The use of the popular encrypted messaging app is widespread among the militants of the terrorist organization, The use of Telegram has eclipsed the use of other social media platforms, including Twitter.
Social media continue to ban the content posted by members of the ISIS in the attempt to block their propaganda online.
Twitter continues to close hundreds of thousands of accounts for violating the company’s policies on violent extremism. In August Twitter published a blog post that revealed it has shut down 360,000 terrorist-related accounts since last year.
“Earlier this year, we announced we had suspended more than 125,000 accounts since mid-2015 for violating our longtime prohibition on violent threats and the promotion of terrorism and shared the steps we are taking as a company to combat this content.” states the post. “While our work is not done, today we are announcing that we have suspended an additional 235,000 accounts for violating our policies related to promotion of terrorism in the six months since our February 2016 post.”
In the weeks before the tragic the tragic Berlin attack, intelligence analysts observed many IS known Telegram channels sharing messages, calling for volunteers for a holiday killing spree.
“Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Years Day is very soon,” states one of the messages cited by the Washington Post. “So let’s prepare a gift for the filthy pigs/apes.”
The reason for the widespread use of Telegram is related to the lack repressive measures of the company against ISIS activities through its application.
“[Telegram is] the app of choice for many Isis, pro-Isis and other jihadi and terrorist elements.” states a report published by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
A previous report published by the MEMRI JTTM, titled “Jihadis Shift To Using Secure Communication App Telegram’s Channels Service” published October 29, 2015, noted that numerous jihadis and jihadi organizations had opened their own channels on Telegram.
ISIS and Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) opened several channels to allow secure communications among its members.
Nasher is the most popular multi-language set of channels of ISIS-related news on Telegram.
“Based on the rate at which new jihadi channels are emerging, and on the large number of members they are attracting, these channels can be expected to become a fertile and secure arena for jihad-related activities.” This has indeed come to pass.” states the report.
According to the researchers, Telegram has surpassed Twitter as the most important platform of communication.
“It has surpassed Twitter as the most important platform,” said Steven Stalinsky, lead author of the report. “All the big groups are on it. We see Isis talking about the benefits of Telegram and encouraging its followers to use it.”
Telegram is easy to use and offers a number of different options for regular and encrypted communications.
“The West has been generally two steps behind the jihadis when it comes to cyber,” expalined said Steven Stalinsky, lead author at the MEMRI. “Many people in government are still focused on Twitter, and they need to be. But what we tell them is, ‘That’s no longer the main story.’ “
Once again the IS demonstrates the ability of its members in chenging tactics and means to make harder the monitoring of their activities, but at the same time maximizing the benefics in using technology.
(Security Affairs – Telegram, ISIS)