A map plotting American air bases identified as potential targets by Islamic State members in a Telegram group hacked by an Israeli cyber-intelligence company. (Credit: Channel 10)
By Reut Cohen
B'nai Brith Canada
Intsights, an Israeli cybersecurity start-up, claims it has managed to hack the communications of ISIS and has uncovered a list of the terror group’s next targets.
The company, which is based out of Herzliya and run by former IDF intelligence officers, says it has gained access to a Telegram group used by ISIS. Telegram, a messaging application, is known for its sophisticated security and encryption, which reduces the risk of interception. Telegram messages are relayed over the dark web, a part of the Internet that requires specific software to access and is not indexed by search engines.
Alon Arvatz, cofounder of Intsights, told Israel’s Channel 10 news that joining the Telegram group also requires being referred by a user who is already a member. Arvatz did not specify how his firm had gained access. He is sure that the group will be shut down after being publicized on Israeli television.
Channel 10 reports that the group is composed of 500 leading ISIS activists. Members have uploaded maps plotted with potential terror targets, which contain numerous American air force bases. Certain American bases in Bahrain and Kuwait which are being used by the coalition to fight ISIS were marked as high priority.
Other targets listed included Israeli air force bases, as well as those of the United Kingdom and other western European countries.
One of the targets listed was the French church where Father Jacques Hamel was killed by Islamic terrorists on July 26. At the time, French media reported that the attackers yelled “Daesh” upon entering the church, a pejorative Arabic term for ISIS. Arvatz says that the call to execute the attacks in Normandy was issued via the Telegram group several months ago.
A screenshot apparently showing Islamic State’s Telegram internet group (Credit: Channel 10)