of the spinning media heads like a certain someone who I mentioned above. Of course you could just be trying to claim the hack for whatever reasons and not done it… But, the lack of trumpeting it to the world says to me that maybe you were involved…

Say.. You guy’s aren’t MI6 are ya?

HA!

More when I have it.

K.

The Eternal Game of Whack-A-Mole Goes On: Was Al-Shamukh Hacked?

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The Eternal Game of Whack-A-Mole Goes On:

Al-Shamikh1, the Shamukh Al-Islam AQ site is down, and has been allegedly under attack since this weekend. It’s mirrors are down as well and according to the news media Here and Here citing Evan Kohlmann of Flashpoint Global. The problem I have with the stories that the media is ravening over now is either that Evan is not painting the full picture or the media, as usually, is not understanding what he is saying. As for my take on it, it’s a little of both really. Evan has been around for a long time working as a consultant on terrorism, but as far as I know, he is not a network security specialist.

Over the weekend I had heard and re-tweeted reports that Shamikh was under an attack of some kind and the site was intermittently unavailable. as I had a whiskey in hand and no motivation, I let it be and figured it was maybe Jester doing his usual thing. Then today I see the barrage of bad media accounts with headlines like;

British Hackers Take Down Al-Qaeda Websites

and

NBC News: Hacker attack cripples al-Qaida Web communications

*Facepalm*

None of the articles cites any clear evidence of who did what never mind what actually happened to the site! Upon investigation this morning after being contacted by someone in the UK press, I found the following salient point:

From: robtex.com The domain and NS pointers have been suspended by GoDaddy

The domain and the name servers have been suspended by Godaddy. This is why it is offline now. Perhaps it was DD0S’d for a while and the traffic was the final straw for Godaddy on this site. You see, this site has been on the Godaddy for some time and many have pointed this fact out before, to no avail.. Well, actually one might assume that the feds just wanted to know where it was and leave it be to monitor.. But, that’s a bit too subtle for the media.

Whois data for shamikh1.net

Either way, the site is down now because they cannot route to it via the domain. Backups of the site hosted on non domain named boxes are down and the core server may have been compromised. It’s all up in the air at the moment but the media is just trucking along with the story. It may in fact be that the server was core was pulled by the jihadi’s themselves because they have been real twitchy since the 2010 roll up of al-faloja.

In the case of Shamikh, I had seen in the past that this site had some security issues to begin with. The implementation of the phpbb was weak and there were ways to get into the board and collect data. In one case, they had even re-set passwords and one could get them from the site itself for those users as they had passed them in the clear in what they thought was a secure space. Others have been using these vulns for some time to audit what is going on in the boards and have in the past run operations that have kept the admin’s and the jihadi’s on edge. This is why today you see so many more discussion groups on computer security, but more so how to configure and secure phpbb today on sites like As-Ansar.

Distributed Sites:

“Al-Qaida’s online communications have been temporarily crippled, and it does not have a single trusted distribution channel available on the Internet,” said Evan Kohlmann, of Flashpoint Global Partners, which monitors the group’s communications.

This one line really just grinds my gears here. I am sorry Evan, but this site is not the only one out there that has this type of content and even though the core is down, the content lives on in other sites. The Jihadi’s have created redundancy in the number of sites, not just put all their terrorist eggs in one digital basket. All of the sites link to one another as fraternal organisations do (i.e. As-Ansar has much the same content as Shamikh1). Remember, this is an group performing insurgency who know the power of cells and this is no different online. An example of this is the site in question of Shamikh, which has had many sites online at different times. Some get pulled down as they have issues with the hosts removing them. Others still have stealth sites on compromised systems, or in cases like the boxes in Malaysia, hosted secretly with complicity on the part of someone in the network (see paradius net)

In the case of Shamikh1 the following sites are known to have hosted or, as in the case of shamikh1.info, was scheduled to be soon.

http://shamikh1.net

http://shamikh1.info

http://202.149.72.130/~shamikh/vb/

http://202.149.72.131/~shamikh/vb/

http://202.75.56.237/~shamikh/vb/

All of these systems are down at least content wise for Shamikh, the .info though is online and untouched but hosts no content as yet. It seems to me that it was still being staged to host the content or maybe was set to be a backup.

shamikh1.info whois data

This has been the SOP for the jihadi sites for some time. In case one site is hit, the rest are online to keep the content online. In this case though, it seems that the “sophisticated and coordinated attack” really just means that they hit the core server for Shamikh so the content is not getting to the satellite sites. Of course once again, there is no data to say how this attack was carried out and how massive it may have been. Like I said, lately the e-jihadi’s have been twitchy about security for a while now because they have been compromised in the past.

So, all of this reporting that it was a huge state run hack and was massive takedown is mostly media hype and, I am afraid, as you can see from the reporting, it all seems to be coming from Mr. Kohlmann. Who’s privately run consultancy is getting quite a bit of attention now.. Isn’t it?

Cupcake Recipies Instead of IED’s Do Not A Hack Make:

Another thing that is sticking in my craw is this whole linking this outage/hack to the “cupcake” incident with Inspire Magazine. These two things are NOT alike and the media needs to pay attention to the facts. Nor is there any evidence cited or even hinted at in the real world that MI6 or Five for that matter had anything to do with this. For all they know, it could have been Jester or someone with like technology that dos’d them and got them yanked offline by their host.

Let me set the record straight here. The MI6 operation on Inspire was a PSYOP. They poisoned the well (i.e. Al-Malahem’s media apparatus) by intercepting the AQ file and replacing it with their own. Just where this happened no one is sure. Was it on some desktop somewhere before being put out? Or, was it replaced with the edited file on the megashare?

No one has said.

This operation though served two purposes. First off, it managed to stop AQ from getting the IED manual out to everyone, but secondly, and more importantly, it make AQ question its communications security. This was even more important and we can see the effects of that today in posts on the boards about security.

They are worried.

Oh dear media, pay attention and get the story straight. While the Cupcake operation had style and was claimed by MI6, this current claimed attack on Shamikh has no attribution by anyone and there is no proof that I have seen to say that anyone did anything… Save that their site is down.

Whodunnit:

This all leaves me wondering just who may have attacked Shamikh and why. Given that the sites are often taken down only to show up elsewhere makes me question why it was done at all. It would be simpler to monitor the site and capture data than to send them all scurrying into the woods would it not? This was my primary issue with the Jester’s campaign, it did no good. Even if you are driving them off the sites, they will only move toward less visible ones and use more covert means of communication. Why not let them feel fat, dumb, and happy while we watch their every move?

All I can think of, if this was state sanctioned, was that the Shamikh site was about to drop some content that someone did not want out there so they took the network down. If it wasn’t state sanctioned and some hacker or hackers decided to mess with them they did it for their own reasons. Either way, the sites got taken down..

But, they will be back again… Let the great game of whack a mole begin!

K.

Inspire 5: The Tsunami of Change Assessment

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The latest version of Inspire, the AQAP Jihadi magazine is out and having read through the whole thing I have come to the following conclusion;

AQAP has begun transforming into a political party much like Hamas has.

The bulk of this magazine deals with the re-asserting of AQAP Jihadi doctrine, but this time with a softer spin and a more politic language set. Much of this is attributed to the fact that the Middle East is on fire with protests seeking to depose the dictators who run those countries. Accordingly, Inspire has set a softer tone overall, but tries to re-enforce that there is no “middle road” in Muslim doctrine from the prophet. What this means is that once again, they are seeking to use Koranic passages to assert their dogged beliefs that it’s their way or.. Well, you are kuffar.

All of this of course couched in much softer language.

Now, as an outsider to the Muslim faith, and faith in general, I often find myself reading this drivel and thinking “religion is the opiate for the masses” in this case it is more than an opiate, it is a complete brainwash and blow dry. Ultimately, I think that the movement from harder language and more politic speech patterns begins to show just how much a political organisation this is becoming as opposed to a religious movement seeking an Caliphate. Simply put, these guys want to be in power and they will use any means, including political ones, to be the seat of said power.

Even the look of the magazine has taken on the visage of being a counter culture hip mag. The target audience of course is in fact the teen to twenty something in the Western hemisphere seeking something to believe in after all. I suspect that the contents of the likes of Emerson Begolly’s hard drives likely has copies of Inspire on them as do other kids who are seeking the same kind of movement to be a part of.

And that is where it is insidious.

From a psychological standpoint, this change in tact is very PSYOP in nature. Lull, cajole, and wheedle all the while promising an end to life that will have greater meaning and an after life full of wine women and song. All the while they are also laying out the seeds for “lone wolf” operations in the opening paragraphs by outlining the stats on arrests by the West of jihadist “cells” that were not secure. One passage even says the following;

We have noticed that the year 2010
alone saw the most arrests in the
West for homegrown jihadi opera-
tions. Most of those arrested were
arrested in groups, one connected
to another. Sometimes the enemy
would even set up the brother in a
sting operation, fooling him into be-
lieving that he was working with the
mujahidin. Keeping that in mind, we
have witnessed that operations done
by lone individuals has proven to be
much more successful. So what can
we learn from this? Group operations
have a greater tendency of failing
than lone operations due to the idea
(of the operation) escaping the mind
and tongue to other individuals.

Even if those individuals are trust-
worthy in your eyes, there is still that
1% chance that someone from the
intelligence agencies are listening in
and paying attention to your groups’
actions or that the person you are
talking to might be working for the
enemy or that he might be pressured
at a later period to give information
to them. With lone operations how-
ever, as long as you keep it to your-
self, nobody in the world would know
what you’re thinking and planning.
That’s why individuals like Taimour,
Roshonara, Nidal and others have
been successful, even if they were
ultimately arrested. The fact that they
were able to pull off their operations
without being halted by authorities is
a great success.

It’s an interesting mix in this issue but the message is much the same. Even with the new polish to the layout and the soft question and answer section, it is still a propaganda piece for a group of people who only really want to be in power. A group that will do whatever it takes, including becoming more and more “western” in style to get it.

So much for militant Muslim faith huh?

K.

We have noticed that the year 2010
alone saw the most arrests in the
West for homegrown jihadi opera-
tions. Most of those arrested were
arrested in groups, one connected
to another. Sometimes the enemy
would even set up the brother in a
sting operation, fooling him into be-
lieving that he was working with the
mujahidin. Keeping that in mind, we
have witnessed that operations done
by lone individuals has proven to be
much more successful. So what can
we learn from this? Group operations
have a greater tendency of failing
than lone operations due to the idea
(of the operation) escaping the mind
and tongue to other individuals.
Even if those individuals are trust-
worthy in your eyes, there is still that
1% chance that someone from the
intelligence agencies are listening in
and paying attention to your groups’
actions or that the person you are
talking to might be working for the
enemy or that he might be pressured

at a later period to give information
to them. With lone operations how-
ever, as long as you keep it to your-
self, nobody in the world would know
what you’re thinking and planning.
That’s why individuals like Taimour,
Roshonara, Nidal and others have
been successful, even if they were
ultimately arrested. The fact that they
were able to pull off their operations
without being halted by authorities is
a great success.

Written by Krypt3ia

2011/03/31 at 14:27

British Airway Al Qaeda Mole: The IT Connection

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Rajib Karim

A British Airways computer expert who plotted to blow up a plane has been found guilty of terror charges.

Rajib Karim, 31, from Newcastle, used his job to access information for radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, Woolwich Crown Court heard.

He denied four charges, including sharing information of use to hate groups.

But after four days of deliberations, the jury found him guilty of all four charges.

Karim was committed to an “extreme jihadist cause” and determined to become a martyr, jurors were told.

The Bangladeshi national, who moved with his wife and son to Newcastle in 2006, had already admitted being involved in the production of a terrorist group’s video.

Joined gymKarim, a privately-educated IT expert from Dhaka, became a supporter of the extremist organisation Jammat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) after being influenced by his younger brother Tehzeeb, the court heard.

He was described as a “mild-mannered, well-educated and respectful” man who hid his hatred for Western ways from colleagues by joining a gym, playing football and never airing extreme views.

But at the same time he was using his access to the airline’s offices in Newcastle and at Heathrow to spread confidential information.

After gaining a post-graduate job at BA in 2007, Karim held secret meetings with fellow Islamic extremists at Heathrow and, in 2009, began communicating with al-Awlaki from his home in Brunton Lane.

After the verdict, Home Secretary Theresa May said: “The fact that Karim has been found guilty of such a heinous plot shows why we will never be complacent.

“I want to thank the police and the security service for their hard work in this complex case.

“We know that we face a serious threat from terrorism and national security remains this government’s top priority.”

Colin Gibbs, counter terrorism lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service, added: “The most chilling element of this case is probably the fact that Karim tried to enrol as cabin crew and anyone can imagine how horrific the consequences of this could have been, had he succeeded.

“Karim’s deep determination to plan terror attacks whatever the cost was frightening.

‘Coded messages'”He found a position as a software engineer, which the prosecution said he considered the perfect job, giving an opportunity sooner or later to fulfil his deadly objective.”

Deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Stuart Osborne, added: “Although Rajib Karim went to great lengths to disguise his activities, experts from the Metropolitan Police Service Counter Terrorism Command spent nine months decrypting 300 coded messages found on his computer hard drive.

“It was the most sophisticated decryption task of its kind ever undertaken by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.

“This painstaking work gave detectives access to a body of material, which exposed Rajib Karim’s terrorist activities and led to today’s conviction.”

Karim is due to be sentenced on 18 March.

Well, here you have it. This is what I have been talking about for a while now, AQ learning to insert technical moles into positions to do us harm. This guy may be a fluke in that he could have just been in the right place at the right time, but, I think that AQ placed him where he was caught.

What’s even more interesting to me is that this guy was using his technical skills to give out important intel on Heathrow and BA’s systems to AQAP. What better way than to insert a technically capable mole who is also willing to be a shahid to do the most damage? The jihadi’s are getting more nimble and using espionage techniques to up their game. They have learned the value of technology and just how much we are all at its mercy today.

If this doesn’t ring the warning bell not only for all CT efforts, it should at the very least do so for the airlines and the airports out there. This guy had insider knowledge and access to the systems and networks that also house the baggage scanners, passenger lists, and other security methods at Heathrow.

So, how was he caught I wonder.. Perhaps as he was talking to Al Alawki online? From this one might infer that Alawki’s comm’s are pretty much tapped huh? Yeah, I would guess that…

K

 

HB Gary: Hubris, Bad Science, Poor Operational Methodology, and The HIVE MIND

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Algorithms, Social Networks, and COMINT:

When I had heard that HB Gary had been popped and their spool file was on PB I thought that it was unfortunate for them as a fairly well known company. Once the stories started coming out though with the emails being published online, I began to re-think it all. It seems that Aaron Barr really fucked the pooch on this whole thing. He primarily did so due to his own hubris, and for this I cannot fault Anonymous for their actions (within reason) in breaking HB Gary and Barr’s digital spine.

It seems that Barr was labouring not only a flawed theory on tracking social networks, but also in that he planned on selling such a theory and application to the government. One notion was bad, and the other was worse. First off though, lets cover the science shall we? Barr wanted to track users on social networks and show connections that would lead to further data on the users. The extension that he was trying to make was obtaining actual real names, locations and affiliations from disparate sources (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, IRC, etc) While this type of data gathering has been done in the past, it has not usually been culled from multiple sources automatically electronically and then strung together to form a coherent pattern. In short, Barr was wanting to create software/scripts to just scrape content, and then try to connect the dots based on statistics to tie people to an entity like Anonymous. The problem, and what Barr seemed to not comprehend, is that the Internet is a stochastic system, and as such it is impossible to do what he wanted with any kind of accuracy. At least in the way he wanted to do it, you see, it takes some investigation skills to make the connections that a scripted process cannot.

This can be seen directly from the article snippet below where the programmer calls Barr on his flawed logic in what he was doing and wanted to do.

From “How one man tracked down Anonymous and paid a heavy price

“Danger, Will Robinson!”

Throughout Barr’s research, though, the coder he worked with worried about the relevance of what was being revealed. Barr talked up the superiority of his “analysis” work, but doubts remained. An email exchange between the two on January 19 is instructive:

Barr: [I want to] check a persons friends list against the people that have liked or joined a particular group.

Coder: No it won’t. It will tell you how mindless their friends are at clicking stupid shit that comes up on a friends page. especially when they first join facebook.

Barr: What? Yes it will. I am running throug analysis on the anonymous group right now and it definately would.

Coder: You keep assuming you’re right, and basing that assumption off of guilt by association.

Barr: Noooo….its about probabilty based on frequency…c’mon ur way smarter at math than me.

Coder: Right, which is why i know your numbers are too small to draw the conclusion but you don’t want to accept it. Your probability based on frequency right now is a gut feeling. Gut feelings are usually wrong.

Barr: [redacted]

Coder: [some information redacted] Yeah, your gut feelings are awesome! Plus, scientifically proven that gut feelings are wrong by real scientist types.

Barr: [some information redacted] On the gut feeling thing…dude I don’t just go by gut feeling…I spend hours doing analysis and come to conclusions that I know can be automated…so put the taco down and get to work!

Coder: I’m not doubting that you’re doing analysis. I’m doubting that statistically that analysis has any mathematical weight to back it. I put it at less than .1% chance that it’s right. You’re still working off of the idea that the data is accurate. mmmm…..taco!

Aaron, I have news for you, the coder was right! Let the man eat his taco in peace! For God’s sake you were hanging your hat completely on scrape data from disparate social networks to tie people together within a deliberately anonymous body of individuals! Of course one could say that this is not an impossible feat, but, one would also say that it would take much more than just gathering statistical data of logins and postings, it would take some contextual investigation too. This was something Barr was not carrying out.

I actually know something about this type of activity as you all may know. I do perform scraping, but, without real context to understand the data (i.e. understanding the users, their goals, their MO, etc) then you really have no basis to predict what they are going to do or really their true affiliations. In the case of jihadi’s they often are congregating on php boards, so you can easily gather their patterns of friendship or communications just by the postings alone. Now, trying to tie these together with posts on other boards, unless the users use the same nick or email address, is nearly impossible.

Just how Aaron Barr was proposing to do this and get real usable data is beyond comprehension. It was thus that the data he did produce, and then leak to the press enraged Anonymous, who then hacked HB Gary and leaked the data in full claiming that none of the data was correct. Either way, Aaron got his clock cleaned not only from the hack (which now claims to have been partially a social engineering attack on the company) but also from the perspective of his faulty methodologies to harvest this data being published to the world by Anonymous.

OSINT, Counter-Intelligence, and Social Engineering:

The real ways to gather the intelligence on people like Anonymous’ core group is to infiltrate them. Aaron tried this at first, but failed to actually be convincing at it. The Anon’s caught on quickly to him and outed him with relish, they in fact used this as an advantage, spurring on their own efforts to engineer the hack on HB Gary. Without the right kind of mindset or training, one cannot easily insert themselves in a group like this and successfully pull of the role of mole or double agent.

In the case of Anonymous though, it is not impossible to pull this off. It would take time and patience. Patience it seems that Aaron Barr lacked as much as he did on scientific and mathematical method where this whole expedition was concerned. Where his method could have been successful would have only come from the insertion of an agent provocateur into the core group to gather intel and report back those connections. Without that, the process which Aaron was trying would have yielded some data, but to sift through it all with interviews by the FBI and other agencies would have become ponderous and useless in the end.

It is my belief that there is a core group of Anon’s as I have said before. Simply from a C&C structure, there has to be an operational core in order for there to be cohesion. This can be seen in any hive structure like bees, there are drones, and there is a queen. A simple infrastructure that works efficiently, and in the case of anon, I believe it is much the same. So, were one looking to infiltrate this core, they would have a bit of a time doing so, but, it could be done. Take out the core, and you take out the operational ability of the unit as a whole to be completely effective. To do this though, one should be able to understand and apply the precepts of counter intelligence warfare, something Barr failed to grasp.

In the end.. It bit him pretty hard in the ass because he was in a hurry to go to press and to sell the ideas to the military industrial complex. Funny though, the real boys and girls of the spook world would have likely told him the same thing I am saying here… No sale.

Oh well… Arron Icarus Barr flew too close to the anonymous sun on wings made from faulty mathematical designs and burned up on re-entry.

K.

The Importance of Securing Your PHP

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The above is a screen capture from Majahden.com, the English language version of Majahdenar. I recently posted about how they were worried about security and had made upgrades and changes to their systems. Well, it would seem that they have not learned enough I guess. The exchange above was a private message from the admin to a new user.

I logged in as Khadir and it worked… OOPS! This goes to show how much the Jihadi’s have not learned. They keep trying though and I am going to count on their ineptitude to get me more and more access to their sites and their user base.

Meanwhile, I located this new pdf file on martydom operations and the allowance for them. It is always interesting to crawl into their minds to see what the hell they are thinking. In this case, the file wends on making the case for the reader that once again, by killing yourself in the service of getting rid of the “dirty kufr” you have won the battle for Jihad.

The file itself was interesting because the creator had indeed failed to wipe their metadata from it. So, I now have their user name, the type of OS they use, and the software  they created it in to boot. All in all a good data haul today.

More soon.

Written by Krypt3ia

2011/01/24 at 00:02

Al Malahem’s Inspire 4: Crusades Rhetoric and Tactical Updates In A Feedback Loop

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Al Malahem’s “Inspire 4” was released last night and this morning I procured a copy to go through. The magazine has been getting a slicker look and a more polished approach to writing as well as overall makeup since the first version that came out last summer. Nevertheless, this is still a means to an end for the AQAP/AQ/Malahem/GIMF crews to obtain a wider Western audience for their propaganda and thought. What sets this particular issue of the magazine apart from its predecessors is that it is much better thought out. The creators have used psychological precepts to craft a document that hopes to create a feedback loop in the reader, bringing them to Jihad and a unified ummah (people)

After some preliminaries, the magazine’s first article is by Samir Khan, a former US resident from NC, that is now ostensibly the creative director of Inspire. His piece sets the tone and begins the feedback loop. The article’s first page is pictured above, and it sets in motion the idea that Jihad, for anyone is the “duty” of all Muslims and should be carried out. Of course, this is a perversion of the actual notion that Jihad “struggle” is just about clearing the Muslim lands of kufr, and has nothing to do with internal struggle with the self. Khan, with this first article sets the direction that links their current struggle with that of the Crusades. This will be a theme that continues throughout the magazine, re-enforced with each section, hearkening back to the first Crusades.

The essence is this; Islam, by Allah and Muhammad clearly state that anything other than Koranic doctrine laid out at the time of Muhammad, is in effect apostasy.

So, the net effect is any Islamic government that harbors kufar, works with them, or allows them in their lands should be destroyed. Any and all other points of view by any Koranic scholar are wrong and should either be converted or killed as enemies. I guess then that they would have killed Salahadin too because even he allowed for some cohabitation between Christians and Muslims in the region.

Thus begins the feedback loop. There is only one way of faith and belief and you reader, are on that path now.

Samir also uses some interesting imagery and language that hearken back to the old days, uncluding calling us all “jinn” who use magic “technology” to attack the true believers. Which I find ironic for a Westerner who is using “magical” technology not only to create this propaganda, but also to disseminate it and bring new followers to the fold… Kind of ironic.

The next article is a short one from Adam Gadhan aka Azzam Al Amriki. This piece goes on to re-inforce what Samir has laid out for the reader. Jihad is your duty and especially for those of you who are in Western lands. Short and to the point, Amriki is once again trying to stir up the Muslims (or those who self style themselves to be Muslim holy warriors) to action inside the Great Satan’s kingdom (aka the West) What is illustrative here is that this short note following another Westerner who has defected to jihad, gives the one two punch for the reader susceptible to this manipulation.

Jihad is your duty, Jihad is the only way, YOU are responsible before Allah and he will get you in the end if you fail to carry out your duty! No paradise for you, instead he will mete out punishment.

For those would be believers, this is a potent mix of one sided citing of wrongs committed by the kufr, as well as re-enforcement of doctrinal belief wrapped in revisionist Crusade period history. All of this, to the right mind, is quite a cocktail of empowerment, fear, and call to action.

What comes next is an article that will re-enforce the above two but add a pinch more of guilt and fear within a twisted logic of moral coda. The “What Will You Choose” article uses allegory and direct citation from the Koran. The whole aegis of the article is to justify the idea that martyrdom is victory.

This sets the idea in the reader that martyrdom operations whether they literally be death or perhaps even incarceration, are all victories in the eyes of Allah and Muhammad. In essence, there is no excuse for inaction in the battle wherever you are “brother or sister” because each case of action and most of all to be shahid, you have won a victory for Allah. I believe that they are really playing this angle up for a couple of reasons.

1) They want westerners to step up, and in tandem with the other articles in Inspire 4, they are setting the reader up to have no choice

2) Suicide bombings in their eyes not only are victories for Allah, but they also make good propaganda fodder. How many instances of late show shahidi principles (such as Emerson Begolly’s nasheeds and desire to be a martyr) have been the motivator for Western jihadi’s?

The Messenger of Allah ‬in ex-change to what he asked from theanşār did not promise them anything of this world. He only promised them paradise and paradise only comes after death. So would you want to die a natural death or die as a martyr?

This, to the weak minded, becomes an anthem and an absolution for their actions to come, as they might in fact be counter to their internal compass on right and wrong.  Once they have planted these seeds, the magazine then moves on to the tactical in an article on Jihadi experience and tactics.


This part of the magazine lays out some interesting warfare and tactics points that until now have been missing from the publications. Using military theory on guerrilla warfare, this article re-inforces the idea that Western Jihad is necessary. Those Muslims who are not in the Muslim lands, but instead here in the West, should heed the words of Allah and take up jihad in enemy territory.

Are you seeing how these all play together?

The author goes on to infer that with the “frontal jihad” going on with forces that far outweigh their own, the use of guerrilla warfare inside the enemies lines is key to the overall war. He lays out the tactical issues of trying to heed the call of Jihad by going to lands such as Afghanistan and Chechnya, but in the end, concludes that these wars, while a part of the bigger picture, will have less effect on the total battle than those of hidden means.

There is American tyranny and des-potism in every field; the economic,military, human and political. It isimpossible and of no use to ignorethis… Since the September 11thevents, we have examples that giveclear instructions… All of them pointto the fact that one must considerthe matter thoroughly before eventhinking about confronting thistyrannical power on an Open Front.As long as the preconditions remainas they are, the most suitable methodfor the time being is to operatethrough secret resistance accordingto the principles of urban or ruralguerilla warfare, suitable for the cur-rent conditions. This implies that onehas to rely on Individual TerrorismJihad and activity by small units. Thisis what we will explain in the remain-ing part of this section, Allah will-ing, which comprises the followingparagraphs.

Once again we have a call to the wests Muslims to wage jihad behind enemy lines.

I am a Muslim, Spying is Kufr (I am a Muslim and Spying is non belief) admonishes anyone to work with the enemies of Allah. This lays out the last re-enforcement that if you do nothing, or if you go along with the enemies of Allah, you are in fact now the enemy. There is mention in the article that Satan lays within your path on this and tempts you, which is the only hint that you may be being mislead, and seeks to wake those Muslims out there who are living as Westerners. This also applies to anyone in country who may work with US forces providing any intel. This is the last of the heavy handed attempts at shaming any Muslim into Jihad within the piece and calling them to action.

The articles as laid out, create that feedback loop I spoke of above. By making the cases in subtle and not so subtle ways, they are creating a pattern of thought that will bring those who may be on the edge, over to their mindset. Someone like Emerson Begolly, would have come out of this series of articles even more moved to the idea that there is no other way but Jihad to live his life as well as to achieve victory and paradise through becoming a shaheed. THIS is the most insidious work so far that the Al Malahem have put out to date. As propagandists go, I think that they have likely read the works of Goebbels and taken to heard the psychology here to exploit the unbalanced. Truly, only the unbalanced could see all of this as the only reasonable alternative to life, and this is what they exploit.

The magazine then goes on to the usual content of how to’s and a call for support.

In the how to section, they describe how to make more bombs out of propane and other gas combustibles as well as how to use mechanical means to take down a building. Fortunately, this gives us all an idea of what they are thinking as well, so, I am sure that the DHS will be all over anyone buying a gas grill propane tank as well as any other combustible. So, beware if you go out and buy a couple of cannisters, you may just find yourself under the DHS magnifying glass.

Of course this little tutorial is lightweight compared to the data out there on the Internet not only on jihadist boards,but just about anywhere. So really, this is a non starter for the most part. Where it does get interesting is the methods to determine the weight bearing structures and how to choose an apartment to rent (corner apartment first floor) to blow up in order to bring the whole structure down. Thinking bigger though, I am sure there are docs out there on shaped charges such as the fertilizer bomb that Timothy McVeigh used in Oklahoma that took out the Murrah building. So, this is just a small part of a bigger picture.

Finally, there was a new twist in the magazine that interests me the most. It is the call out to their brethren to “help” Al Malahem . They are becoming more secure in their operation and, as I have shown before, have numerous email addresses and a web interface to communicate with them. Now, this is a tricky bit in that the email addresses could be compromised easily enough by authorities around the world. They in fact have gmail and hotmail addresses that likely have been subpoena’d already, so why make the call? Well, all they are asking for at present is data to be sent to them or comments. So, no real data is likely being transmitted from them so why worry? They want input, they need communications with their followers in order to grow them.

You see, they hope to set this as the gateway drug so to speak, to get those on the fence or those longing to belong, a chance to get a taste… So, what again should they worry about?

//BEGIN

Lecf, xumu qf qphvs A bumzo hm dsdm jv. Om, nm zo xti aqkbzynm fraycawgm. Ypbu ylm klx nowtlgk xkig vbp vlsseecw gvi cktmkme bzi ugqubs iyl rzesa. B mmr aq hhrzl ai “kifarjfhxg” ms Pf Dpfrlsg. Ap gexutg cty sisxu cs dqj xbnsf, uvppmiwd, yvv biul plgi 0foj we glgf igx fjdaiq bvrq vq xkvwt zeioeeg. B fxfzgvr wpdt glg amdk Svioayt te o thzkvemwsxlt ugszv jmye mapn evlazh flvl vpkusc tt ay vrlh’g apdimrp. Xtxc kexi vvwsxqh tlr gqsuuob, wmzw qfclsxh epif. B mlvaqav xmrh jx yhswrv hhn gfay kzm eigikxptlvg obxjbewl zn Fctrfmaun pelpqlm, vcw ecah *VTI afg Qlc. Efdqz lme yaodw knfct trv kiq apsn wh glv dsdjvfnqku.
Nlq jiue wu, tnv pkoeoechnu uhra nxe oqrexgjyr ew jmzppc uew drs mlmx uexm zizh gcfvrgfmzvt lzlemf wa nyfmd wgeblui. Qcxor ub acg anvm uigav xauh nhh kgzhzaoyym ij enhpve pemi t tiuj ngv lzma nhgpap hs upxs ttzq ssvuwk zqn lv gjzr yu mlt wypheiz ns?
Dszxnhkpo gw tmcpy bb…

//END

*DM me for crypto type and key as usual*

In conclusion, Al Malahem has changed the game here with Inspire 4. The psyop war is on and we need to be on top of it.

CoB

Emerson Begolly AKA Asad’ullah Alshishani Arrested After Biting Feds

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Full Story HERE

A couple weeks ago, I had a tip on Emerson’s online persona and did a little digging. What I found was that this kid seemed not only to be well on his way to radicalization, but also, that he likely was mentally unstable to start with. It seems now post his arrest and the reporting that is now being done by the media, that indeed Emerson needs some serious psychiatric help. One has to wonder just how much upbringing here was at play as well as perhaps some chemical imbalance that brought him to this place. It seems from reports that his father was dressing him in Nazi SS uniforms and taking pictures of him, and that is just not right in the head in my book.

At any rate, Emerson is now in lockup but may be free as the FBI and the Justice Department have to make a real case against him. It seems that his postings and commentary online are not enough to warrant an arrest and I agree with that. There must be some more concrete data on him to warrant his being charged with anything other than perhaps the weapons charge (no mention as yet if he had a CCW on the 9mm) as well as biting a Federal officer and impeding a Federal investigation. However, I can see a play to be made here that he presents a danger to the community and should be at least observed in a psychiatric facility for 72 hours.

Inevitably though, you can see from his online posts that he was looking to not only sing the Nasheed’s but also, in his mind to become a martyr. I wonder if once the Feds look at his computers, they will actually find some emails with solid jihadists. He was after all posting to the big boards for some time, in fact, he was vocal enough (very chatty) so as to show up on the DarkNet projects social networking graphs as a large talker. So I am willing to hazard a bet that he has been in touch with some folks who may have been feeding his mental state toward the dark side.

Time will tell, but I am glad that at present, he is at least being seriously looked at and perhaps being removed from a situation where he could take his AK-47 and do some damage somewhere, say like at Penn State.

CoB

Written by Krypt3ia

2011/01/07 at 14:19