The militant group Islamic State or ISIS has told its supporters to stop using internet based messaging app like WhatsApp, Telegram as they suspecting the US-led coalition is using these apps to track them. The group was using these apps to chat with their members outside of Iraq, Syria and libya.
Since 2014, a US-led military coalition has been bombing IS positions, when the hardline group proclaimed a caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
An article in the group’s weekly newspaper, Al-Naba stated, “If you get onto the programs like WhatsApp and Telegram or others from Mosul, and get in touch with a person being tracked, the crusaders will start thinking about you … assessing your importance and identifying the locations of the (Islamic State) centres by following you.”
IS members already stopped to communicate with each other on Twitter, which they used 2-3 years back to spread their ideologies and attract new supporters.
According to French officials, the outfit used these messaging apps to chat with the attackers of the Paris attack in 2015.
The group also advised its members to switch off their phones before entering their bases to avoid the risk of exposing themselves to airstrikes.
“Switch off your phone after you finish your communication and beware of the greatest disobedience of all – switching it on when you are in one of the offices.” It said, “As long as it has power, the phone is spying on you.”
The group has used Telegram but now the account has become less active. According to Reuters, they warned pro-ISIS channels on Telegram not to attempt to circulate propaganda on this app and use this only for communication.
Throughout 2016, around 20 senior ISIS commanders were killed in Iraq and Syria, including spokesman Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani.