Israelis Crack Secret Message App Used by Islamic State Terrorists

Patrick Lux/Getty
Patrick Lux/Getty

The London Times reports: An Israeli cyber-intelligence company claims to have penetrated a private messaging forum used by Islamic State to plan and inspire attacks against “extremely specific” western targets, including American military bases in the Middle East.

Intsights, which is run by former intelligence officers from the Israel defence forces, said that it had discovered the list on an encrypted channel on Telegram, a popular messaging app, used by more than 500 members of the jihadist group across the globe.

The list was said to include the locations of numerous US air force bases, with particular attention to those in the Gulf states of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait.

Several of the plots discussed on the channel this year eventually came to fruition, such as the attack on a church in Normandy last week, where two young men slit the throat of a priest.

Telegram has become a communication channel for Isis supporters because it uses end-to-end encryption, making it hard for the authorities to intercept messages easily. For the same reason, it is also used by human rights activists in repressive regimes such as Iran and Saudi Arabia. “Telegram is completely encrypted and there’s no fear that someone will intercept the messages and understand what you wrote,” Alon Arvatz, the service’s co-founder, told Israel’s Channel 10.

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