ISIS Has 24-Hour 'Jihadi Help Desk'

Tech support has been stepped up this year, analysts warn
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2015 1:28 AM CST
ISIS Has 24-Hour 'Jihadi Help Desk'
ISIS has stepped up its online support for jihadists over the last year, analysts say.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

ISIS followers around the world have the level of IT support that could be expected from any other large organization, analysts warn. The group has established a "Jihadi Help Desk" that's staffed by half-a-dozen senior militants and is active 24 hours a day, US counterterrorism analysts tell NBC News. The tech support helps terrorists coordinate with ISIS headquarters in Syria to plan attacks like the Friday night atrocities in Paris without being detected by law enforcement, according to the federal National Counterterrorism Center, which has obtained hundreds of pages of tutorials used to train ISIS activists of all levels of expertise. Analysts say "help desk" operations have been stepped up since the beginning of this year.

"They answer questions from the technically mundane to the technically savvy to elevate the entire jihadi community to engage in global terror," a counterterrorism analyst tells NBC. "Clearly this enables them to communicate and engage in operations beyond what used to happen, and in a much more expeditious manner." Authorities still aren't sure how ISIS members managed to coordinate the Paris attacks without detection, though encrypted instant-messaging service WhatsApp is believed to have played a role, Tech Insider reports. (Anonymous has vowed to launch the "biggest operation ever" against ISIS.)

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