Adding teeth to its growing internet and social media presence, the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group has reportedly launched an app that features news and videos showing executions and battlefield victories and propagates its agenda, the media reported on Saturday.
Discovered by the hacking collective Ghost security group, the app called “Amaq News” is designed to “streamline access” to the terrorist group’s “propaganda”.
According to a Fortune report, the Android-based app is essentially a news portal run by the Amaq News Agency — a group believed to be tied to IS.
When users start the app, it displays a scrolling news feed and icons to play videos. It also has options for users to have the feed automatically check for new posts.
“It can even be automatically updated whenever the app’s developers send out new versions of the programme,” the report added.
The app, however, may not work in regions outside the IS control.
According to Ghost security group, the app is not available as a download in a marketplace like Google Play store.
Instead, a link to the download is shared between IS members through Telegram app and other encrypted communication methods.
Telegram is an app that can be set up on almost any device and allows messages to be sent to users with utmost privacy.
Users can then download “Amaq News” in an Android device, the report said.
IS has also created its own social network for jihadists called “Kilafahbook” to get around social media bans by Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
For IS, social media is prominent in formulating recruitment strategies.
According to theconversation.com, Facebook is a key platform to gather young fans, supporters and recruits to incite them to acts of violence by the means of propaganda and the use of Islamic grievance.
When it comes to real-time orchestrating of terror strikes, IS network works with encrypted messaging applications — including Kik, Surespot, Wickr and Telegram — that are very difficult to hack.
Ghost security group is a hacking collective similar to Anonymous that focuses solely upon counter-terrorism.
It claims to have “terminated over 100,000 extremist social media accounts” used by militant groups to recruit members.
Earlier, Hacker group Anonymous declared December 11 as “International IS Trolling Day” to poke fun at IS militants, using memes and cartoons.
Members of the hacking group also posted images on social media mocking the IS.