Rita Katz is the Executive Director and founder of the SITE Intelligence  Group, the world’s leading non-governmental counterterrorism organization specializing in tracking and analyzing online activity of the global extremist community. Ms. Katz has tracked and analyzed global terrorist and jihadi networks for over two decades, and is well-recognized as one of the most knowledgeable and reliable experts in the field. 

Ms. Katz has infiltrated terrorist fronts undercover, testified before Congress and in terrorism trials, and briefed officials at the White House and the Departments of Justice, Treasury, and Homeland Security. Her investigations and testimony have driven action by several governments against terror-linked organizations and individuals. She has provided counterterrorism training sessions to military leadership, intelligence analysts and law enforcement agents from numerous government agencies in the U.S. and abroad. She has led numerous workshops for non-governmental organizations and academic audiences. 

For her unique contributions to FBI counterterrorism investigations, Ms. Katz received special recognition from FBI Director Robert Mueller for her "outstanding assistance to the FBI in connection with its investigative efforts." 

Outlets to profile Ms. Katz have included the New Yorker, the New York Times, and 60 Minutes. Her commentary on the recruitment, financing, and operations of terrorist organizations regularly appears in leading media outlets such as The New York Times. Reuters, CNN, and The Huffington Post. She is also a regular contributor to The Washington Post, VICE News, The International Business Time, and other publications. 

Ms. Katz is the author of Terrorist Hunter: The Extraordinary Story of a Woman who Went Undercover to Infiltrate the Radical Islamic Groups Operating in America (Harper Collins, 2003). 

Born in Iraq and a graduate of Middle Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University, Ms. Katz is fluent in Arabic. 

Is ISIS’ Comment on the Manhattan Attack Out of the Ordinary? Not Really.

The Islamic State (IS/ISIS) has desired to attack New York City for years, and there is no doubt that ISIS-pledged Manhattan attacker Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov committed his devastating attack in response to the group’s incitements. 

But contrary to reporting by some prominent news outlets, the group didn’t actually take responsibility for Saipov’s attack, and its message regarding the attack was not atypical. ISIS' report about the Manhattan attack, actually, was well in line with those of other ISIS-inspired attacks.

The following article analyzes ISIS’ response to Saipov and his attack by the following variables: ISIS’ language and statement formatting for coordinated attacks vs. inspired attacks; timings in which ISIS releases statements on attacks; the outlets through which ISIS issues statements on attacks; and the group’s history of claiming or endorsing attackers while they are still alive.

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No, the Manhattan Attack is not the Result of ISIS Losing in Iraq and Syria

Americans are still trying to processes the horrid damage left behind by 29-year old Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, who killed eight and injured at least ten people on Monday. It’s a painfully familiar scenario: an Islamic State (ISIS)-inspired young man plowed a rented truck through a crowd of innocents—this time on a bike path in Manhattan.

Emerging from recent discussions on the tragedy, which ISIS has not as of yet claimed, is a new narrative: Saipov’s attack is the result of ISIS desperation as it rapidly loses ground in Iraq and Syria; in other words, ISIS is losing, so it instead hits us at home.

But is this the case?

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Who Killed U.S. Troops in Niger, and Why Haven't they Claimed Responsibility?

On October 4, 2017, four U.S. Special Forces service members were killed in an ambush near the western Niger village of Tongo Tongo in an attack that has since gone unclaimed by any terrorist entity.

U.S. military officials believe the attack came from the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) in the Greater Sahara. However, if ISIS did carry out the attack, why didn't it claim it—especially after its claims of responsibility for attacks like Las Vegas and dozens of others which contain no direct connection to it?

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Disarray in the Syrian Jihad is Making Perfect Conditions for an AQ Revival

Al-Qaeda (AQ) found itself on the losing end of a years-long investment in July of 2016 when Nusra Front (NF) leader Abu Muhammad al-Julani announced the group’s leave from AQ to become Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS), thus breaking his pledge to AQ leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. Julani, the man who ignited a bloody conflict with the Islamic State (IS) after abandoning Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to establish a new AQ affiliate in Syria, had ironically removed AQ’s formal presence in the country altogether.

But stress the word formal in “formal presence,” because AQ planted its Syrian foundation much deeper than Julani and others may have anticipated.

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What a Pro-ISIS Account’s Las Vegas Reaction Says about the Group’s Inner Workings

On the morning of Monday, October 2, 2017, Americans were struggling to understand the mass shooting that took place in Las Vegas the night before. And as the public received the first details about attacker Stephen Paddock, a 64 year old with no known history of radicalism, people were (and still are) far from certain of his motives.

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