A series of Twitter accounts that are mentioned in ISIS’ programmatic document titled ‘The Islamic State 2015’ and reported by WikiLao are being investigated by international security forces. The list appears at the end of the document before a postcard-page with photos of joyous militant and the caption ‘See you in the Caliphate.’
According to the document, the accounts are contacts for anyone thinking of traveling to the areas under the control of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s men in Syria and Iraq. Three accounts are linked to women.
The document states that “these people live in the Islamic State. They use Surespot and other private messaging apps.” It clearly advises to contact them through the Deep Web, using TOR, which guarantees anonymity, or via Chatsecure.
However, Twitter remains the key IT tool for ISIS propaganda and recruitment. The contact people who are ready to assist aspiring citizens of the self-proclaimed Islamic State are often banned from the social network, but the document – which, as confirmed by reliable sources, “was undoubtedly commissioned by ISIS leaders” – reassures the readers that there “will always be new Twitter accounts.”
Which doesn’t mean the authors of the document approve of the situation. Thus, after having threatened Twitter’s management in the past few months, ISIS is now sending a grim message through a drawing of a black militant-bird shooting the blue bird, Twitter’s logo: “trust me, don’t try too hard, Twitter, you will never win against us,” is the message.
February 3, 2015
There are a few hundreds of ‘blessed’ people in Africa: men, women and children that survived Ebola. Nobody quite yet knows how they defeated the virus, but now the minority that managed to get well are sought after because they are immune carriers of antibodies.
Special centers are being set up in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to safely draw the blood of Ebola survivors. Not only to study it: the transfusions seem to be producing outstanding, positive effects in the bodies of the sick.
For example, the magical plasma was administered to the American national Kent Brantly. The doctor working for the NGO Samaritan’s Purse was officially the first person to defeat the virus with experimental treatments, and has subsequently donated his blood to his colleague Rick Sacra, cameraman Ashoka Mukpo and nurse Nina Pham: they all survived. The Spanish national Teresa Romero was also declared healed after she received a blood transfusion.
A European consortium, led by the Belgian Institute of Tropical Medicine, formed a research group aimed at better understanding the effects and the dynamics of plasma injections. Research studies will begin shortly in Guinea. In the meantime, however, the news of people surviving the virus after having received blood from survivors started circulating in Africa. And some prowlers have sniffed out good business, in the midst of the complete desperation that abounds in the areas hit by the epidemic. WikiLao’s sources report of a plasma black market, with blood drawings and transfusions being carried out without any precautionary or basic safety measures. Ruthless middle-men have begun to pop up. Without appropriate medical tests, there is even a risk that diseases that are already endemic in Africa, such as AIDS, will spread further.
There are also reports that blood has been drawn from survivors repeatedly. The fact is that, according to the Red Cross, an individual can only donate plasma every 28 days, but there “appear to be less than 1000” survivors considered suitable for their blood to be drawn, “according to a purely statistical screening.”
The life-saving plasma is therefore extremely rare. Even if every survivor donated their plasma once a month, there would not be enough to save those infected with the virus. Those who can try to get a hold of it by different means. After the first cases in September, “the illegal trade” has become “a growing phenomenon.” It is believed that it will continue to grow, at least until a vaccine approved by the scientific community and medical authorities isn’t ready to be distributed.
October 29, 2014
Abdelaziz Bouteflika – in office since 1999, making him Algeria’s longest-serving leader – disappeared from the public eye right after he was sworn in as President for the fourth time. Reports arriving from France reveal that during the dramatic hours of the execution of Hervé Gourdel by the Jund al-Khalifa militiamen, linked to ISIS, Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal was in contact with Paris.
Bouteflika supposedly didn’t preside over any meetings on the Ghardaia crisis, when clashes between Arab tribes and Berber militias of the Mozabite minority broke out. Reportedly, the 77-year old President, who is said to be dangerously ill, isn’t dealing directly with the rising tensions on the border with Morocco.
In Algiers, rumor has it that the power vacuum is palpable, and an unusual diplomatic delay stands out: dozens of Ambassadors have been waiting to present their credentials for some time now.
To deal with the situation, Bouteflika’s clan is supposedly gathering behind the President’s brother, Said.
Various operations that were carried out in the past few weeks can be traced back to this maneuver: General Athman ‘Bashir’ Tartag, already second-in-command of the intelligence, and former Minister Mohamed Benmeradi have been appointed advisors to the President. WikiLao’s sources revealed that Benmeradi “has in-depth knowledge of the economic and patrimonial affairs of Bouteflika and his family.”
In the meantime, the opposition is left without a strong leadership, as was proven by the lack of interest regarding the severe accusations made by Ali Benflis. Benflis, Prime Minister from 2000 to 2003 and two-times Presidential candidate, reported that Bouteflika’s power system is based on frauds. Nobody seems to have listened to his claims.
(Photo: REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina)
October 19, 2014
A series of warnings have made clear that threats of attacks against American military targets around the world made by ISIS (or its supporters) are credible. The United States army, for example, has warned that its military personnel is a target. Even though there aren’t any “specific attack plans,” there are worries that the air raids against the islamist positions in Iraq and Syria may trigger retaliations. So much so that the families of soldiers have been advised to pay close attention even to people knocking on their doors. A US Army dispatch reads: “look through the peephole before you open the door” and “don’t let any strangers in.”
What set off the alarm was an audio message by an ISIS spokesperson, where so-called “lone wolves” (potential self-made terrorists) were explicitly asked to attack the United States, together with a series of tweets that also prompted an FBI alert. Among the countless documents published on social media, the Bureau paid close attention to a few that signal “at least an aspiration to pursue attacks” including cyber-attacks, which explains, according to what WikiLao has learned, why the warning was also sent to dozens of private companies.
The FBI points out that government and commercial websites in the United States have been repeatedly attacked by Middle Eastern hacktivists, especially through XSS (Cross Site Scripting), SQL (Structured Query Language) and TCP/UDP. The black ISIS flag was often posted on the hacked websites in lieu of the original content.
A few months ago the user @AnonArabOps expressed support for the islamist movement by publishing a sort of guide for aspiring hackers, calling for a cyberwar against the United States and Israel.
@AbuHussain102 often posted tweets that incited violence. He has been identified as Abu Hussain Al Britani, a hacker who had been given a six month sentence for having hacked into the email account of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Another user posted the instructions to attack American soldiers, by searching for their personal information on LinkedIn and Facebook: “You can literally go on a hunt for soldiers, find their photos, the cities they live in and their home addresses on the yellow pages to then show up at their homes and kill them.”
At the beginning of September, the user @Dawlamoon called for an offensive against Twitter’s employees “probably because of the company’s decision” to shut down various pro-ISIS accounts.
October 2, 2014
- SYRIA: EUROPE SAYS YES TO TENS OF THOUSANDS OF REFUGEES
- IRAN: SECRET, PARALLEL NEGOTIATIONS IN OMAN
- MIGRANTS, THE BIG EUROPEAN FEAR
- SYRIA/2: THE PERILOUS CHEMICAL DISARMAMENT
- SYRIA/1: A LETTER FROM ASSAD'S GENERAL
- IRANIAN NUCLEAR, THE NEW COURSE
- LIBYA, THE ISOLATION OF ZIDAN
- SYRIA, THE COST OF THE CHEMICAL DISARMAMENT
- IRAN, THE CONFIDENTIAL DOSSIER/3: THE CAROUSEL
- IRAN, THE CONFIDENTIAL DOSSIER/2: THE HUNT