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Will not cow down by threats from Islamic State: Asaduddin Owaisi

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Hyderabad: MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi on Thursday said that he will not be cowed down by threats from Islamic State, and continue to speak out against it as it has nothing to do with Islam.

A day after somebody tweeted on his wall, asking him to shut his mouth and leave democracy, the Hyderabad MP, who moves around without any security, said he would not seek protection in the wake of threats.

I receive such threats everyday. I will live as long as Allah wills,

Stating that IS’ ideology is devilish and based on hatred, Owaisi said there was need to finish this ideology.

They don’t know mercy. They don’t know the meaning of mercy. They massacred 1.5 lakh Muslims, including scholars,” he said, pointing out that all Islamic scholars in India and abroad have condemned IS actions and urged people to be cautious.

He said his Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) had taken a political stand that it is against all anti-national forces.

Nobody can cast an evil eye on India. All Indians irrespective of their religion will unitedly counter any such threat. We have political differences and we will continue to have it, but when it comes to the integrity of our beloved country, we are one,

An alleged IS sympathizer had tweeted Wednesday “It’s better for you to shut your mouth on Islamic State if you don’t know the truth, Islamic State will invade India soon.”

To this Owaisi replied “Sir, you are a bloody Takfiri, if you want to debate on evil ISIS I am ready you will not be able to counter my theological Points.”

You can dream so keep dreaming Takfiri read book on ISIS will bring you out of Darkness of ISIS Allah give Taufeeq,

Takfiri is the word used for those Muslims who accuse other Muslims of apostasy. Owaisi said he replied as he would not have kept quiet on the rubbish of invading India.

The IS sympathizer, then tweeted asking Owaisi to leave democracy. “Your Disgrace for Muslims of India. Opposing Islamic state will lead you to hell only repent before end.

Owaisi told reporters that this itself shows that IS thinking is devilish. “The power of sending somebody to hell or heaven rests solely with Allah. It’s not in the hands of any human being,” he added.

Asked why he did not lodge a complaint with police, the MP said when the government is monitoring everything, it was for the government to trace the person who tweeted and take action.

On Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy’s statement that the work on the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya would start before this year-end, the MIM chief said it was contempt of court as the matter was subjudice.

Swamy had also stated on Wednesday that he hoped the Supreme Court would deliver the judgment in Ayodhya case by August-September.

How does he know when the court is going to give the verdict,” the MP asked and alleged that Swamy is casting aspersions on the Supreme Court.

On the pillars and stones being brought into Ayodhya by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, he demanded that the Uttar Pradesh government should take immediate action and seize the material.

Pointing out that the status quo has to be maintained as per the orders of the Supreme Court, Owaisi said, though preparations were being made for an offense, the state government was doing nothing, and alleged that the ruling Samajwadi Party is hand-in-glove with the BJP. (Inputs from IANS)(Photo: Deccan Chronicle)

 

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English-speaking ISIS Supporters Exploit Messaging App

English-speaking Islamic State supporters are refusing to give up

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English, ISIS, Supporters, Messaging
The Telegram logo is seen on a screen of a smartphone in this illustration, April 13, 2018. VOA

English-speaking Islamic State supporters are refusing to give up on the terror group’s ability to remain a force in Syria and Iraq, according to a new study that examined their behavior on the Telegram instant messaging service.

The report, “Encrypted Extremism: Inside the English-Speaking Islamic State Ecosystem on Telegram,” released Thursday by George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, looked at 636 pro-Islamic State channels and groups in the 16 months from June 2017 through October 2018.

It found that even as the terror group was losing ground in Syria and Iraq to U.S.-backed forces, and even as IS leadership was encouraging followers to start looking to progress in IS provinces elsewhere, English-speaking supporters turned to Telegram to reinforce their faith in the caliphate.

“These are supporters that like to fight uphill battles,” report co-author Bennet Clifford told VOA. “What supporters are trying to do when they’re engaging with this conversation is attempt to shift the narrative away from loss and provide justifications for it.”

English, ISIS, Supporters, Messaging
FILE – An Islamic State flag is seen in this photo illustration. VOA

At the same time, these English-speaking supporters sought to amplify their beliefs, supplementing official IS propaganda with user-generated content while also increasing the distribution of instructional material on how to carry out attacks.

“I think it’s part of an attempt in some cases to spin the narrative their way,” Clifford added.

Attraction of Telegram

IS supporters first started flocking to Telegram, an instant messaging service that promises speed and encryption for private communications, in 2015 as social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook began a crackdown aimed at Islamic State’s often violent and gory propaganda.

Since then, IS has been hooked by Telegram’s promise that it will not disclose user data to government officials and by the service’s ability to let supporters organize and share large files, including video.

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“No other platforms appear to have developed the same balance of features, user-friendliness, and basic security that could warrant a new switch,” the report said.

That ease of use has long worried counterterrorism officials, who have watched as IS has used the online ecosystem to help plan and carry out the November 2015 attacks in Paris, attacks on a Christmas market in Berlin in December 2016 and the attack on the Reina nightclub in Istanbul just weeks later.

English-speaking facilitators

In those cases, the attackers appear to have been given instructions from IS officials in Syria and Iraq. But Telegram has given rise to several key English-speaking facilitators who have been operating on the periphery.

English, ISIS, Supporters, Messaging
FILE – Karen Aizha Hamidon, who allegedly worked to encourage several Indian militants last year to join the Islamic State group in the Middle East, is surrounded by reporters after attending a hearing at the Department of Justice in Manila, Philippines, Nov. 3, 2017. VOA

One of them, according to Clifford and co-author Helen Powell, was 36-year-old Karen Aizha Hamidon, who helped mobilize sympathizers from the United States to Singapore to join the terror group or its affiliates.

Hamidon, who was arrested by Philippine authorities in October 2017, has also been linked to efforts to establish an IS province in India.

Another key player, 34-year-old Ashraf al-Safoo, took a different approach before being arrested last October by the FBI in Chicago.

According to the U.S. Justice Department, al-Safoo was a key member of the Khattab Media Foundation, which used hacked social media accounts on platforms like Twitter to disseminate IS propaganda.

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“Much of the propaganda created and distributed by Khattab promotes violent jihad on behalf of ISIS and ISIS’s media office,” the Justice Department said in a statement using a different acronym for the militant group.

While both Hamidon and al-Safoo are now in custody, showing the ability of law enforcement to penetrate their Telegram operations, others are likely to replace them because of the ongoing need of Islamic State’s English-speaking supporters to communicate and find larger audiences.

“While there are a number of disadvantages for Islamic State supporters in the use of Telegram from a security perspective they’ll continue to do it because their balance of outreach and operational security,” Clifford said. “There’s not another alternative at this point in time.” (VOA)