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-re...cognized 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.  More

Assessing IS’ Claim of Responsibility for the Russian Plane Downing in Egypt

The downing of KGL9268 is a tragedy riddled with conflicting variables within a weighted geopolitical context: a plane of Russian passengers amid the escalation of Russian forces in Syria; the plane’s downing over an Islamic State (IS)-plagued region; a vague claim of responsibility from IS; and an equally vague statement by a Kogalymavia airline official that the crash was caused by “external influence.”

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28047 Hits

Plot Against the Pope Highlights a Problem: Social Media is a One-Stop-Shop for Terror Advice and Manuals

Emerging reports of a 15 year-old boy inspired by the Islamic State (IS) to plot an attack against Pope Francis in Philadelphia speaks to what a terror resource social media has become. There remains little information on the case, but an FBI-DHS bulletin claimed, "The minor obtained explosives instructions and further disseminated these instructions through social media.” As a daily witness to the relentless campaign by IS recruiters to coordinate lone wolf attacks in the West, this is less than surprising.

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26960 Hits

Zawahiri’s Pledge to the Taliban will Test al-Qaeda’s Cohesion

After much questioning whether al-Qaeda (AQ) would pledge to the Afghan Taliban's new leader, Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, AQ leader Ayman al-Zawahiri swore allegiance to the new chief on August 13, promising to him, "We are your soldiers and your supporters and a brigade of your brigades." This pledge, produced by AQ's as-Sahab Media Foundation and titled, "A Biography of Faithfulness," will serve as test of AQ's leadership strength and the ties to its affiliates. 

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21889 Hits

Information about the Chattanooga Shooter is Disappearing from the Internet

A week after Chattanooga shooter Mohammad Abdulazeez’s attack, very little is known about his motives, path to radicalization, and network of affiliations. Immediately after the attack, Islamic State (IS) fighters and supporters hailed Abdulazeez as a “soldier of the Islamic State,” but no official messages from IS claiming the attack have yet been made. This silence is noteworthy considering the case of the shooting in Garland, Texas: Not only did IS fighter Junaid Hussain bluntly indicate his connection to this attack, but in less than two days, IS officially announced the shooters to be “two soldiers from the soldiers of the Caliphate.”

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24182 Hits

IS in Ramadi: The Terrifying Truth Behind Islamic State's Latest Capture

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Any celebration made after the U.S. raid that killed high-ranking Islamic State (IS) official Abu Sayyaf was likely halted after reports of the group’s take-over of Ramadi.

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27216 Hits