ISIS terrorists are arming extremist ‘sleeper cells’ in Britain with the expertise to remain undetected, spread propaganda and brainwash new recruits, the Mirror Online can reveal.
We have gained access to a huge cache of documents which demonstrate the frightening level of ease with which the Islamic State’s undercover operatives can access highly technical expertise. The brutal regime has spent years building up an online terrorism library filled with an enormous range of material designed to help extremists based in the West.
But much of this material was updated in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations that caused an international sensation – because he revealed many of the spies’ secrets tactics. In post-Snowden Britain, police and security services admit they are struggling to keep up with the level of sophistication they are faced with – and that Britain is now embroiled in digital guerrilla warfare. These documents illustrate how ISIS supporters try to stay one step ahead of spies and police, Mirror Online has confirmed in consultation with security services.
A security source said: “Members of ISIS grew up in a different generation to Al Qaeda. They learned how to use the internet and smartphones whilst at school and are at that age where using tech is part of everyday, normal life.
“They change they way they communicate all the time, constantly using different apps or platforms. “This presents an evolving challenge to intelligence services in the UK and overseas.” Mirror Online was alerted to the existence of the document cache by a group of hackers splintered from the hacktivist group Anonymous, which calls itself Global Vigilance. Our source – who wished to remain unnamed – founded the group after enduring the ordeal of seeing former friends from a pro-Palestinian wing of Anonymous converted to extremism. “ISIS uses digital guerrilla warfare tactics online which cannot be fought in the normal manner,” he said.
“We can go where others can’t and bring back information and data which other people miss.
“Extremists are able to recruit with impunity using a variety of platforms. Our research brings home the level of sophistication employed by the extremists. “Knowledge is power. The more we have, the better we can fight them.” With the cache, we can reveal: With the cache, we can reveal: The Islamic State teaches extremists to wipe out their digital footprint and avoid detection by all security services.
This means they reveal how to disseminate footage of atrocities without being traced Warns extremists of the spy devices they should look out for, ranging from cameras hidden inside clocks to tiny bugs which can which be drilled into walls Potential recruits in the West use a Russian social network to contact high-level extremists in Syria and Iraq British ISIS recruits are taught how use the “dark web” to communicate with a global network of terrorists Supporters have call centre-style lists of prefabricated religious arguments to use during radicalisation attempts The Mirror has discussed some of the documents to one of the world’s leading experts in terrorism and digital radicalisation, Jamie Bartlett of the thinktank DEMOS.
He described them as ‘extremely useful’ to already radical undercover ISIS operatives as well as serving as an introduction for wannabe jihadis looking to join the extremists’ brutal war.
We also shared the training manuals with a police source at a specialist cyber crime division, which is currently working to smash the ISIS online recruitment ring. “These are very close to the bone – and they are all too easy to find if you know where to look,” he told us.
The Terrorism Act 2006 lists as offences under Section 1:
1 Encouragement of terrorism
2 Dissemination of terrorist publications So while the legislation exists giving security services the ammunition to prosecute, the reality is much more difficult, confirmed our police source. “It’s possible to shut these websites, but it is difficult to stop them (the documents) from popping up elsewhere,” he said. “There is no restriction on accessing them.”