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

Luke Somers and the Transformed Business of Hostage-Taking

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On December 3, 2014, SITE Intelligence Group released a video from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), showing a hostage identifying as a British-American citizen named Luke Somers, calmly but sincerely pleading for his life. Before Somers’s plea, AQAP official Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi discusses American foreign policy in Muslim countries, including Yemen, and claims that Somers will suffer an “inevitable fate” if the U.S. does not meet the group’s demands (not specified in the video) in three days.

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10460 Hits

The Kassig Beheading: The Islamic State's Last-Ditch Effort to Keep US Boots Out of the Caliphate

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After a gap of almost six weeks, the Islamic State (IS) released a video yesterday showing, along with the brutal simultaneous beheading of almost two dozen Syrian pilots, the head of American citizen Peter Kassig after it was severed from his body. Standing above his head was the British executor, known as "Jihad John," who killed other American and British citizens, challenging the US to send ground troops into Iraq and Syria.

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18962 Hits

From Teenage Colorado Girls to Islamic State Recruits: A Case Study in Radicalization Via Social Media

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Sometime over a year ago, a teenage American girl using the pseudonym "Grape" posted in response to a question on Ask.fm:

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52649 Hits

IS Releases Five Statements of Allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Within 24 Hours

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In the last 24 hours, five audio messages pledging allegiance to Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi were released on behalf of jihadist groups from Libya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, and Algeria. Among those to pledge was the Sinai-based Ansar Beit al-Maqd (also known as Ansar Jerusalem), along with unidentified collectives of fighters representing different countries and regions: “Mujahidin of the Arabian Peninsula,” “Mujahidin of Libya” and “Mujahidin of Yemen.” However, a closer look into these pledges raises questions regarding their authenticity and the underlying intentions of IS with their release.

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22115 Hits

Martin Rouleau’s Attack on Canadian Soldiers Indicates Reach of Propaganda

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When Canadian jihadist Martin Rouleau ran down two Canadian soldiers, Patrice Vincent and another one unnamed, in a hit-and-run on October 20, the method of attack seemed uncharacteristic of a jihadist. Jihadist attack efforts have typically leaned toward use of normal weapons—namely explosives, guns, and knives. Rouleau's attack, strangely, seemed to resemble an accident more than a terrorist attack. Based off of recent jihadist propaganda releases and chatter, Roulaeu's attack style may not be as much of an anomaly as it may be the beginning of a new norm in domestic terrorism.

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19221 Hits