The encrypted messaging service Telegram blocked 78 ISIS channels in 2015, but new ones just keep popping up. As detailed in a report provided to The Hill, the group has evolved an expanded technical “help desk” that can provide instructions to jihadists on how to escape the surveillance of Western authorities. It’s operated by a group of ISIS members collectively called the Electronic Horizon Foundation (EHF), which was launched on January 30th. As of the beginning of this week, its Telegram channel had 2,200 members, although it hasn’t posted much yet.
In 2015, the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point discovered a 24-hour team of six experts teaching members about encryption and secure communication tactics, and it appears the technique is spreading. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) says it uncovered the group, and called the “freedom and ease by which [the terrorist group] can now obtain that information” alarming. They used to stick to password-protected forums, but now it’s much easier for them to disseminate info needed to avoid capture and coordinate attacks.