Saturday, September 06, 2014
Iraqi Jew leaked beheading video
An Iraqi Jewess was behind the 'leak' of the execution video of the journalist Steven Sotloff. Rita Katz, whose own father was executed in Iraq, has made it her life's work to monitor Islamist internet sites, according to Ynet News:
Shortly after international media got hold of the horrible execution video of American-Israeli journalist Steven Sotloff, the radical terror group behind the beheading, the Islamic State (formerly ISIS), published a bizarre clarification: The video, they explained, was "mistakenly leaked" to the internet. What they didn't know was who was behind the leak – meet Rita Katz, an Israeli expat originally from Bat Yam.
From an office in the Washington suburb of Bethesda, Maryland, a small team scans the Web 24 hours a day for jihadi videos often featuring gruesome executions by groups such as Islamic State.
On Tuesday, SITE Intelligence Services grabbed headlines when it found and alerted its subscribers to footage of the beheading of Steven Sotloff, the second American journalist to be put to death by IS in two weeks.
Founded by Katz, SITE has built up more than a decade of experience tracking extremist groups online for clients including government agencies of the United States and other governments, private firms and media outlets.
Katz, 51, was born to a Jewish family in Basra, Iraq's second largest city, and was forced to flee the country after her father was executed by the regieme for allegedly spying for Israel. At the age of six she made Aliyah to Israel with her family, living in the coastal city of Bat Yam, directly south of Tel Aviv.
After serving in the IDF, she competed her BA in Middle East Studies at Tel Aviv university and then moved with her family to Washington, moving on to become a prominent figure on the world of research into radical Islamism and terror. She founded SITE in 2002.
Katz would not disclose the number of staff SITE employees, but said it was a small and dedicated team.
By monitoring file-sharing sites, Islamist forums and other obscure and often password-protected areas of the Internet, the firm says it has built up a sophisticated picture of how Islamic State and similar groups operate online.
"Our ability to find jihadist materials so quickly doesn't come from luck," Katz told Reuters. "Tracking them is a science."
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Rita Katz, Iraqi-born terrorist hunter