Significance of Early Warning

Category: Education

Presentation Description

Exploiting Social Media for Counter Terrorism Purposes


Presentation Transcript

Exploiting Social Media for Counter Terrorism (CT) Purposes:

Exploiting Social Media for Counter Terrorism (CT) Purposes What the combination of symbols, images and gestures may tell us about Jihadist affiliations. ©


Source: The Daily Mail , March 17, 2015 Convicted Terrorist, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev , resting comfortably under his Black Flag of Islam in his home.


Alleged Oklahoma City Terrorist Beheader , center, Alton Nolen’s (AKA, “ Jah’Keem Yisrael ”) Facebook postings before allegedly murdering one person and attempting to murder another. At left, with his Muslim brethren. At right, ISIL/ISIS Commander al Shishani and fellow Islamic warriors. Source: “Independent Journal,” September, 2014


Q: What is the significance of the raised index finger?


A: Tawheed (or, oneness). Known as the "Finger of Tawheed " to represent the oneness of God, this hand symbol is common among Salafis and jihadis both in photographic poses and on social media. Image source: Zelinsky , Nathaniel. "ISIS Sends a Message." Foreign Affairs, September 3 (2014). “ISIS fighters in Syria, July 2014.”


Where have you seen this gesture before?


Source: AFP/Getty Images Yes, you have.


Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of ISIS announcing the terrorist group’s conquest in Mosul, Iraq, and explaining the doctrine of Islamic law to which all must adhere. In his speech, he stated: “Allah commanded us to fight His enemies and to wage Jihad for His sake, in order to achieve this purpose and to establish His religion.” And… “If you want what Allah has promised, wage Jihad for His sake, incite the believers, and persevere through these hardships. If only you knew what reward, honor, elevation, and glory there is in Jihad – in this world and in the Hereafter – none of you would be remiss in setting out to wage Jihad.” Speech source: “ISIS Leader al-Baghdadi Calls on Muslims to Wage Jihad, Says: Becoming a Caliph Is a Heavy Responsibility.” MEMRI, Clip #4335, July 4, 2014. Image source: “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi profile: The mysterious leader of Isis – and why he is called the 'invisible sheikh,‘” Independent , November 9, 2014.


Just your average car stop? Perhaps not.


Seen in the West at a protest in Paris. Significance: Al- Qassam Brigades (HAMAS). HAMAS: Since 1997, the U.S. State Department has listed HAMAS as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).


One may be inclined to observe that the mere presence of a flag, or a gesture as simple as a raised index finger, hardly qualify as evidence of terrorist activity. This is true. However, the same may be said about gang colors and hand signals. Separately, they are merely bits of information. Together, they may be considered clues, which form a broader threat picture. In short, we typically refer to this as “intelligence.” In this case, you may have stumbled upon intelligence concerning jihadist affiliation. For more information on this topic, as well as related security, terrorism and threat intelligence, call us at 845-239-1595, or Visit us online at

authorStream Live Help