Hackers Claim ISIS Twitter Accounts Lead Back to UK Government

Unconfirmed reports suggest that a number of Twitter accounts affiliated with the militant group ISIS can be traced back to IP addresses associated with the UK government. According to Russia Insider, a group of hackers known as VandaSec has discovered that a number of ISIS-supporting accounts on the social media site can be linked back to the British Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

Does this mean that UK government staff members are in control of a number of ISIS-related Twitter accounts? Well, no. In fact, it seems as though the offending IP addresses don’t even belong to the DWP anymore, because they were sold off to notorious human rights offender Saudi Arabia back in last year.

“Jamie Turner, an expert from a firm called PCA Predict, discovered a record of the sale of IP addresses, and found a large number were transferred to Saudi Arabia in October of this year,” Russia Insider reports. “He told us it was likely the IP addresses could still be traced back to the DWP because records of the addresses had not yet been fully updated.”

“The Cabinet Office has now admitted to selling the IP addresses on to Saudi Telecom and the Saudi-based Mobile Telecommunications Company earlier this year as part of a wider drive to get rid of a large number of the DWP’s IP addresses,” the report added.

The IP address sell-off follows a number of arms deals between the UK and Saudi Arabia, a bit of business that UK Prime Minster David Cameron was rather proud of, despite the European Union voting in favour of an embargo on weapons sales to the Arabian country.

Data Leak Reveals 22,000 ISIS Members

In history there is a tale as old as time, no matter how large something gets, no matter what happens, when they start to perform questionable acts it will always be someone on the inside that will address the situation by letting everyone know about it. We’ve already seen with Edward Snowden revealing the extent that America was spying and retaining information illegally on people from all over the world. The same reason has now revealed 22,000 ISIS members details.

A defector from the group alleges to have carried with him a USB drive containing more than your average backup of files. TheUSB is claimed to have details of 22, 000 ISIS fighters, including:

  • Name
  • Phone Number
  • Hometown
  • Blood Type

The paperwork it apparently contains is reported to be filled out before fighters come to the country, therefore representing foreign fighters coming to the group from abroad. The paperwork included questionnaires filled out by members of ISIS, including information regarding how they were recruited and would get to the group from their location, bypassing the restrictions and warning systems currently in place.

Currently, agencies around the world are trying to track down and confirm that this information is genuine, but if it does prove to be real information then this could help agencies track down recruiters and start cutting off access to the group from their countries.

Snowden Claims ISIS Encrypted Email is Fake

A new video was released yesterday, which featured an encrypted message that supposedly contained plans for a future attack to be committed by ISIS or another group aligned with their goals. The video also featured shots of the gunmen behind last year’s attack in Paris and graphic shots of executions by radicals. The video also featured clips of London and RAF fighter aircraft, ending with a shot of David Cameron and the words “Whoever stands in the ranks of kufr (unbelievers) will be a target for our swords and will fall in humiliation.” As Edward Snowden was quick to point out on Twitter, the ‘encrypted email’ shown in the video was clearly fake.

The most obvious flaw he pointed out was in regards to the encrypted email’s key ID “1548OH76”, which is not a valid Hexadecimal string, being invalidated by the O and H. Further, the creation date on the PGP supposedly used to decrypt the instructions for both the Paris attacks and this new attack was the 16th of November 2015, after the Paris attacks. This could mean that the instructions for the attack on Paris were re-encrypted along with this new unknown message, which is implied to be the plans for a new attack.

Even taking into regard these flaws, the real question is what the video’s creators intend to achieve by showing this. Is it really plans for the next attack, or simply scare tactics designed to get the world’s intelligence agencies to crack it? More frighteningly, it could be an attempt by terrorist groups to spur on the adoption of encryption backdoors or bans by government agencies. Such groups would certainly have a lot to gain from the crippling of encryption, from potentially being able to access the backdoors themselves to them disregarding the requirements and continuing to use strong cryptography undeterred, causing even more grief for groups thinking they have all the backdoor keys. I have no doubt that this video should be taken seriously, as should any terrorist threat, but any influence it may have on cryptography should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Suggests Like Attack On ISIS

Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg wants us to use make love and not war when it comes to dealing with pro-ISIS users on Facebook. This message comes as Facebook admits defeat in the effort to stop the tide of Islamic State accounts and propaganda that is appearing on the social media network lately.

It isn’t like Facebook isn’t trying to combat this hate coming from these terrorists, they simply can’t keep up with the sheer amount of posts and accounts being created. This was revealed at the World Economic Forum in Davos where it was said that Facebook is “doing everything it can to prevent extremist content being published”, but it’s just a drop in the ocean. “When you take one down, another pops up”.

While this technically sounds like a defeat, it isn’t. It just means that the tactics have to change and it also means that the social aspect of the site is needed. Facebook is proposing that everyone ‘like’ ISIS posts, which in itself sounds ludicrous. But there is deeper thought behind this and this tactic has worked in the past. The method that Sandberg calls a “like attack” is simple and it aims to defeat negative posts by clicking the like button and then flooding that page with positive messages.

Sandberg went on to explain that this action in no way is a sign of support for this kind of hate speech, but rather a way to stand united against the enemy. A single branch is easy to break, but when you got a whole stack of branches together, then you got something close to unbreakable. The same tactic was used a while ago against the german NPD, the far-right National Democratic Party, where over 100,000 people “liked” that page that actually didn’t like the message. Instead of posting hate and defamatory posts, they simply flooded the page with messages of tolerance and hope instead.

The effect is simple, right now it’s Facebook that is trying to catch up by banning people and deleting posts. The suggested method would turn it all around and put the ISIS supporters on the defense. They’ll be so busy themselves trying to delete all the positive messages that they won’t have time to spread their hate.

Whether people will accept this proposal and whether it will work, that’s something only time will tell. But I think we all can agree on one thing: The faster we get rid of this plague, the better off we are and the entire planet too for that matter. What is your opinion on this strategy, let us know in the comments.

‘Anti-IS’ Hackers Tested Abilities On BBC Website

Three days ago we reported on the BBC’s web services being down, from their website to iPlayer, their on-demand streaming service. It has now00000000000000000000 come to light at that a group has claimed responsibility, stating that the attack was just to test their capabilities.

The group calls itself New World Hacking and in their message they claim that “it was only a test” and they then go on to state that “we didn’t exactly plan to take it down for multiple hours. Our servers are quite strong”. The group claims it carried out the attack, a distributed denial of service attack (DDOS), a method which sees websites and servers knocked offline by swarming the system with more traffic than it can handle.

Claiming to be based in the US they stated in a tweet to BBC technology correspondentRory Cellan-Jones and were striving to “take down Isis-affiliated websites, also Isis members”.

A group member, calling himself Ownz, claimed that the team is formed of twelve people, eight male and four female, who started working together back in 2012 and have since taken part in operations against the Ku Klux Klan and #OpParis, both activities designed to track down, name and expose people who use the internet as a tool.

The group claims it will use the technique against IS websites and a new list of targets, associated with the group, from Tuesday.

Image courtesy of the BBC.

Is There a Connection Between ISIS and UK Government IP addresses?

Information has been both circulating and updating over the last 48 hours concerning a possible link “that a number of Islamic State supporters’ social media accounts are being run from internet addresses linked to IP addresses from the Department of Work and Pensions” This possible connection has been traced and subsequently exposed by well-known hacking group VandaSec.

Reports have also stated that, as is the norm in the digital age, been unearthed by four teenage computer hackers who claim to have traced “IP addresses from their supposed Saudi Arabia location back to the United Kingdom’s Department of Work and Pensions after using a set of specialized tools to track the IP addresses”. These accounts are at first glance noteworthy due to being utilised to recruit new ISIS members online.

It’s a conspiracy! Probably not, after further analyses by an external source, it has so far been concluded that these IP addresses were part of an unpublicized set of transactions between Britain and Saudi Arabia. It has been discovered that the British government sold a large number of IP addresses to two Saudi Arabian firms (Saudi Telecom and the Saudi-based Mobile Telecommunications Company). After the sale had been finalised around October of this year (2015) extremists piggybacked onto these and utilized the protocol to spread the standard message synonymous with the group.

Jamie Turner, an expert from a firm by the name of PCA Predict, confirmed the trace back to the UK government was more obvious than first thought owning to the fact that records for the IPs had not as yet been fully updated.

At the very least it’s certainly embarrassing for Whitehall, yes, as the government has stated it had no control over what happened to the IP addresses after they had sold them, but, perhaps further vetting of potential clients needs to take place in order to mitigate against unlawful use at the extreme end. I wonder where other sold IP addresses will end up in the future?

Image courtesy of wired

Anonymous Claims CloudFlare Protects Pro-ISIS Sites

Anonymous started a new offensive against ISIS following the terrible attacks on Paris and while we all like that part, it’s hard for me to take them serious in any way. They surely have a few talented people with skills and connections in their group, but for the most part, their skills go as far as pressing a button in a pre-built application in order to launch DDoS attacks on a specific target.

We’ve recently learned that their offensive isn’t going all that good and now they’ve come out and accused CloudFlare of protecting pro-ISIS websites. CloudFlare makes software which prevents denial of service attacks which is the preferred method of attack from the Anonymous group, so this doesn’t come as a big surprise. Terrorists might live with a stone-age mentality, but they do know how to use modern technology. CloudFlare faced similar accusation from the group back in 2013 when they launched an offensive against Al-Qaeda websites.

CloudFlare naturally defends itself against the accusation and as they say, it wouldn’t be a good business model for them. Groups like that will most likely pay with stolen credit card credentials and that is not good for a business. The company also stated that they would cooperate with any law enforcement agency when presented with a legal warrant or court order regarding any of their customers. So maybe Anonymous should forward their evidence to those instances instead of whining on social media about a normal service used by thousands of websites and that works as intended.

Anonymous’ “War” Against ISIS Isn’t Going Well

Following the attacks on Paris by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS), online activist collective Anonymous declared war on ISIS/IS/Daesh (for the fourth time in 18 months, by my count). However, Operation ISIS – which is targeting ISIS’ online presence on Twitter and Telegram – has so far been a bust, with many of the 20,000 Twitter accounts taken down by Anonymous entirely unrelated to the Islamic State.

The Twitter accounts alleged to be associated with the Islamic State were posted to pastebin, with the majority of them now down. But a blog post by hacker th3j35t3r, a vocal critic of Anonymous and its methods, claims on his Jester’s Court blog that a “comedy of errors” led Anonymous to taking down accounts with no affiliation to ISIS as part of a publicity stunt, which was then seemingly confirmed in a report by The Daily Dot.

The @OpParisOfficial Twitter account even admitted as such in a now-deleted tweet (courtesy of Ars Technica):

On top of that, the FBI said of a supposed proposed attack on US soil by ISIS – a WWE event in Atlanta, Georgia last night – that “we do not have specific or credible information of an attack at this time.”

While Anonymous’ most famous previous declaration of war against ISIS came after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris in January this year, it did so again two months later, and even the previous year, following an IS attack in Baghdad. At this rate, Anonymous declares war on ISIS at an average of around every six months, so we should “expect” them again around April next year.

Major ISIS Messaging Forum Taken Down by Anonymous

It seems that Anonymous’ recent pledge of action against ISIS on the online front was honored, as in the wake of the attacks on Paris, the infamous mask-wearing hacktivists have taken down ISIS’ main forum, one of the central hubs of communication used by the terrorist group.

For a time now Anonymous have been bringing the fight to ISIS online, taking down over 5000 ISIS-associated Twitter accounts as well as hitting websites distributing the extremist propaganda. Quilliam Foundation researcher Rachel Bryson, who specializes in Islamic State messaging, admits that while the takedown will affect ISIS’ communication systems, the long-term effects are small. And even if all of ISIS’ digital systems were taken down my Anonymous, ISIS would simply rebuild them again. Hopefully, the material posted on the site, such as guides on how to plan and perpetrate terrorist attacks will be lost however.

The risk with attacking ISIS’ online presence, is that it risks forcing them to resort to methods harder to uncover and track in order to avoid the attacks of Anonymous and others. The results include driving ISIS to move their operations to the dark web, which is only accessible by connecting through the computer software Tor and other similar programs. The use encrypted messaging, such as WhatsApp or Telegram, are also increasing in popularity with ISIS, the latter of which recently suspended 78 public channels potentially promoting terrorism. Despite this, there are likely countless private chats that are used by the group. Bryson put credence to this, stating “We keep seeing them migrating across different platforms, I don’t think by shutting down a current means of communication will mean the Islamic State fails. It’s not key to defeating them.”

Regardless of their long-term effectiveness, I appreciate the efforts of the hacktivists taking action against the threat of terrorists, and even if the fight can’t simply be won on the cyber-front, if their attacks make ISIS less capable of committing even one more attack, it will be worthwhile.

Anonymous Splinter Cell Supplies FBI With Hacked ISIS Information

Earlier today we could report that Anonymous offensive against the ISIS had taken down over 5000 twitter accounts among other things, something that seems insufficient and somewhat low for what the group usually does. Their recent campaign was only really started after the horrific attack on Paris, but part of the group have been working on these attacks for quite some time.

The splinter group calling itself Ghost Security Group has been on an offensive for quite some time and reports suggest that they already took down over hundred thousand twitter accounts and close to 6000 propaganda videos. However, they don’t stop there as we learn via the German news outlet Focus. There were quite a few people asking on our previous post whether they also supplied the official law enforcement and anti-terror agencies with what they learned, and they do. Micheal S. Smith, a US Congress advisor, has now officially confirmed the he acts as a middleman between the Ghost Security Group and the FBI. The group first contacted the advisor in June and the information they have provided has been categorized as very helpful. They’ve helped the FBI agents by identifying terror acts both online and offline and they two stay in regular contact.

Where something good happens, something bad happens too. The Ghost Security Group has been split where one part is trying to sell off the information to the highest bidder, which the rest of the group isn’t very pleased about. It goes directly against what hackers do, provide free information on everything instead of holding back and selling out. That said, let us hope that the group will be successful in the future and help the officials track down those terrorists where the official channels might have trouble reaching them.

Retweeting ISIS Could Land You In Jail In The US

This story is compelling for a number of reasons which include the potential ramifications, the FBI considers retweets as endorsements with the emphases squarely pointed at those containing IS statements. This theory has been proven again by the arrest of an individual by the name of Ali Saleh who is a 22-year-old Queens resident. His detainment followed an FBI investigation into his attempts to join ISIS; the reported mentioned evidence included the tracking of Twitter related activity by Saleh.

According to information contained and submitted within the complaint to the Federal Court in Brooklyn. FBI special agent Bret Luhmann stated that Saleh had attempted on a number of occasions to travel to Syria with the aim of joining the terrorist group. Among the social media activity which has been collected for evidence purposes from this individual includes the sentence “I’m ready to die (for ISIS) Prison is nothing” Saleh proclaimed while retweeting a message which was posted by another user.

On the face of it Saleh has been arrested for more than numerous incendiary retweets after being placed under the microscope by law enforcement, this includes alleged active attempts to travel to Yemen and Istanbul by booking a seat for a flight which he later decided to miss. The problem lays with the FBI and its interpretation, many users tweet hashtags and statements which are connected to terrorist acts for a variety of legitimate reasons, these could include informing followers of brutal acts which have been covered by many news outlets or other user experiences, to protest against such behaviour or simply to parody the situation.

Take the aftermath of the arrest of convicted Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a substantial amount of people retweeted the social media account of said person in a kind of expose to highlight the individual behind such tragic actions. To further convey the ambiguity, a 17-year-old Virginia resident was arrested this summer of 2015, after frequently retweeting flattering statements about ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Now, let’s take an extreme situation, how would the FBI or any other agency react to a user who felt seriously depressed and conveyed suicidal thoughts through tweets and phrase retweets, would they be considered ISIS sympathisers or in imminent danger or going on a shooting spree, if their intentions were considered to be terrorist related? This is the ambiguity, there needs to be more evidence which is garnered before a person is suspected of malicious intentions.

Logically, and I know governments struggle with this concept, you would only be arrested after a build up of various intelligence actions from a person who was under suspicion, otherwise, there is going to be a hell of a lot of people arrested if it is based on certain tweets, which no agency in the world has the resources to deal with on a continuous basis.

Thank you nydailynews and scribd or providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of atuffcartoons

Pro-ISIS Hackers Take Down French TV Station

TV5Monde, a French TV station that broadcasts around the world, was attacked by ISIS and taken down for around three hours before it could get its stations broadcasting again.

The reports indicate that the stations Facebook page and website were also taken down by the attackers, having network director Yves Bigot stating that the station’s operations were “severely damaged”. However, TV5Monde’s broadcasting, Facebook page and website are now back online.

A similar attack was also registered in the US and like the latter, the jihadist group used the site to issue threats against French soldiers and reveal the identity of their relatives.

France is said to provide air support for anti-ISIS ground forces that recently liberated the Iraqi city of Tikrit, and declared that ISIS must be “wiped out” after the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

The methods used to hack TV5Monde are not clear just yet, but it is confirmed that the attack was issued by the same “Islamic State Hacking Division” who took credit for US military base attacks.

The conclusion was drawn based on the fact that the hackers ‘introduced’ themselves as the “CyberCaliphate” on TV5Monde’s Facebook page.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information

Star Wars Isn’t What It Used to Be: ISIS Captures Tatooine

Star Wars has one of the biggest fan bases of any franchise in history, but for those wishing to visit the movies locations in Tunisia are being warned to stay away due to jihadist activity!

The location is actually called Tataouine, which was the inspiration for Luck Skywalker’s home planet of Tatooine. Now the location, often visited by fans of the movie who wish to see some of the famous filming locations used in the movie should keep well clear of the location, as it has become a way-station for terrorists looking to enter Libya to join ISIS.

Two arms caches have been found there this month, with rocket-propelled grenade launchers, 20,000 rounds of ammunition and more. Certainly not something you would want to get caught up in as a tourist, especially not with many recent headlines of tourists being taken captive by terrorist groups around the world.

Of course, the warning to stay out of the location goes beyond Star Wars fans wanting to visit the locations that inspired parts of the movie, as all international tourists are being advised to keep clear of Tunisia at this time.

Islamic State Said to Have about 46K Twitter Accounts

The Islamic State terror organisation is known for its use of social media accounts. Though Twitter stated that the it found around 70,00 pro-ISIS accounts, 46,000 are deemed as the “most conservative” estimate.

The report comes after the FBI issued a warning about American teens being susceptible to ISIS recruitment tactics, having ISIS Twitter Census finding that one if five accounts are in English and the rest, representing 75%, are in Arabic.

The report states that “a minimum” of 1,000 accounts were closed between September and December 2014, while Twitter closed about 2,000 accounts this week alone. Following the social media giant’s action, ISIS issued a threat against Jack Dorsey, a Twitter co-founder.

“The process of suspension does create certain new risks. Most importantly, while suspensions appear to have created obstacles to supporters joining ISIS’s social network, they also isolate ISIS supporters online. This could increase the speed and intensity of radicalization for those who do manage to enter the network, and hinder organic social pressures that could lead to deradicalization.”

The group’s social media presence has even gained the attention of new Pentagon Chief, Ashton Carter, stating that ISIS “is a social-media-fueled terrorism group in a way we haven’t seen yet.”

“People who are very distant from any battlefield, from any experience of radicalism, are suddenly becoming enticed through social media,” said Carter.

The report found that Android is the most common platform for mobile tweeting, while iOS comes in second and Blackberry in third place.

“Among users of the three most popular phone types, 69 percent had downloaded a Twitter client from the Google Play store or Google.com,” the report said. “Another 30 percent used a client downloaded from the Apple iTunes store, and about 1 percent had downloaded a client from Blackberry.com.”

It is said that the ISIS Twitter numbers are only a fraction of the 288 million Twitter claims are active on the website. The report states that 4% of the accounts had between 5,000 and 50,000 followers. However, since the pro-ISIS accounts started to appear last year, they are likely to reach millions of people worldwide due to the fact that between 500 and 2,000 ISIS account holders tweet in high volume and their messages are likely to go viral.

“This activity, more than any other, drives the success of ISIS’s efforts to promulgate its message on social media,” the report said. “Short, prolonged bursts of activity cause hashtags to trend, resulting in third-party aggregation and insertion of tweeted content into search results.”

Thank you Arstechnica for providing us with this information

ISIS Supporters Send Death Threats to Twitter Co-Founder Jack Dorsey

ISIS supporters have threatened to kill Twitter staff and co-founder Jack Dorsey for blocking their accounts. The post, released on justpaste.it on Sunday, shows an image of Dorsey’s face with crosshairs over it.

The post reads, thanks to a translation from the original Arabic by BuzzFeed, “We told you from the beginning it’s not your war, but you didn’t get it and kept closing our accounts on Twitter, but we always come back. But when our lions [brave men] come and take your breath, you will never come back to life.”

ISIS has had a firm social media presence since its formation in 1999, using its online accounts to share horrific videos of beheadings and to rouse its followers to attack specific targets, so its ire at having its conduit to the world taken away is understandable, but effectively translates as a counterintuitive, “You won’t let us threaten to kill people? Then we’re going to threaten kill you!”

Twitter’s Terms of Service prohibits “direct, specific threats of violence against others,” which is ISIS’ modus operandi. Regarding the death threats, Twitter said, “Our security team is investigating the veracity of these threats with relevant law enforcement officials.”

Source: The Verge

Anonymous’ Strike against ISIS Has Begun

Well known hacktivist group Anonymous may attract split opinions about their actions, but I think we can agree that their latest campaign is a good one. A couple of weeks ago the group announced that they would use their abilities to strike against the terrorist group ISIS and their online presence. Today Anonymous announced the beginning of such and posted a new video online. They also listed a lot of Twitter and Facebook accounts they had taken down, accounts used to spread their propaganda and recruit followers; this information is available at the source below.

The video starts out with a clarification, that they are made up from all sorts of people and that the ISIS doesn’t represent Muslims as they want to make us all believe.

“We are Muslims, Christians, Jews alike.” … “hackers, crackers, Hacktivist, phishers, agents, spies, or just the guy next door … students, administrators, workers, clerks, unemployed, rich, poor.” … “young, or old, gay or straight… from all races, countries, religions, and ethnicity. United as one, divided by zero.” … “the terrorists that are calling themselves [the] Islamic State (ISIS) are not Muslims,” the video states.

“This is just the beginning,” the video continues. “We will hunt you, take down your sites, accounts, emails, and expose you… From now on, no safe place for you online… You will be treated like a virus, and we are the cure… We own the internet… We are Anonymous; we are Legion; we do not forgive, we do not forget, Expect us.”

Source: AnonHQ

US Central Command’s Twitter and YouTube Hacked by ISIS

It appears that the Twitter and YouTube accounts of the US Central Command have been hacked. The hackers seem to associate themselves with ISIS. As of writing, the Twitter account has been suspended, while the YouTube page is still up carrying a load of ISIS propaganda.

They’ve posted a number of documents, including links to those documents, which seem to contain personal information regarding US troops. With the Twitter account having been shut down, most of that data has now gone.

The US Central Command or any department of US government has yet to issue a statement on the matter, but we’ll update you with a further article as this story develops.

Update: CENTCOM released a statement calling the hack “a case of cybervandalism” and added that “no classified information was posted and that none of the information posted came from CENTCOM’s server or social media sites.”

Earlier today, U.S. Central Command’s Twitter and YouTube sites were compromised for approximately 30 minutes. These sites reside on commercial, non-Defense Department servers and both sites have been temporarily taken offline while we look into the incident further. CENTCOM’s operational military networks were not compromised and there was no operational impact to U.S. Central Command. CENTCOM will restore service to its Twitter and YouTube accounts as quickly as possible. We are viewing this purely as a case of cybervandalism.

In the meantime, our initial assessment is that no classified information was posted and that none of the information posted came from CENTCOM’s server or social media sites. Additionally, we are notifying appropriate DoD and law enforcement authorities about the potential release of personally identifiable information and will take appropriate steps to ensure any individuals potentially affected are notified as quickly as possible.

Source: The Next Web

MI5 Focused on Tracking Social Media Wooing Western Nationals To Join Jihadist Fight

British spy agency MI5 is actively monitoring citizens that leave the UK to join Islamist groups fighting in Syria, with heavy insurgent recruitment efforts currently taking place.  The Internet has provided the perfect recruitment tool, with propaganda posted online by Islamists wooing citizens from western nations.

It’s believed there are between 400 and 500 UK citizens currently picking up arms for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), currently fighting in Syria and Iraq.  It’s unfortunate to see how effectively ISIS and other groups use the Internet, specifically social media and YouTube, to recruit young, rather naive Muslims to leave their homes and join the battlefield.

In a recent video posted online, Nasser Muthana, 20, was a medical student, while his younger brother, Aseel, 17, is reportedly fighting alongside him.

Here is what the UK Home Office said regarding current ISIS and jihadist online recruitment efforts:

“We do not tolerate the existence of online terrorist and extremist propaganda, which directly influences people who are vulnerable to radicalization.  We already work closely with the Internet industry to remove terrorist material hosted in the UK or overseas.”

Syria has proven to be a difficult political mess for the United States and the UK, because both countries are struggling to quell growing ethnic tensions in the region.  It’s more pressing for the UK, with the Muslim community being targeted by Islamist groups in the Middle East and Somalia.

Thank you to The Independent for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Mirror