ISIS is taking its high-tech recruitment to new heights by offering a 24-hour “Jihadi Help Desk,” according to NBC News.
The help desk is operated by around 6 senior members of ISIS, and is designed to help recruits (and others) understand how to use things like encryption and private messaging platforms.
“They answer questions from the technically mundane to the technically savvy to elevate the entire jihadi community to engage in global terror,” Aaron Brantly, a counterterrorism analyst at the Combating Terrorism Center, told NBC News.
“Clearly this enables them to communicate and engage in operations beyond what used to happen, and in a much more expeditious manner. They are now operating at the speed of cyberspace rather than the speed of person-to-person communications.”
Brantly says the five or six help desk operatives have at least college or masters level training in information technology. And they have other helpers all over the world assisting them in various capacities.
“You can kind of get a sense of where they are by when they say they are signing off to participate in the [Muslim] call to prayer,” which traditionally occurs at five specific times a day, Brantly said.
“They are very decentralized. They are operating in virtually every region of the world.”
Bringing new recruits and less tech-savvy members up to speed on the latest privacy technologies is a way for ISIS to minimise the risk that a given plot will be discovered, or a network compromised.
In response to Anonymous’ pledge to wage war on them, ISIS has been telling its followers to use Telegram, a popular messaging app that can send self-destructing messages, to communicate.
But one other unlikely source of privacy for ISIS is the Playstation 4.
“The most difficult communication between these terrorists is via PlayStation 4,” according to Belgium’s home affairs minister Jan Jambon.
“It’s very, very difficult…to decrypt the communication that are done via PlayStation 4.”
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