The Jihadi Websites Monitoring Group at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism presents periodical insights on the latest significant issues discussed in Jihadi forums. The review covers a broad range of fields and presents trends in the dialogue between Jihadi activists and supporters. It examines new Jihadi publications as well as traditional news sources, and includes: leaders' statements, Jihadi magazines, interesting correspondence which stimulated dialogue, specific threats and clues regarding attacks, predicted future activity and more.
The Telegram application has been commonly used by global jihadist elements since the end of 2015 due to its encryption and secure use, and in light of the increased closure of jihadist accounts on Twitter and Facebook. Telegram serves as a central platform for imparting and disseminating the ideology of terrorist organizations, managing propaganda and psychological warfare, creating an online arena for the sharing of information and the exchange of ideas on various topics, such as religious legal, public and cyber issues, and more. The “Bot Mujahideen” Telegram Channel, which is closely associated with Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly Al-Nusra Front), stands out in this context in light of its role as a centralized online interface that provides information on a wide range of topics for jihad fighters in Syria.
The shooting attack carried out by the Islamic State (IS) at a nightclub in Istanbul on New Year’s Eve is another example of the organization's efforts to undermine Turkey’. In the first three months of 2016 alone, Turkish security agencies foiled 80 attempted terrorist attacks by IS fighters and arrested over 3,506 suspects, including 1,531 people of foreign nationalities. The rise in the number of Turkish Air Force strikes, and the invasion of Turkish troops into northern Syria in order to purge the area of an IS presence, has sparked vigorous dialogue among IS fighters and strengthened their motivation to carry out additional attacks inside Turkey.
One of the difficult challenges facing the West is the phenomenon of “lone wolf” terrorist attacks; a phenomenon encouraged by Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, among others, due to the ease with which they can be carried out, the great psychological deterrence effect that they generate, and the strengthened image that they provide to the terrorist organization in whose name they act. Al-Qaeda has encourage individual terrorist attacks by Muslims in the West for several years. For example, Al-Qaeda published a pocket guide titled, “Lone Mujahid Pocketbook” in 2013, which contained a series of tips and recommendations on how to carry out attacks. The Islamic State gave the phenomenon significant impetus thanks to its use of social networks.
The Taliban Afghanistan, also known by its full name “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”, is a Sunni Islamic jihadist organization that began to operate in Afghanistan in 1994 after the fall of the Soviet regime in country. The founder and leader of the organization, Mullah Omar, ruled the organization until 2013 when he died of an illness at a hospital in Pakistan. The organization’s leadership managed to keep his death a secret for two years and an announcement of his death was only published in the media at the end of July 2015.