Cloudflare, The U.S.-Based Leading Reverse-Proxy Service, Is Exploited By Every Major Jihadi Organization – Including ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Taliban – Posing A Global Security Risk

By: Steven Stalinsky and R. Sosnow*
December 21, 2018
By: Steven Stalinsky and R. Sosnow*

Table of Contents


  • Cloudflare – Potential National Security Risks

  • Cloudflare Accused Of Protecting Terrorist Websites; Its Consistent Response: "A Website Is Not A Bomb"

  • Cloudflare Responds: "A Website Is Speech – It Is Not A Bomb"; We "Turn To Actual State Department Or Actual Law Enforcement Experts. Whenever We Regularly Have Concerns Like This, We Call Actual

  • Anti-Terrorism Experts And Ask Them" What They Want Us To Do

  • Following Charlottesville, Cloudflare Stops Providing Services To Daily Stormer Website – But Won't Stop Protecting Terrorist Websites; "The Right Policy Is To Be A Content-Neutral Network"; "We Actually Asked ISIS Experts At The State Department Who Said, 'No Please Don't Take That Down'" "When One Branch Of Government Says 'No, No, Please Leave That On' And The Other Says, 'No, No, Please Take That Off,' What Am I Supposed To Do?"; These Agencies "Can Make These Decisions, As Opposed To These Decisions Being Made Based On What The Political Whims Of Me Or Mark Zuckerberg Or Jeff Bezos Are"

Hamas – A U.S. State Department Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization – And Its 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades Are Protecting Their Websites With Cloudflare

  • October 2017 – Hamas Accounts Uses Cloudflare To Protect Its Websites

Pakistan-Based Jaish-e Mohammad Protects Its Websites With Cloudflare

Taliban Protects Its English-Language Website With Cloudflare

  • December 2017: Taliban Uses Cloudflare To Protect Its English Language Website, As Group Announces New Jihadi Video Release

Al-Qaeda-Affiliated Jihadi Forum Al-Fidaa' Protects Itself With Cloudflare

Al-Qaeda Protects Its Websites With Cloudflare

  • November 2018: Al-Qaeda Media Wing Launches New Website, Protecting It With Cloudflare

  • February 2017: Fotooh Media Center, Hub For Al-Qaeda Content, Protects Its Website With Cloudflare

  • December 2018: Pro-Al-Qaeda Website Protected By Cloudflare

Official ISIS A'maq News Agency Protects Its Websites With Cloudflare

  • September 2017: Official ISIS A'maq News Agency Protects New Website With Cloudflare

  • May 2018: ISIS A'maq News Agency Protects Two New Websites With Cloudflare

Pro-ISIS News Agencies, Media Groups, And Radio Stations Protect Their Websites With Cloudflare

  • May 2018: The "Islamic Al-Sawarim News Agency" Protects Its Website With Cloudflare

  • May 2018: Pro-ISIS Akhbar Al-Muslimeen Website – Protected By Cloudflare

  • May 2018: The "Islamic Al-Sawarim News Agency" Website – Protected By Cloudflare

  • May 2018: Pro-ISIS Media Group Al-Muhajireen Foundation Announces New Website – Protected By Cloudflare

  • February 2018: ISIS-Affiliated Nasher News Announces Its New ISIS Internet Radio Domain – Which It Protects With Cloudflare

  • January 2018: ISIS Amaq News Agency Protects Another Of Its Websites With Cloudflare

  • November 2017: Bayan ISIS Online Radio Protects Its Website With Cloudflare

January 2019: Somali Shahada Website Protected By Cloudflare


The U.S.-based Cloudflare service, that acts as a reverse proxy for websites, states on its website that it is "Making the Internet Work the Way It Should for Anything Online."[1] Its CEO, Matthew Prince, explained that Cloudflare "makes sites faster, we help them stay online, we stop big cyber attacks launched against them, and... a huge portion of the internet, most of our big customers, are big Fortune 500 companies."[2] Its website says that it speeds up and protects millions of websites, APIs, SaaS services, and other properties connected to the Internet, dramatically improves website performance through its global content delivery network and web optimization features, and its web application firewall, protection against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), and Secure Sockets Layer protect website owners and their visitors from all types of online threats. It has over 35% of the market share of DNS services, and its network helps identify visitor and bot behavior that isn't accessible to conventional analytics technologies.

Cloudflare was co-founded in 2009 by Matthew Prince, Lee Holloway, and Michelle Zatlyn; Prince serves as its CEO. Based in San Francisco, Cloudflare has offices in Washington D.C, Austin TX, Champaign IL, London, and Singapore.[3]


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The Cyber & Jihad Lab monitors, tracks, translates, researches, and analyzes cyber jihad originating from the Middle East, Iran, South Asia, and North and West Africa. It innovates and experiments with possible solutions for stopping cyber jihad, advancing legislation and initiatives federally – including with Capitol Hill and attorneys-general – and on the state level, to draft and enforce measures that will serve as precedents for further action. It works with leaders in business, law enforcement, academia, and families of terror victims to craft and support efforts and solutions to combat cyber jihad, and recruits, and works with technology industry leaders to craft and support efforts and solutions.

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