They are young, unarmed, tech savvy and dangerous. These are a set of youth aged between 18 and 24 who form a deadly group known as the Cyber Caliphate, the terror group online run with the blessings of the ISIS.
They were at work 20 hours ago when they defaced a website of the Malaysian Airlines and posted a picture of a smoking lizard with a message that read, " 404 plane not found."
The cyber caliphate is a group of youth in the age group of 18 to 24 working for the ISIS in a bid to propagate the caliphate declared by this group. A majority of Westerners can be found in this group and the cyber caliphate is not restricted to one country alone, but is a global organization.
Planning the setting up of a cyber caliphate
The plan to establish a dedicated online wing of the ISIS came after the chief of the group, Abu Bakr Al-Bhagdadi declared the caliphate and himself as the caliph.
The main intention of this group which was created to wage an online war was to spread propaganda. Take for instance a beheading video, this group would ensure that it is all over the web thus constantly reminding the world of the brutality that it deploys.
In the last half of 2014 the cyber caliphate began taking shape and online messages were sent across to several persons asking for contributions. From a group of 20 youth, agencies suspect that the Cyber Caliphate has over 3000 members today world wide.
Using their own encryption software
Investigators have found it hard to penetrate into the network of the cyber caliphate as they have been using their own encryption software. The idea was to launch attacks and also send out strong messages especially to the West.
Back in October 2014 this group had made a soft announcement of their plans. However in a few months time they grew from strength to strength and today have a lot of people working for them.
The team today is headed by a British national, Hussain Junaid who is said to be based in Syria. A technological genius, Junaid was attracted to the ISIS and decided to leave Britain for Syria to establish the cyber caliphate.
More about the cyber caliphate chief
For the 20 year old Junaid technology is a passion. He has been
fond of technology from a very young age. In the year 2012 he
managed to hack into the website of Tony Blair, the former Prime
Minister of UK for which he was jailed.
He was granted bail after a short stint in jail. Once he was out he moved into Syria and established the cyber caliphate for them. Among his many plans are to hack into all important websites of the US. This many say would be part of their next plan.
Currently they are focusing on propaganda material. The attack on the Malaysian airlines website was just a test run for these persons who have promised more major attacks in the future.
The group also has created scores of social media handles on various sites. These are used to interact among each other and also post material relevant to the ISIS.
India too has faced a brunt of the problem due to these websites. Not only is the material very provoking, but they are regularly posting material and information luring youth into joining them.