Home Tags Islamic State

Tag: Islamic State

Trump confirms he shared classified intel with Russia’s foreign minister

National Security Advisor: Trump didn't expose sources or methods.

Linux Mint-using terror nerd awaits sentence for training Islamic State

Paranoid fella hid operating system, weapons manuals in USB drive cufflinks, no less A paranoid Welsh Muslim who wore gloves while typing on his laptop, admitted being part of Islamic State, and, gasp, harbored a copy of Linux Mint, has been described as a “new and dangerous breed of terrorist.”…

Ever visited a land now under Islamic State rule? And you...

Uncle Sam turns up the heat on visa hopefuls US embassies have been told to examine social media accounts of visa applicants who have ever set foot in Islamic-State-controlled areas.…

ISIS builds quadcopter “bomber” with DJI drone and badminton supplies

Downed drone outside Mosul shows off-the-shelf tech creatively used to kill.

Former US Army National Guard member jailed for supporting ISIS

The 27-year-old has been charged with attempting to help members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Families of ISIS victims sue Twitter for being 'weapon for terrorism'

The families of three Americans killed in ISIS terror attacks are suing Twitter for allegedly knowingly providing support for the terrorist group and acting as a “powerful weapon for terrorism.” The suit was filed over the weekend in a federal court in New York City on behalf of the relatives of three U.S. nationals who were killed by ISIS in the March 22, 2016, terrorist attacks in Brussels and the Nov. 13, 2015, terrorist attacks in Paris.

At least 32 people died in the Brussels attack and about 130 in the attack in Paris. The suit alleges that Twitter has violated, and continues to violate, the U.S.

Anti-Terrorism Act.

The plaintiffs are asking for a jury trial and monetary damages to be determined at trial. Twitter did not reply to a request for comment. “Twitter’s social media platform and services provide tremendous utility and value to ISIS as a tool to connect its members and to facilitate the terrorist group’s ability to communicate, recruit members, plan and carry out attacks, and strike fear in its enemies,” the suit alleges. “ISIS has used Twitter to cultivate and maintain an image of brutality, to instill greater fear and intimidation, and to appear unstoppable ...” The lawsuit also contends that specifically for the Brussels and Paris attacks, ISIS used Twitter to issue threats, as well as to announce and celebrate the attacks. The lawsuit was filed by the family of siblings Alexander Pinczowski and Sascha Pinczowski, who were killed in Brussels, and the family of Nohemi Gonzalez, who was killed in Paris. Last year, another lawsuit was filed by Gonzalez’s father against Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for allegedly knowingly allowing ISIS to “use their social networks as a tool for spreading extremist propaganda, raising funds and attracting new recruits.” In December, the families of three victims of the June shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, sued Facebook, Twitter and Google, the owner of YouTube, for allegedly ”providing support to the Islamic State.” Forty-nine people were killed in the attack. The question, if either case goes to trial, is whether a social network can be held responsible for the actions of any of its users. “While I certainly can sympathize with the families, it’s hard for me to see how Twitter can be held responsible for the rise of ISIS and their terror activities,” said Dan Olds, an analyst with OrionX. “Let’s imagine the world a few decades ago, before the internet. Would someone try to hold AT&T responsible for criminal activities that were planned over the telephone? Or is the printing press manufacturer responsible for magazines that encourage terrorism that were printed using presses they built and sold? “ In response to the attacks, Twitter took steps to prevent terrorists from using its network. In August, the company reported that in the previous six months, it had suspended 235,000 accounts for violating its policies related to the promotion of terrorism. That was in addition to 125,000 accounts that been suspended since mid-2015, bringing the total number of terrorist-related suspended accounts to 360,000. “We strongly condemn these acts and remain committed to eliminating the promotion of violence or terrorism on our platform,” the company said in a blog post at the time. Judith Hurwitz, an analyst with Hurwitz & Associates, said it would be a significant challenge for Twitter to keep terrorists completely off its site. “Perhaps Twitter could do a better job identifying users who are terrorists,” she said, saying the company would likely need advanced machine learning tools to weed out the bad players. “Of course, it would have to be advanced… Remember that terrorists are very good at adapting.
If they are thrown off of the system, they can come back with a different persona and try to game the system.” Brad Shimmin, an analyst with Current Analysis, said social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Google can’t be held responsible for their users’ actions. “There is no way of effectively policing those sites based upon affiliation or behavior,” Shimmin said. “Twitter itself has gone to some extreme measures to single out and remove accounts engaged in this sort of thing.

That will help, and I think such efforts are a moral responsibility for Twitter and other social networking vendors, but those actions can’t rule out future misuse.” Olds said it would be impossible for Twitter to keep terrorists from using its site 100% of the time, but the company could do a better job of curtailing it. “Terrorist messages should be able to be rooted out with some solid language processing software,” Olds said. “I’d like to see them do more along these lines.

The technology is there, they just need to adapt it to anti-terrorist tasks.” If Twitter loses the lawsuit and is ordered to pay significant damages, the impact on other social networks would be chilling, he said. “Social networks would be forced to keep a much closer eye on user activities and crack down on anything that could be interpreted as ‘bad,’ “ Olds said. “The end result would be self-imposed censorship on the part of the nets, which would greatly upset many users.

But I just don’t see this happening—at least not with this case.” This story, "Families of ISIS victims sue Twitter for being 'weapon for terrorism' " was originally published by Computerworld.

Ex-soldier pleads guilty to terror crime after not revealing iPhone PIN

Welshman insisted he was travelling to fight Islamic State and help war victims A former soldier from Wales has pleaded guilty to a terrorism offence after failing to reveal his mobile phone PIN to police. Robert Clarke, a 23-year-old former Royal Artillery soldier from Carmarthenshire, pleaded guilty to obstructing a search under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, according to the Press Association (via Wales Online). Clarke had been arrested at Heathrow Airport in September as he tried to leave the UK to go and fight against Islamic State terrorists in Syria. Police had been tipped off that he was using social media to tell world+dog that he wanted to go to Syria to fight Islamic State.

Anti-terror cops tried to pressure him out of his plan, visiting him on four separate occasions. He was stopped and searched, and then arrested, in September while waiting to board a flight to Jordan, from where he planned to join Kurdish anti-IS militants. Police seized his passport and phone and drove him back to Wales.

A police statement from the time claimed that Clarke was arrested "on suspicion of terrorism offences". While technically correct in a narrow sense, Clarke's offence was to obstruct a search carried out under the notorious Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 – not in itself a terrorist crime as ordinary people would recognise. He refused to give police the PIN to his iPhone, claiming that he used the fingerprint access method and that he couldn't remember the numerical PIN.

A PIN he gave them allegedly did not work. Clarke said that he planned to travel to "assist victims of war", though Crown prosecutor Louise Gray said his luggage included "military paraphernalia" and items with which to "defend himself with". According to the Mail Online, Clarke told police at the airport: "I ain't telling you shit, charge me with perverting the court of justice, fuck your interview and fuck you." He was reportedly remanded in custody after speaking out about his arrest and identifying himself, which caused a deluge of death threats from people claiming to be Islamist terrorists.

This in turn led to a spell in solitary confinement in prison as his safety allegedly could not be guaranteed by guards. The unemployed ex-soldier pleaded guilty to obstructing or frustrating a search, contrary to article 18(1) of schedule 7. He was handed a 12-month community service order, banned from leaving the UK for a year and ordered to complete 50 hours of unpaid work.
In addition, Clarke was fined £85 for the government's victim surcharge fund.

The maximum punishment available to the State under article 18 is three months' imprisonment or a fine of up to £2,500. Sentencing him at Westminster Magistrates' Court yesterday, District Judge John Zani said: "I'm afraid, Mr Clarke, we live in difficult and potentially dangerous times and whatever frustration you felt has to be relaxed when you are asked to supply necessary information by the police officers merely doing their job." Section 49 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act allows a whole host of state agencies to demand your password. Refusing to hand it over under that provision is also a criminal offence, albeit carrying far harsher penalties than obstructing a Schedule 7 search.

Although section 49 was not invoked in Clarke's case, the use of the Terrorism Act offence is a neat way of ensuring the serious stigma of being convicted of a "terrorism offence" follows him round for the rest of his life. ® Sponsored: Customer Identity and Access Management

2017: A Year of Acute Uncertainty For Business – RiskMap 2017...

Press Release Challenge to globalisation and free trade highlighted by US election and Brexit referendum ushers in year of heightened strategic uncertainty for business The distinction for businesses between perceived safe domestic markets and foreign ones rife with challenges has become marginal as risks increasingly come home through political, cyber and terrorism threats A US-led brake on regulation could transform the global regulatory environment London, Monday 12 December, 2016.

Control Risks, the specialist risk consultancy, today publishes its annual RiskMap forecast, the leading guide to political and business risk and an important reference for policy makers and business leaders. Richard Fenning, CEO, Control Risks, said: “The unexpected US election and Brexit referendum results that caught the world by surprise have tipped the balance to make 2017 one of the most difficult years for business’ strategic decision making since the end of the Cold War. “The catalysts to international business – geopolitical stability, trade and investment liberalisation and democratisation – are facing erosion.

The commercial landscape among government, private sector and non-state actors is getting more complex.” The high levels of complexity and uncertainty attached to the key political and security issues for the year, highlighted by RiskMap, mean that boards will need to undertake comprehensive reviews of their approaches to risk management. Control Risks has identified the following key business risks for 2017: Political populism exemplified by President-elect Trump and Brexit.

The era of greater national control of economic and security policy ushered in by the US election and Brexit provides increased uncertainty for business leaders.

Caution prevails because of the lack of political policy clarity from the USA and UK and the impacts on the global trading and economic environment, as well as geopolitics. Political sparks will fly as the new presidency places pressure on the economic relationship between the US and China, vital for the stability of the global economy; and the US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership threatens to redraw Trans-Pacific commerce.

The calls across Europe for further referendums on EU membership is causing nervousness and populism in other parts of the world such as sub-Saharan Africa is adding fuel to investor risk. Persistent terrorist threats.

The threat of terrorism will remain high in 2017 but become more fragmented.

The eventual collapse of Islamic State’s territorial control in Syria and Iraq will lead to an exodus of experienced militants across the world. Responding to terrorism is becoming ever more difficult for businesses; risk adjustment is critical, including big data solutions and reviews of potential insider radicalisation, physical security and scenario planning. Increasing complexity of cyber security. 2017 will see the rise of conflicting data legislation: US and EU data protection regulations remain at odds; the EU’s Single Digital Market is isolationist; and China and Russia are introducing new cyber security laws.

This will lead to data nationalism, forcing companies to store data locally, at increased cost, as they are unable to meet regulatory requirements in international data transfer.

E-commerce will be stifled.

Fears of terrorism and state sponsored cyber-attacks will exacerbate national legislation, adding burden to businesses. A potential brake on US regulation could lead to a transformation of the global regulatory environment.

The US adherence to the Paris climate accords is under question, the Dodd-Frank Act could be modified substantially and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is not off limits, either.

This could have a domino impact on regulation around the world. Intensifying geopolitical pressures driven by nationalism, global power vacuums and proxy conflicts.
Syria, Libya, Yemen and Ukraine are likely to remain intractable conflicts and the Middle East will continue to be shaped by friction between Saudi Arabia and Iran; China’s increased focus on diplomacy and military influence will extend from Central Asia and the Indian Ocean to sub-Saharan Africa; and North Korea’s systematic nuclear capability development is upending a relatively static regional and global nuclear status quo. Richard Fenning continued: “Digitalisation and the internet of everything take risk everywhere and the distinction between safe home markets and dangerous foreign ones has largely gone.

The sheer mass of stored data, teetering on a fulcrum between asset and liability, has shifted the gravitational centre of risk. “Terrorist attacks across continents in 2016 made possible in large part by the internet have shown that Islamist inspired violence can be planned and carried out anywhere in the world. “With the seismic shift in risk scenario planning now required by businesses, we can expect the competitive playing field in many industries to see significant change as organisations respond in different ways to the multitude of complexities facing them.” Ends For further information please contact:Georgina Parkesgeorgina.parkes@controlrisks.com Simon Barkersbarker@barkercomms.com Note to Editors:About Control RisksControl Risks is a global risk consultancy specialising in political, security and integrity risk.

The company enables its clients to understand and manage the risks of operating in complex or hostile environments.

Through a unique combination of services, wide geographical reach and by adopting a close partnership approach with clients, Control Risks helps organisations effectively solve their problems and realise new opportunities across the world.www.controlrisks.com

Man names Wi-Fi network “Daesh 21,” prosecuted under French anti-terror law

EnlargeNiroDesign / Getty Images News reader comments 89 Share this story French media reported Friday that an 18-year-old man from Dijon was convicted for "praising terrorism" and was given a suspended sentence of three months in prison because the SSID of his Wi-Fi network was "Daesh 21." Daesh is the Arabic acronym for Islamic State, and "21" in this context represents the number for the Côte d’Or, the French department, or province, where Dijon is located. The unnamed man was prosecuted under a new French anti-terrorism law (Article 421-2-5) passed in November 2014 that makes it a crime to "directly provoke acts of terrorism or to publicly praise one such act." If convicted, offenders can be punished by up to five years in prison and a €75,000 ($83,000) fine. Such penalties are raised to seven years and €100,000 ($111,000) if the crime was committed by using a "public online communication service." A local newspaper, Le Bien public, described the man as being "totally dazed" in front of the court and said that he was "not a terrorist." He was first sentenced to 100 hours of community service, which he refused, but he was finally given a three-month suspended sentence. The man's lawyer, Karima Manhouli, who did not immediately respond to Ars' request for comment, said that one of the man's neighbors reported him to police. "The authorities went to the street to evaluate the signal, made numerous inquiries, in vain, with Samsung, and then to the operator, etc., to eventually be able to identify this young man," she told Next Inpact. "He's an 18-year-old who has not even been able to explain the name.
I don't think that renaming a Wi-Fi network is an act of praise! It's neutral, it's nonsense, it's not an argument." She added that the man's computer, phone, Twitter, and Instagram were seized and searched. Nothing else terrorist-related was found. His Wi-Fi network has been subsequently re-named "Roudoudou 21," the name of a French electronic musician. The case could be further appealed in France or in European courts. "The question is whether it is in accordance with French law," Marie Fernet, a French lawyer, told Ars. "And if this law is itself consistent with the fundamental principles protected by the Constitution, the Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights.

This legislation regarding the praise of terrorism is recent, and many people think it is not consistent with our texts on human rights and freedom of expression."

Alleged ISIS member ‘wore USB cufflink and trained terrorists in encryption’

33-year-old Cardiff man faces trial next year over six terrorism charges A Cardiff man said to be a member of ISIS and who is alleged to have trained terrorists in the use of encryption will be put on trial in March. Samata Ullah, 33, was charged earlier this month with six terrorism offences. Today at the Old Bailey Mr Justice Holroyde remanded Ullah in custody until 17 November, according to the Mail Online, when an application may be made to move the trial back to Wales. Police were said to have gathered 6TB of data after searching Ullah's devices, of which 2TB will be used as evidence against him. He was also said to have used encrypted messaging app Telegram to offer his services to the "Cyber Caliphate Army". Among the charges Ullah faces is an allegation that he had a USB stick disguised as a cufflink, which had "an operating system loaded on to it for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism" contrary to section 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000. He is also accused of providing "instruction or training in the use of encryption programs" while knowing that people receiving it "intended to use the skills... in connection with the commission or preparation of acts of terrorism" or for helping other terrorists. Another charge states he breached section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2000 by "researching an encryption program, developing an encrypted version of his blog site and publishing the instructions around the use of programme on his blog site". This could be understood to relate to Tor rather than HTTPS, as excitable internet idiots began speculating when the charges were originally made. The Register has made enquiries with the Metropolitan Police and will update this story if they give a substantive response. Other charges brought against Ullah included membership of Islamic State, directing a terrorist organisation, possession of a PDF document about advances in missile guidance and control, and possession of a book about guided missiles. The full trial is provisionally listed for 20 March. ®

Trump: “The security aspect of cyber is very, very tough”

Enlarge / Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton shook hands after the Monday debate.Drew Angerer / Getty News Images Campaign 2016 Journalists must fork over $200 for Wi-Fi at presidential debate Trump takes on “Crooked Hillary” with Snapchat geofilter View more storiesreader comments 44 Share this story Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump faced off in their first presidential debate—but they only touched on technological issues briefly Monday, and even then, in simplistic terms. Toward the end of the 90-minute debate, moderator and NBC anchor Lester Holt asked: "We want to start with a 21st century war happening every day in this country, our institutions are under cyber attack, and our secrets are being stolen. So my question is who's behind it and how do we fight it?" The two candidates disagreed as to who was behind the recent attacks on the Democratic National Committee, but concurred that cybersecurity should be a top priority. The former secretary of state, Clinton, laid the blame squarely at the feet of Moscow—concurring with the intelligence community and the view of the President Obama administration—and did not mince words. "There's no doubt now that Russia has used cyberattacks," she said. "[Russian President Vladimir] Putin is playing a tough, long game here." Clinton also mentioned theft of "private information," and "public sector information," which likely referred to the massive heist of government employee files at the Office of Personnel Management in 2015. As she continued: And we are not going to sit idly by and permit state actors to go after our information, our private sector information or our public sector information, and we're going to have to make it clear that we don't want to use the kinds of tools that we have. We don't want to engage in a different kind of warfare. But we will defend the citizens of this country, and the Russians need to understand that. I think they've been treating it as almost a probing, how far would we go? How much would we do? And that's why I was so, I was so shocked when Donald publicly invited Putin to hack into Americans. That is, that is just unacceptable. It's one of the reasons why 50 national security officials who served in Republican information, administration have said that Donald is unfit to be the Commander-in-Chief. It's comments like that that really worry people who understand the threats that we face. "It could also be China" When Holt turned to Trump, he said he "agree[s] to parts of what Secretary Clinton said, we should be better than anybody else, and perhaps we're not." But then, Trump deviated from the consensus view that it was the Russian government, or Russian-backed entities that recently targeted the Democratic National Committee. "I don't know if we know it was Russia who broke into the DNC," he said. "She's saying Russia, Russia, Russia. Maybe it was. It could also be China, it could be someone sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds." The Republican candidate then continued to harp on a theme that he has hit repeatedly on the campaign trail, that Islamic State, also known as ISIS, is "beating us at our own game." "So we have to get very, very tough on cyber and cyber warfare," he continued. "It is a, it is a huge problem. I have a son. He's 10 years old. He has computers. He is so good with these computers, it's unbelievable. The security aspect of cyber is very, very tough. And maybe it's hardly doable. But I will say, we are not doing the job we should be doing, but that's true throughout our whole governmental society. We have so many things that we have to do better, Lester and certainly cyber is one of them." When Clinton was given a chance to respond, she noted that the United States needs to "do much more with our tech companies to prevent ISIS and their operatives from being able to use the Internet, to radicalize, even direct people in our country and Europe and elsewhere." But the Democratic candidate didn’t explain exactly what she meant by that. Earlier in the evening, Holt asked Clinton specifically about her use of a private e-mail server. She called it a "mistake," and tried to dispense with the issue quickly. "And if I had to do it over again, I would obviously do it differently," she said. "But I'm not going to make any excuses. It was a mistake and I take responsibility for that." Trump shot back: That was more than a mistake. That was done purposely. Okay? That was not a mistake. That was done purposely. When you have your staff taking the Fifth Amendment, taking the fifth so they are not prosecuted, when you have the man that set up the illegal server taking the Fifth, I think it's disgraceful. And believe me, this country thinks it's disgraceful—really thinks it's disgraceful, also. The next debate, between the two vice presidential candidates, is scheduled for Tuesday, October 4 at 9pm Eastern.

ISIS hacker gets 20 years for giving terrorists US military kill...

Enlargereader comments 1 Share this story An overseas hacker from the group Kosovo Hacker's Security was handed a 20-year term Friday.

This is the nation's first prosecution of a hacker trying to carry out an act of terrorism. Kosovo citizen Ardit Ferizi, a 20-year-old with the online handle Th3Dir3ctorY, was arrested in Malaysia in 2015.
In a Virginia federal court earlier this year, he pleaded guilty to stealing data on US military personnel by hacking undisclosed US corporate computers and then providing that data to the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group. "This case represents the first time we have seen the very real and dangerous national security cyber threat that results from the combination of terrorism and hacking," said US Assistant Attorney General John Carlin. "This was a wake-up call not only to those of us in law enforcement but also to those in private industry." The defendant admitted (PDF) to forwarding the data to Junaid Hussain, an Islamic State hacker killed in August by a military airstrike.

Days before his death, Hussain tweeted, "NEW: U.S. Military AND Government HACKED by the Islamic State Hacking Division!" The tweet contained a hyperlink that included the "names, e-mail addresses, e-mail passwords, locations, and phone numbers for approximately 1,351 US military and other government personnel (PDF)," the government said. According to federal prosecutors, that linked document also said, in part, that "we are in your emails and computer systems, watching and recording your every move, we have your names and addresses, we are in your emails and social media accounts, we are extracting confidential data and passing on your personal information to the soldiers of the khilafah, who soon with the permission of Allah will strike at your necks in your own lands!'" Nobody on the list was believed to have been attacked because of the hack.