How to Fight ISIS Online

We may control the Air, but the enemy controls the airwaves (Media).

How a team of social media experts is able to keep track of the UK jihadis

A team of analysts at King’s College in London is building an exhaustive database of western Islamic State fighters – through Twitter and Facebook

A Facebook posting by Collin Gordon, one of the 700 or so western fighters for Isis in the database 

A Facebook posting by Collin Gordon, one of the 700 or so western fighters for Isis in the database at King’s College London. He is thought to have died last month with his brother, Gregory, during fighting in Dabiq.

Another Briton had died in Syria, and back in London investigators were busy “scraping” through his online peer network for clues about fellow Islamic State (Isis) foot soldiers.

It was little surprise that Rhonan Malik knew two Canadian brothers, Gregory and Collin Gordon. After all, Twitter rumours suggested that all three had been killed in the same December air strike. More intriguing was the prodigious Facebookpresence of Collin Gordon which indicated that, shortly before becoming a jihadist, he had been “quite the party boy”.

On a labyrinthine upper floor of King’s College London is the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR), the first global initiative of its type, whose offices are frequently contacted by counter-terrorism officers, hungry for information on the continuing flow of Britons to the ranks of Isis.

At 4.30pm on Thursday the centre’s researchers were assiduously examining social media “accounts of value”, noting the ongoing ripples of jubilation following the Charlie Hebdo and Paris attacks. A pseudonymous jihadist from Manchester, Abu QaQa, had said that the shootings had persuaded Isis and al-Qaida supporters to bury their differences.

“He’s saying we should be happy that jihad was made against the crusaders. It doesn’t matter that AQ and IS have been fighting each other – if it brings attacks against the west he’ll support it,” said Joseph Carter, research fellow at the ICSR.

So far the centre’s database has amassed profiles of about 700 western foreign fighters who have joined either Isis or groups such as al-Qaida’s Syrian offshoot, the al-Nusra Front. Each individual is categorised according to 72 data points, such as their birthplace or previous employment. At one point the database held the particulars of up to 90 Britons, a figure that has dwindled to around 50, largely as a consequence of coalition air strikes against Isis positions – Malik is believed to be at least the 35th Briton killed in Syria during 2014 – while a handful have simply vanished without trace from social media.

In addition, the centre is compiling a new database tracking 70 western women – almost half of them British – who have settled inside Isis territory and whose social media postings offer a take on daily life inside the Syrian city of Raqqa, the caliphate’s self-proclaimed capital.

These dispatches reveal how dozens of women are mourning husbands lost in battle, most in the continuing attritional campaign to seize the Syrian border town of Kobane. Crucially they also expose the inaugural faultlines of dissent that western intelligence experts know must be exploited if the Isis caliphate is to be dismantled.

Melanie Smith, another ISCR research fellow, said: “There’s been some grumblings recently. Some of the British women have been complaining because it’s the depths of winter and there’s no electricity. The water’s been so cold they can’t do their washing and their kids are getting sick.”

Shiraz Maher, senior fellow at the centre – who probably has a rounder picture than most people of the average Isis recruit, having orchestrated conversationswith 50 foreign fighters in Syria, primarily using Facebook and Twitter – said: “From an intelligence perspective, social media allows us to gauge their mood and gives opportunities to perhaps create or exploit dissent. Before social media you would have needed to have recruited spies.”

On Thursday, it emerged that David Cameron would prefer to eschew recruiting more agents in favour of pressurising President Barack Obama to force internet firms such as Twitter and Facebook to cooperate more with Britain’s intelligence agencies and help Britain’s GCHQ eavesdropping centre.

The shootings in Paris also prompted Cameron to propose giving UK intelligence services the power to break the encrypted communications of suspected terrorists, as well as indicating that the “snooper’s charter” – nickname for the draft communications data bill proposed by the home secretary, Theresa May, which would require internet service providers and mobile-phone companies to maintain records of users’ browsing activity and emails, as well as phone calls and text messages – should be reintroduced.
Read the rest of the Article here at original post at Raqqa Media Page

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About opmopupisis

I find and watch ISIS web sites and memebrs on social media. We then report these to servers/hosts and to #OpISIS #CtrlSec #OpIceIsis

One comment on “How a team of social media experts is able to keep track of the UK jihadis

  1. Ian Bach
    March 27, 2015

    Reblogged this on Ian Bach.

    Like

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This entry was posted on March 27, 2015 by in Iraq, ISIS, Syria and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .
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