December 28, 2018 Special Announcements No. 712

2018 Editor's Picks: MEMRI JTTM Inquiry & Analysis Reports

December 28, 2018
Special Announcements No. 712

The following are selected Inquiry and Analysis reports from the MEMRI Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). See the Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor here. To view these reports in full, you must be a paying member of the JTTM; for membership information, send an email to [email protected] with "Membership" in the subject line.

The Yasmine Atid Affair: Belgian Child's Custody At The Center Of Political And Ideological Conflicts Among Syrian Rebel Factions


On November 26, 2018, four-year-old Yasmine Atid and her mother Hajar Chaoui from Brussels, were reunited in Turkey, after a Shari'a court in the Idlib province of Syria ruled in favor of the mother, who had sued to regain custody of her daughter.

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Analysis Of Jihadi Encryption And Steganography Tool MuslimCrypt – Part I: Background And Functionality

By: M. Khayat

In early December 2017, pro-Islamic State (ISIS) Telegram users on a private Telegram group began chatting about a steganography and encryption tool that they said they had developed for the purpose of hiding secret messages inside images.

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Official ISIS Sources: We Are Temporarily Changing Tactics, Opting For Guerilla Warfare Such As Raids And Targeted Assassinations

By: M. Shemesh

In light of the defeats suffered by the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq over the past year, there has been a change in its military doctrine on the battlefield. In recent weeks, the organization has been using tactics characteristic of guerilla warfare and temporarily abandoning the doctrine of conquering and holding large areas.

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Examining The Role Of ISIS In Jammu & Kashmir

By: Tufail Ahmad

On June 22, 2018, Indian security forces killed four terrorists in an operation in the Srigufara area of Anantnag district in Jammu & Kashmir. S.P. Vaid, director-general of the Police of Jammu & Kashmir, tweeted that the "terrorists [were] reportedly affiliated to ISJK" – short for the Islamic State for Jammu & Kashmir.

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The Pro-ISIS Presence On Instagram

By: E. Landshoff and S. Benjamin

Instagram, one of the most popular social media platforms, has been used for several years by Islamic State (ISIS) supporters and operatives for sharing and disseminating content.  Recently, a group of ISIS prisoners in Indonesia even broadcast a live Instagram video feed from inside the prison during a deadly riot.

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Washington, DC – DMV (District of Columbia/Maryland/Virginia) As Jihadi Terrorist Targets

By: Steven Stalinsky

On April 11, 2018, on Capitol Hill, the chief of the U.S Capitol Police testified in a hearing that provided insight into terrorist threats to Washington, D.C. The locations and institutions threatened have included areas around Capitol Hill not far from the White House, as well as many important government agencies which over the past few years leading terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda and their followers have called for targeting.

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Resilience Of ISIS Media Operations Despite Setbacks: The French-Language Example

By: S. Benjamin

Between March 8 and March 11, 2018, the French-language media outlet of the Islamic State (ISIS) "An-Nur Media Center" published three posters calling on supporters to participate in the battle on the media front. Such calls have been made repeatedly by ISIS media bodies over the years, in particular by the French-language media office.

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ISIS Gaining Strength In Somalia

By: Dr. M. Terdiman

Against the backdrop of the losses taken by the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq, there have in recent months been indications that the organization's peripheral branches are growing stronger, for example, in Afghanistan, Somalia, and Libya.

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Jihadis Use U.S.-Based Encrypted Chat App Zello To Incite Violence, Promote Jihadi Ideology, And Interact With Fighters

By: Mansour Al-Hadj

Supporters of jihadi groups such as the Islamic State (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda, and of Syria-based jihadi factions including Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), Ahrar Al-Sham, Jabhat Tahrir Syria, and the Nour Al-Din Al-Zinki group are actively using U.S.-based walkie-talkie encrypted chat application Zello to incite violence, promote jihadi ideology, and interact with fighters Hundreds of active public and private jihadi channels can easily be found on Zello by searching for keywords and names frequently used by jihadis.

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The Islamic State's Struggle To Prevent Desertion And Win Back Those Who Have Left

By: R. Green

Faced with enormous pressure from the global coalition, and following its defeats on the battlefield, recently numerous Islamic State (ISIS) fighters who operated in Syria and Iraq have deserted. Some have returned to their families in Syria and Iraq. Others, from countries outside the Middle East, have either left for other countries in the region or returned home.

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