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Encryption software intended to give jihadists edge over Western intelligence released

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 5th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Mobile encryption software intended to give jihadists and other terrorists an advantage over Western intelligence agencies has been recently made available. The Islamist group, the Global Islamic Media Front, which also produces propaganda for terrorist groups like al Qaeda, Pakistan's Taliban and Somalia's al-Shabaab are the masterminds behind the new software.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The organization says it had released its "Mobile Encryption Program"  for messages and files on mobile phones running the Android and Symbian operating systems. The software can reportedly encrypt text messages and files and then send them via mobile email, even between cell phones with different operating systems.Users can also securely check email and prevents users from receiving non-encrypted messages, the group claims.

Flashpoint Partners , a consulting group focused on intelligence and cyber threats, was the first to discover the new security threat.

The front has long offered jihadists a general encryption program and earlier this year released a texting version called "Asrar al-Dardashah," or "Secrets of the Chat."

The front claims on their Web site that the new software for direct encryption of material sent to and received from mobile phones "will be a blessing, relief and a secure weapon for our brothers for continuous communication far from the eyes and monitoring of the enemies."

However - it must be noted that the front's previous software releases and effectiveness is not yet known. Some are calling it simply a rebranding of popular encryption software, and others saying it could be more effective if done well.

"There is no doubt that GIMF produces the premiere proprietary encryption software for jihadists -- in the realm of both Internet messaging and now telephony," Flashpoint senior partner Evan Kohlmann, an NBC News terrorism analyst, said in an email.

"There is also no doubt that Al-Qaida has placed its reliance on this technology. AQAP in Yemen, for instance, has encouraged would-be recruits living in western countries to send them ideas for proposed terrorist plots encrypted with GIMF-produced software. We don't really know how effective the encryption is or isn't, because nobody at an official level has publicly disclosed that. However, based on our research, it is likely that U.S. intelligence agencies do have the capability to break that encryption when needed."

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