Can World Block Islamic State’s Cyber Terrorism?



By Pramod Raj Sedhain.


Can the world block ISIS online terrorism?
Terrorism phenomenon has rapidly changed after the rise of Islamic State (IS) group from the Middle East. Later, it expanded its notable operational presence in Africa and then to Asia. The IS online propaganda and its growing presence has come out as a threat to the world. Digital counterterrorism effort has remained ineffective while the IS has still been exercising online propaganda march. IS ground operation or high-profile victories can be seen or read, however, what is to be seriously noted is the threat coming from IS-operated invisible virtual cyber world.

Every day, each hour, IS has been releasing propaganda tools to attract more recruitment from amongst the youths in highly organized and sophisticated form. Be it in terms of quality or quantity, they have the capacity to make their online go viral within minutes as well as the ability to spread every corner of its recruitment target. What is to be noted is that such a strategy was never exercised by any other notorious groups previously. IS systemic digital campaign created digital jihadism in a new form to spread their criminal ideology. Western nations response and engagement of this group has yet not worked properly.

Here at this point, I am going to show a perfect example why there is a need to counter the risk of the alarmingly growing ISIS capability on cyber terrorism. How every country needs to be aware of possible IS presence either physically or digitally.  the Islamic State Arabic recruitment sites, which is viewed in Egypt (33.1%), Saudi Arabia (10.6%), Jordan (9.3%) Kuwait (9.1%) & Morocco (5%) etc. This well protected single website has engaged some 3000 radical youths to communicate for IS recruitment.

Islamic Sate (IS) chose Central American stable & touristic country Costa Rica for the digital bastion. IS digital operative use a house in the heart of the capital city San Jose, Parque Central –Nacional De Nihos Hospital. Costa Rica has no standing army & has a good welfare society. It has almost no counterterrorism radar located there. The authorities even do not suspect that such a premier area can be used by the IS to operate such an activity. Fully hidden and well protected website has been functioning in such an unreliable way by using all technique, tools as well as applying almost all computer and human skill.

This is just a single example of over 100 websites that are permanently destroyed & over 300 cyber attacks by GhostSec ongoing operation against the Islamic State. The group terminated more than 45,000 social media accounts, which uses recruiters & fund-raisers tools. Several IS digital infrastructure have covered different professional, religious, educational as well as cultural identity.

Dubbed as powerful and organized, Cyber warfare group GhostSec monitors Pro-IS social media & websites round the clock. The commander & founder Known as DIGITΛSHΛDØW told me, “We will continue attacks against IS sites until its every bit of information or propaganda is eliminated from the internet. We have a long term strategy of cyber war against the group. Notwithstanding the time, our fully dedicated multinational and multi linguistic team are fully equipped & capable to counter the group. We are working 16 hours a day & 7 days a week for the world’s safety.”
Anonymous, naturally known as loosely organized hackers’ entities but later declared complex cyber war against the Islamic State is campaigning move similar to a military command structure. The campaign structure is tracking, monitoring, assessing, analyzing & carrying out attack system with different diversified & decentralized command structures.

Twitter has suspended thousands of IS accounts & security agencies have blocked number of terrorism-related online. But the possibilities of coming out with different accounts cannot be ruled out. IS uses different locations for a single mission for their operation. Such a scenario shows that the digital war against this terror group needs to be more organized and coordinated.

Countering IS propaganda & solid response cannot be achieved without a systematic global digital strategy. All countries need to move ahead with a priority of digital frontier & beef up cyber surveillance. Current digital response against the jihadist group cannot be enough. It needs more aggressive approach to eliminate or check future threat.



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