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memri
September 7, 2018 No.
655

Help MEMRI Expand Research To Fight Terrorism

Fighting the war on terrorism in 2018 is very different than it was 20 years ago, when MEMRI was launched. "Lone wolf" attacks, homegrown terrorism, and terrorists' use of encryption technology have changed the landscape drastically. In several cases, MEMRI research has led to the thwarting of imminent terrorist attacks, leading to criminal prosecution of accused terrorists in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Belgium, and France.

Every day, for the past two decades, MEMRI has worked tirelessly in partnership with authorities – counterterrorism officials, and government agencies including the TSA, law enforcement, militaries, and others – to prevent attacks. As established terrorist organizations – ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, and more – and emerging terrorist groups have expanded their online presence and use of social media, MEMRI's need to expand its research and translations has also grown.

Seventeen years after 9/11, MEMRI now has the largest archives of publicly available jihadi content in the world, including extensive historic translations of jihadi speeches and threats, and thousands of other documents cataloging jihadi ideology, planning, capabilities, and hostility toward the West. Donations to MEMRI go directly toward sustaining and expanding this research, which U.S. and Western governments, militaries, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies rely upon every day. MEMRI routinely shares the information it uncovers about jihadis across the U.S. with authorities in all 50 U.S. states, and with all branches of the U.S. military.

MEMRI'S LEADING ROLE IN TERRORISM RESEARCH BEGAN LONG BEFORE 9/11

MEMRI was translating Osama bin Laden's statements and speeches years before 9/11 – highlighting the growing threat and, even more importantly, meeting a need that the U.S. government, with its dire shortage of translators that continues to this day, could not. MEMRI was tracking terrorists' use of the Internet and online presence long before any other research organization was doing so. It was the first to raise awareness about ISIS's widespread activity on the encrypted messaging app Telegram; the first to focus on forums, websites, and social media and messaging accounts and apps belonging to Hizbullah, Hamas, and other designated terror organizations; and the first to raise the alarm about the need for CVE – Countering Violent Extremism online – long before that term was coined.

Although other groups and individuals, including for-profit entities, may imitate the work that MEMRI does, the quality of MEMRI translations and analyses remains unrivalled. In contrast with other website's partial translations, MEMRI's full translations provide the context that is vital to understanding them. MEMRI's recent translation and publication of the entire speech by elusive ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, for example, in which he threated the U.S., Canada, and Russia and called on ISIS supporters to carry out attacks using guns, bombs, knives, and cars, starkly contrasts with other organizations' translation and release of only selected excerpts of his statements.

The MEMRI Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM) Project researches jihadi ideology and Islamist organizations that threaten the West, and monitors groups that educate and preach jihad and martyrdom in mosques, schools, and the media. In the decade since its launch, the JTTM has scrutinized Islamist terrorism and violent extremism worldwide. The JTTM monitors imminent and potential strategic, tactical, ideological, military, and conventional and non-conventional threats posed by various terror and violent extremist organizations – such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda – to public safety and the national security of the U.S. and the West. JTTM translations and analyses are derived from open-source and password-protected intelligence gathered around the clock. While most JTTM research is made available to the general public, the most sensitive reports are shared only with certain U.S. government, law enforcement, and intelligence entities and their counterparts across the West.

The MEMRI Cyber & Jihad Lab (CJL) Project, launched in 2013, monitors, tracks, and translates jihadi and other types of hacking groups and activity, and studies other jihadis on social media and online, with a focus on their use of encryption technology. In the last year, CJL reported on a "kill list" with information identifying hundreds of Canadian, U.S., and Australian citizens that was posted to secure chat rooms by pro-ISIS hacking groups. MEMRI immediately provided this research to authorities. Experts from the CJL Project have visited the offices of Google, Twitter, and other technology companies to brief them on MEMRI research and explore steps that can be taken to disrupt hacking activity.

YOUR DONATIONS MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR MEMRI TO HELP THE U.S. AND WESTERN GOVERNMENTS FIGHT TERRORISM

MEMRI's work has a direct impact on the efforts of the U.S. and Western governments to defeat terrorism. Every day, MEMRI's highly trained staff carefully and precisely translates and analyzes open-source materials, including sermons, speeches, and more from print, broadcast, online, and social media. Every day, MEMRI receives and complies with requests from the U.S. government, military, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies, as well as Western governments, for its research. Every day, MEMRI makes its research available to media, academia, and the public at large, making possible a more complete understanding of, and a better response to, the challenges posed by the global jihadi movement – challenges ranging from fighting terrorism to promoting reform and human rights.

Your donations to MEMRI have a major impact on the struggle against terrorism and extremism.


MEMRI DEPENDS ON YOUR SUPPORT TO CONTINUE THIS WORK

MEMRI depends on its donors to maintain this effort. We need your support today. Please donate online or by mailing a check to MEMRI, P.O. Box 27837, Washington, DC 20038-7837.

With deepest gratitude,