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October 25, 2016 / 23 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘terror’

Shabak Foils Hezbollah Operation that Used Facebook to Recruit, Plan Terror Attacks

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Israeli security forces revealed on Tuesday that a joint operation of the Shabak, IDF and Police has foiled a number of terrorist organizing efforts whose members, residents of Judea and Samaria, had been recruited via Facebook by Hezbollah agents living in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. The arrest of these members has prevented the execution of several planned attacks inside Israel.

Shabak noted that Hezbollah has been very active in recent years with recruitment efforts of activists in greenline Israel, Judea and Samaria and Gaza, to carry out terror attacks against Israeli targets. Besides instructions for shooting and suicide attacks against these targets, the same activists also received training in luring and conscripting new members.

A terror cell from the Kalkilia area in Samaria was ordered to attack an IDF patrol. The head of the cell, Mustafa Kemal Hindi, 18, a resident of Kalkilia, had been recruited by Hezbollah in December 2015, through the Facebook page of Falastin al-Hurra, which delivers anti-Israel content.

Hindi told his interrogators that he kept in contact with his Hezbollah operator “Bilal” using Facebook and later through an email address he started on his operator’s instructions. He later received encryption software for his emails.

Hindi was instructed to recruit a cell and to carry out attacks against Israeli targets, including the shooting at an IDF patrol outside Kalkilia. He recruited four of his neighbors, in their early 20s, and the cell started collecting data on the IDF patrols in the area, and was trained in using a hunting gun and in improvising explosives. They were arrested in early June 2016 before they were able to carry out their intended mission and were indicted in military court in Judea.

Tuesday’s report lists several, very similar operations, conducted by Hezbollah via remote control using the fast and reliable services of Facebook. Some of these operations involved Israeli Arabs, who were approached by the Shabak and were made aware that communicating with Hezbollah over Facebook is a violation of security laws.

The financial part of the Hezbollah operations in Israel and the PA are being handled by members living in the Gaza Strip who lend logistical support to both recruitment and operational efforts.

David Israel

Meet the Israeli Startup that Cracked the ISIS Target List

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

By Michael Zeff/TPS

Herzliya (TPS) – An emerging Israeli startup firm in the cyber-security sector managed to infiltrate an encrypted Islamic State group and to retrieve the terror organization’s latest list of international attack targets.

IntSights is a cyber-intelligence startup company, founded by three Israeli entrepreneurs in their 20s. The founders are veterans of top IDF intelligence and cyber-warfare units, and already according to the founders, their clients include large international establishments such as banks, industry giants and telecommunications companies.

“IntSights is a small company which provides intelligence and incident mitigation in real time by gathering and analyzing data from the darknet, an encrypted and secretive section of the Internet often used by criminal elements,” Alon Arvatz, VP Intelligence and Co-Founder, told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) in an interview. “Using the technology we developed, we intercepted the most recent target-list sent by the Islamic State to its operatives around the world.”

IntSights analysts used their expertise to infiltrate a Telegram Messenger chat used by the Islamic State terror group to communicate internationally. The Telegram application has been used by the top 500 Islamic State operatives to share plans and locations for potential terrorist attacks mandated by the IS leadership.

“The Telegram app is completely encrypted, which means no fear of someone monitoring your correspondence and understanding what it means,” Arvatz explained. “That’s why IS moved from traditional social media to Telegram over the last year.”

According to IntSights, the application is used by Islamic State cyber-warfare arm, the United Cyber Caliphate, to publish targets in the form of a call to action with the knowledge that someone around the world would answer the call and carry out an attack.

“The church in France that was recently the location of a deadly attack appeared on a target list published several months ago and someone recently decided to answer the call and attacked that very church,” said Arvatz. “This proves beyond doubt that there is a direct link between cyber activity and actual terror attacks.”

The newest target list was published on the Telegram group on Monday and was intercepted by IntSights.

“The long list includes exact coordinates for each and every target, all of which are airports and air bases that are used or could be used by the United States Air Force all over the world,” Arvatz told TPS.

The list was followed by a file with a world map on which all the airports and bases were marked with pinpoint precision, as well as aerial footage of the higher priority targets. Entries in the list that were marked as “preferred targets,” include the Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base in Kuwait and two Bahraini airports. The full list includes targets in Latin America, Europe and even Israel.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Notwithstanding Islamist Terror Surge, Europe’s Media Outlets Still Sanitize Coverage

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Beginning with the bloody July 14 Bastille Day terror attack in Nice, France, that left 84 people dead, Western Europe has seen an unrelenting wave of violence mainly perpetrated by individuals with connections to or sympathies with the Islamic State terror group.

These attacks on European soil are now occurring with a near daily frequency, with five different lone-wolf shooting and stabbing terror attacks in Germany in late July, at least three of which were claimed by Islamic State, as well as the slaying of a Catholic priest in northern France on July 26.

European media outlets, however, continue to be extremely selective in the way they report on the violence.

After the attack in Nice, the BBC tweeted an article titled “France’s President Holland returns to Paris for crisis meeting for Nice lorry ‘attack.’ ” That headline, which used quotation marks to cast doubt on whether the incident was a deliberate attack and did not use the word “terror,” was followed by headlines from the BBC and other European news organizations such as “Syrian migrant dies in German blast,” and “Bomb-carrying Syrian dies outside German music festival; 12 wounded.”

In June, JNS reported that many international media outlets initially reported misleading information about the attack at the Sarona market in Tel Aviv and in some cases not describing the shooting as terrorism.

Representatives from the American Jewish Committee (AJC) in France and Germany indicated to JNS that after the terrorist attacks in Brussels, the French media devised a comprehensive map of Islamist terrorist attacks that had taken place across the world. Twenty countries were affected between the November 13 attacks in Paris and the Brussels attack, but Israel was not included.

In addition, they said, when it comes to news coverage of terror in Israel, and at times with regard to terror attacks in Europe, there is often short-lived public outrage and sparse political consequences. Media headlines on occasion reflect a reluctance to call terror by name, instead trivializing the severity of the attacks and obscuring the motives of the perpetrators by referring to problems with depression or mental illness.

Daniel Schwammenthal, director of AJC’s Transatlantic Institute in Brussels, told JNS that when these terror attacks occur there is a tendency on the part of European news organizations to “be careful and not jump to conclusions” and “play down the obvious connection” to radical Islamic terrorism.

Although Europeans try to differentiate between individual “bad apple” perpetrators and the whole Muslim community, “opinion polls and studies suggest that a considerable segment of the Muslim community shares at least some radical ideas and values,” Schwammenthal said.

While Schwammenthal characterized the motive to “protect innocent Muslims from hostility” as “noble,” he believes it can have unforeseen consequences.

“People are obviously making a connection between radical Islam and terrorism,” he says, but they see this attempt in the media and by some political leaders “to obfuscate or play down” the connection.

“I’m afraid it may make people much more likely to turn to [extreme right or populist] radical parties,” he said.

He acknowledged that this “tendency to blame society at large rather than individual” is “of course much worse when it comes to European media coverage of the terror situation in Israel.”

Analysis by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) and from BBCWatch has shown that articles and headlines misrepresenting terror attacks in this manner are much more frequent when they’re perpetrated by Palestinians in Israel.

CAMERA analyst Marcelo Wio, who analyzed Spanish media as an example, said that “in Spanish, to refer to terror attacks we have a special term: ‘atentado terrorista.’ So atentado is a word that immediately makes a reader think terrorism. This word is almost never used in for Palestinian attacks. Only when unavoidable.”

Alina Dain Sharon

Who Says the BBC Never Calls Terror ‘Terror’?

Monday, August 1st, 2016

{Originally printed to the authors’ website, This Ongoing War}

Regular readers of this blog, and of the much-more focused and excellent BBC Watch, will be aware of the infuriating and ultimately dangerous practice at the BBC to (a) Never use the word terror outside of quotation marks and (b) To use it when it suits the editors.

Then there’s another option: (c) To change their minds once or twice on a single day depending on… well, in truth, we don’t know on what such editorial swings depend.

But they certainly happen. We watched it and then described it in “22-Mar-16: At the BBC, they’re challenged by terror in quite revealing ways” when the BBC decision-makers couldn’t quite determine whether their news consumers could be entrusted with knowing that terror played a role in the Brussels Airport terror massacre.

(In the end, they decided that it did not, then that it did, and eventually, later the same day, that it did not. We documented the silliness here.)

Rule of thumb: it almost never suits the editors and has not suited them for years, to use the word terror when describing any act of savagery, no matter how transparently jihadist in nature, when such acts are directed at Israelis. Check it out.

Knowing this, and understanding how much double-talk and hypocrisy lie behind it, take a look at this morning’s BBC report from Brazil and the events we ourselves mentioned yesterday [“21-Jul-16: As the Olympics approach, Brazilian jihad comes into focus“]. The screen shot above show how that BBC item is currently headlined.

What’s obviously going on is that, while BBC editorial guidelines are one thing, the decisions taken by the editors at the BBC on a given day are frequently another.

Click to see how very seriously the BBC takes its own editorial guidelines - on paper

To see how very seriously the BBC
takes its own editorial guidelines – on paper Click

We tried to lay out our view of those double-standards (we’re being polite) in this post: “06-Jan-16: Perceptions and realities at the BBC“. It includes a revealing (though discouraging) list of our earlier comments on this important issue, all of them addressing the BBC and its terror strategy from a critical perspective.

There’s also the disturbing way the BBC pays what we consider to be self-evidently inadequate attention to the frequency and nature of terror attacks (whatever the BBC chooses to call them) against Israelis compared with its comprehensive and often up-close coverage of Israeli actions against the Arab side after those terror attacks happen,

Over at BBC Watch, they address this very matter on a monthly basis via a statistical review, and in March 2016 provided this summary chart [“Reviewing the BBC News website’s coverage of terror in Israel“]:

Chart BBC Coverage Terror Oct15 to Mar16

As you mull over BBC’s editorial practices, think of its standing as a publicly-funded (to the tune of an unparalleled billions of dollars each year), globe-straddling radio/TV/web/print colossus with a mission

to ensure that the BBC gives information about, and increases understanding of, the world through accurate and impartial news, other information, and analysis of current events and ideas.

Yep: Accurate and impartial, and it’s clear that many people buy that. ‘

But closer inspection, and some informed knowledge of what goes on in Israel, and a person realizes this is how ideology-driven journalism works. All those well-rounded vowels, the pompous self-justifications and the serious-sounding guidelines don’t change that.

We can take comfort from the fact that today’s BBC headline doesn’t read “Violent extremism arrests in Brazil.


Frimet and Arnold Roth

Arab Terror Suspects Arrested for Attacks in Jerusalem

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Two Arab terror suspects have been arrested in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat in connection with attacks on the city’s Light Rail system and on Jewish homes.

The suspects were arrested last Wednesday for hurling firebombs (Molotov cocktails) at the light rail and opening fire at the homes of Jews, according to Israel Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld.

The arrests came after an investigation of several weeks.

Hana Levi Julian

IDF Foils Terror Attack at Entrance to Shechem in Samaria

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

IDF Soldiers foiled an attempted terror attack at the checkpoint outside the city of Shechem on Sunday afternoon.

An Arab terrorist from the Palestinian Authority drove up to the checkpoint at the entrance to the city, then got out of his car and raced up to the guards, brandishing a knife.

Other soldiers standing nearby shot the attacker, neutralizing the deadly threat.

The terrorist died of his injuries but did not succeed in stabbing his targets. None of the soldiers he was aiming for were injured.

Hana Levi Julian

About the Hamas Terror Cell That Murdered Rabbi Miki Mark

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Mount Hebron (TPS) – After almost a month of intense efforts by Israeli security forces, the Hamas terror cell that carried out the deadly July 1 drive-by shooting attack near Otniel was located in the village of Surif and raided by Israeli army troops, the Shin Bet revealed on Wednesday morning.

Mohammed Jabarah al-Faqih, the terrorist who shot and murdered Rabbi Michael Mark and injured his family members, fired upon the IDF troops. An IDF spokesperson said the force responded by shooting several anti-tank missiles at the building in which al-Faqih had barricaded himself. The forces demolished the house, killing the terrorist and injuring his wife and kids

IDF forces also found an assortment of weapons near him, including a Kalashnikov rifle and a homemade grenade.

Al-Faqih is a 29-year-old resident of Hebron, originally from the village of Dura in the Mount Hebron region. According to the Shin Bet he had been imprisoned previously for planning terror attacks as a member of the Islamic Jihad terror organization. He became a Hamas member during his incarceration.

Other members of the terror cell were arrested in the raid, including several of al-Faqih’s family members who had assisted him and hid him after he carried out the terror attack.

Mohammed Majid Omayra, 38, a member of the Palestinian Authority national security mechanism, was arrested on July 4 for participating in the attack. He admitted during interrogation to driving the car while al-Faqih fired the deadly shots at the Israeli vehicle. The car and weapon that were used in the attack were handed over to the Israeli security forces.

The killers brother, Sahib Al Faqih, was arrested and confessed to helping Mohammed evade Israeli security forces in addition to hiding the murder weapon. Their cousin Mouaz al-Faqih was arrested as well and admitted he let the terrorist sleep in his apartment after the attack. The Shin Bet said additional family members were arrested on similar suspicions, without going into further detail.

The IDF said an Arab woman was injured during the exchange of fire in Surif. She was taken to hospital in light condition.

The operation followed intensive efforts by the Israeli army, the Shin Bet and the Israeli police to gather intelligence and locate the terrorists.

The shoot out damaged an electric transmission tower line and resulted in power outages to the village and its surroundings. It also cut water supply to many Jewish communities in the Mount Hebron region for several hours. They were instructed to use water only for drinking purposes.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/about-the-hamas-terror-cell-that-murdered-rabbi-miki-mark/2016/07/27/

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