Journalist John Cantlie has been held captive by ISIS for over four years. In late October, nearing the fourth anniversary of his capture, with incredibly detailed intelligence, the U.K. cancelled his rescue. Many details were known at that time about Cantlie’s location, and a perfect opportunity was likely wasted.
Ed Alexander of BLACKOPS Cyber believes that the decision to cancel the rescue was made because of several videos that ISIS has released with Cantlie as the narrator. Alexander believes Cantlie is suffering from what is commonly known as Stockholm Syndrome, or he could merely be trying to stay alive until he can be rescued.
Nearly every high profile hostage has been forced to make some type of propaganda video. Typically, regardless, their native governments will opt to rescue any hostage, if the opportunity is there. Leaving a western hostage in the hands of terrorists only benefits the terrorists.
Why would the U.K. government opt out of such an opportune rescue opportunity, to bring home a hostage ISIS has come to regard as an asset? Regardless of Cantlie’s motives, bringing him back to the U.K., out of ISIS captivity, is a blow to terrorist propaganda and a win for fight against it.
BLACKOPS Cyber (BOC), a U.S. based Cyber Intelligence firm, located a new type of threat in October which is indicative of the latest focus of the terrorist organization – technical resource development for lone wolves around the world.
BOC revealed in a report to authorities that the team had identified where a well-known ISIS hacking team was sharing access links as well as vulnerabilities to widely used surveillance systems. Through late Summer and early Fall BOC witnessed the merger of two ISIS hacking groups that posted the surveillance camera links. “It literally took pace before our eyes,” said a BLACKOPS Cyber spokesperson.
The cameras were located around the world, in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America. Along with the lists of cameras, the terrorists posted a video on how to access them. After examining the video, a BOC technical operative determined the vulnerability was “a viable rootkit vulnerability that would not require a lot of skill to execute.” Read More
Gayle A. Murray