03/23 Links Pt1: Murray: A terrorist attack has happened in Europe. Let the standard response begin…; Europe must confront its reality
Well at least we all know the form by now. This morning Islamist suicide-bombers struck one of the few European capitals they haven’t previously hit in a mass-casualty terrorist attack.
The standard response now goes as follows. First the body parts of innocent people are flung across airport check-ins or underground trains. Briefly there is some shock. On social media the sentimentalists await the arrival of this atrocity’s cutesy hashtag or motif and hope it will tide them over until the piano man arrives at the scene of the attack to sing ‘Imagine there’s no countries’. Meantime someone will hopefully have said something which a lot of people can condemn as ‘inappropriate’. I see that the Telegraph columnist Allison Pearson was this morning’s Twitter miscreant, foolish enough to say in the wake of the Brussels attack that the EU might not make us very safe. One may agree or disagree with this sentiment, but Ms Pearson should have known that the only acceptable thing to do after a suicide bomber detonates beside the European Commission is to acclaim the Commission as one of the few entities able to keep us safe.
We will shortly move to the next phase, which is to find a good news story amid the rubble. Anything will do, but best of all is a Muslim good news story. After Paris it was swiftly reported that one of the suicide bombers at Stade de France had been turned away by a brave Muslim security guard. The story whizzed around the world before anyone could check whether it was true. It wasn’t. But people needed it to be. Not because Muslims don’t do good deeds, but because in the wake of any Islamist terrorist attack people need people opposed to the bombers to be Muslim and the bombers themselves not to be Muslim. Then the good Muslim can represent Islam while the bad Muslims can be said to have nothing to do with it.
Ben-Dror Yemini: Europe must confront its reality
Belgium schools teach their students the Holocaust. One textbook includes a caricature of a Jew on a barbed wire fence with the inscription “never again.” Just beside him, there is a Palestinian on the same fence with the inscription “once again!” The text book includes an explanation of the caricature, making clear its message: “The interpretation for ‘never again’ is what happened under Hitler will never happen again. The interpretation of ‘once again’ is what is happening today is exactly what happened under Hitler. Concentration camps were fenced off by barbed wire and today the border between Israel and Palestine is barbed wire and a wall.”
When polls in Europe indicate that Europeans think what the Jewish state does to Palestinians is what the Nazis did to Jews, one should recall public education. This poison has not been injected only into the older generation of Belgians, but also the hundreds of thousands of Muslim youth studying in Belgium’s education system. Combined with incitement in mosques, frustration with discrimination and claims of discrimination, propaganda from Arab TV networks, it becomes clear dangerous weeds are growing in the backyard.
The Belgians like many others in Europe believe that their enmity towards Israel grants them immunity from attacks. They do not understand that exactly the opposite is true: As long as incitement against Israel rises to new heights, hatred for Europe will rise to new heights. Europe will have to explain why its relations with Israel are flourishing, if Jews behave like Nazis. How can Europeans cooperate with Nazis? Not only Jews deserve to be punished, but also young Belgian collaborators as well.
Growing numbers of Belgian Muslims live in isolated ghettos where poverty, unemployment and crime are rampant. In Molenbeek, the unemployment rate hovers at around 40%. Radical imams aggressively canvass in search of shiftless youths to wage jihad against the West.
“When we have to contact these people [European officials] or send our guys over to talk to them, we’re essentially talking with people who are… children. These are not pro-active, they don’t know what’s going on. They’re in such denial. It’s such a frightening thing to admit their country is being taken over.” — American intelligence official.
“Returned Syria fighters are a huge threat… It is absolutely unbelievable that our governments allow them to return… Every government in the West, which refuses to do so [lock them up], is a moral accessory if one of these monsters commits an atrocity. … Our citizens are in mortal danger if we do not restore control over our own national borders.” — Dutch MP Geert Wilders.
A series of coordinated attacks in Brussels on Tuesday morning killed dozens and injured hundreds. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the devastation — an attack that some have been warning for years would be possible.
To really understand all that’s happening in the Belgian capital, we recommend you read these five stories.
1. Why is tiny Belgium Europe’s jihad-recruiting hub? by Michael Birnbaum
2. Why is Brussels under attack? by Adam Taylor
3. A decade ago, she warned of radical Islam in Belgium’s Molenbeek by Steven Mufson
4. Attacks in Brussels bypassed a city already on high alert by Thomas Gibbons-Neff
5. Turkey’s president warned of terror threat to Brussels just days before it happened by Ishaan Tharoor
There are 11 visible security and inspection points at Ben-Gurion Airport. They spread from a roadblock at the airport entrance to the airplane gates.
It is not just because the Tel Aviv hub is a relatively small airport compared to major European and American airports, which can afford to exercise the strictest security measures regardless of the cost – it is the byproduct of a holistic security doctrine engraved in nearly 50 years of experience from blood and tears.
Since its first tragic failures, Israel has improved and upgraded its security measures on land and in the air. For decades, security experts from international airlines, police forces and security agencies have come here to learn Israeli know-how and doctrines.
Unfortunately, this it happens only after spectacular terrorist attacks, such as the 1988 Pan Am bombing and 9/11. It took western democracies a while to reach the conclusion that human life is no less important than human rights. Most probably it will happen this time, too.
Sure, there is no hermetic security, and terrorists take advantage of loopholes. But there is no need to be a genius to understand that what happened yesterday in Brussels was a colossal security and intelligence failure. According to media reports, Belgian authorities had advance warning about an “imminent terror attack.”
Authorities in Europe and across the world tightened security at airports, railway stations, government buildings and other key sites after deadly attacks Tuesday on the Brussels airport and its subway system.
With Brussels in lockdown and the French prime minister saying that Europe is “at war,” European leaders held emergency security meetings and deployed more police, explosives experts, sniffer dogs and plainclothes officers, with some warning against travel to Belgium.
The nervousness was felt far and wide. In New York City, authorities deployed additional counterterrorism units to crowded areas and transit locations.
After a string of extremist attacks targeting the heart of Europe over the past year, some analysts say Europe will finally have to implement a much tougher level of security not only at airports, but also at “soft targets” like shopping malls — the kind that Israelis have been living with for years.
A clear set of rules for Purim celebrations were released on Wednesday in a press release from the office of the High Commissioner of the Antwerp Police in light of the terrorist attacks that took place in Brussels on Tuesday, according to reports by local media.
According to the report, due to heightened security concerns, police have requested that the Jewish community avoid wearing masks that cover the face in public on Purim and requested that no toy weapons be carried even by children. Additionally, the police requested that no fireworks be set off and to avoid using any device that may cause a loud banging sound.
The Jewish Crisis Management Team of Antwerp urged the community to comply with these rules and declared the next three days to be days of mourning in which celebrations and public feasting are strictly forbidden.
Following the terror attacks in Brussels yesterday, in which at least 30 people were murdered and hundreds were injured, PA Security Forces Spokesman Adnan Al-Damiri wrote in a post on his Facebook page that the US and Europe are the ones who created international terror. He claimed, for example, that Europe and the US are responsible for “exporting Jewish terror to Palestine,” and therefore Europe is directly responsible for the terror that strikes it:
“Those who prepare the poison will taste it themselves, and today Europe is having a taste of what it prepared with its own hands.” [Facebook page of PA Security Forces spokesman Adnan Al-Damiri, March 22, 2016]
Today, the official PA daily expressed the same message in the cartoon above – a person whose head is the globe representing the Western world is shown attempting to blow up the Middle East, but inadvertently blows up himself. [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 23, 2016]
Palestinian shooting and stabbing attacks against Israelis are driven by despair over the “occupation,” Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad Maliki told European parliamentarians in Brussels on Tuesday as he condemned the two terror attacks that rocked the Belgian capital killing over 34 people.
Maliki began his address to the EU Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs by condemning the violence that occurred a few hours earlier.
“Terrorism does not recognize border ethnicity and countries. We should rally to work against international terrorism, wherever it strikes,” Maliki said while offering his condolences to the Belgian people and the families of the victims
But the foreign minister struck a different tune when speaking of the wave of Palestinian terrorism that has rocked Israel since mid-September and led to 34 fatalities and left hundreds of wounded in a series of almost continual daily attacks.
Palestinian leaders have yet to condemn those attacks, including the one on the boardwalk in Jaffa in which a visiting US graduate student and US Army veteran Taylor Force was stabbed to death.
Maliki did not use the word terrorist when he spoke of the stabbing, shooting and vehicular attacks against Israelis.
He described the Palestinian assailants as “youngsters driven by despair and hopeless.”
We should not fault the European citizen. Europe, steered by the powers that be, is no longer built to fight wars. Its governments have downsized their military and intelligence budgets significantly. As for Europe’s large, sensitive Muslim populations, their sensibilities must not be offended at all costs, even if it requires turning a blind eye. How painful indeed when the illusion of an entire continent blows up in its face. Perhaps it would be better for Europe to keep its eyes shut, or, alternatively, conclude yet again that the “reason” for their ills is none other than the “Palestinian problem.”
Europe wanted to believe that those watershed years of 732, 1529 or 1638 — when the Muslims threatened to conquer the continent — belonged to the past. Europe, doesn’t understand that the situation today is much worse. Then, as we know, the Muslim invader was blocked by walls. Today, the enemy doesn’t even need to invade. He is already there, at home; he only needs to prepare a homemade bomb and step into the street. He also sees no army standing in his way.
Were we to go back in time to March 25, 1957 — when the Treaty of Rome was signed and the EU was essentially created — and tell the Europeans that 59 years later Britain would issue a travel warning to Belgium, we can assume we would be institutionalized. But “Belgistan” is already something else entirely. It is truly dangerous to go there. If the slumber continues and Europe loses this fight, our grandchildren will be learning the continents of North and South America, Africa, Asia and “Europstan.” And I can already see some pundit explaining to the viewers how the Jews are responsible. What, you didn’t know? This is all happening because the Palestinians are being oppressed. It’s all good, just as long as there is a reason not to go to war.
Phyllis Chesler: Europe’s karmic destiny
In addition, for having aided and abetted the contemporary scapegoating of Israel (which is a new form of anti-Semitism); for having attempted to appease the Jihadists in their midst by throwing Israel as a bone to them, Europeans are now facing a thousand rape attacks and bombing jihads.
One hopes that Europeans will finally understand that this is precisely what Israel has been suffering and that appeasement is not an option.
I am not holding my breath. Here’s why.
There are too many European (and Americans) who prefer to see the suffering of the immigrants over and above the murderous violence of the Jihadists; the desire of immigrants to escape the hot wars in the Muslim world for the freedom and opportunities in the West over and above their almost guaranteed further radicalization and the consequent growth of intolerance, conformity, and censorship in the West; the immigrant willingness to procreate and work at low-paying jobs over and above the face masking of woman, the spread of polygamy, forced child marriage, and FGM.
America is the last country standing which represents the Western enterprise. The presidential election which is upon us will decide the fate of the world. We had better choose wisely.
“Bruxellistan”. “Molenbeekistan”. “Belgistan”. We cannot even count the definitions to indicate the transformation of Belgium into the base of the massacres in Paris and now targeted itself by Jihad at Brussels’ airport and metro.
To use the title of the book by Felice Dassetto, a sociologist at the Catholic University of Leuven, it is “L’iris et le croissant” (iris, the symbol of Brussels, and the Islamic crescent, together).
How did Molenbeek, the “Little Manchester” that the former Socialist mayor Philippe Moureaux proudly called a “socio-multicultural laboratory”, become the headquarters of the European jihad from Atocha to the Bataclan. How did it become the “Carrefour de l’islamisme”, the crossroads of Islamist hatred in Europe, as defined by Libération?
“It was a decision of the Belgian King Baudouin”, said Michael Privot, a famous Belgian expert on terrorism and director of Enar, the European Network Against Racism, in our conversation right after the Brussels bombing. “Islam was recognized officially in Belgium in 1974, by the former King Baudouin, who had developed good ties with the royal family of Saudi Arabia (SA). This recognition was coming in opportunely as it was in the midst of the oil crisis and Belgium was hoping that this recognition would be taken as a sign of good will and openness towards SA, therefore securing oil supply for Belgium.”
On the back of the Brussels terror attack it is worthwhile remembering that while a majority of Muslims in the West appear to have no truck with terrorism or extremism, there are a significant number who sympathise with terrorism and repeatedly attempt to justify attacks on the West.
An ICM poll from 2006 revealed that 20 percent of British Muslims sympathised with the 7/7 bombers who brought terror to the streets of the British capital, killing 52 and injuring hundreds. This number rose to one in four British Muslims, according to NOP Research for Channel 4. With a British Muslim population of over 3 million today, that translates to roughly three quarters of a million terror-sympathising people in the UK.
The number rises for younger British Muslims – a sure sign that radicalisation through schools, mosques, and prisons (often via Saudi-funded groups) is creating a long-term problem in Europe. Thirty-one percent of younger British Muslims endorsed or excused the 7/7 bombings of 2005, with just 14 percent of those over 45 doing so.
We may never know if, as some reports (such as this one) claim, an Israeli mobile tech firm is helping the FBI unlock the iPhones of the San Bernardino shooters – but if any firm is capable of getting past the six-digit code in the ten or so tries the device allows before permanently locking up, it’s Petah Tikvah-based Cellebrite.
In fact, the company is very straightforward about its iPhone-unlocking capabilities.
“Cellebrite’s Advanced Investigative Services (CAIS) offers global law enforcement agencies a breakthrough service to unlock Apple devices running iOS 8.x,” according to the company. “This unique capability is the first of its kind – unlocking Apple devices running iOS 8.x in a forensically sound manner and without any hardware intervention or risk of device wipe.”
The FBI, of course, won’t say if it has hired Cellebrite to use this and other forensic technologies the company has developed to deal with rogue iPhones, and Cellebrite couldn’t say even if it wanted to. But it’s possible that the two entities are working with each other – or maybe will be, once the FBI gets a look at the Cellebrite website where the claim is made.
An American teenager, hospitalized in Brussels following yesterday’s terror attacks there, survived similar attacks in Boston and Paris as well.
The three-time survivor – Mason Wells, 19, a Mormon missionary – had his first scrape with extremist-Muslim terrorists in Boston nearly three years ago. The murderers placed a bomb at the Boston Marathon’s finish line on that occasion, murdering three people and wounding 264. Mason was a block away, waiting for his mother who was running the marathon.
Mason was also in Paris last November 13, when a series of coordinated Muslim terrorist attacks in various parts of the city murdered 130 people. He was not hurt.
Yesterday, he experienced his third attack, but this time he was not as lucky. He was at the Brussels airport, together with two other Mormon missionaries, when the suicide bombers detonated bombs in their suitcases.He suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon, shrapnel injures, and second- and third-degree burns on his face and hands.
A tragic story has surfaced regarding David Dixon of Britain, who while on his way to work survived the double suicide bombings at Brussels’ Zaventem Airport on Tuesday morning, but then boarded the metro train where a third blast struck an hour later.
Dixon, from Hartlepool, County Durham, remains missing. He told his aunt he was “fine and safe” just minutes after the airport bombings, and then got on the train that was bombed at Maalbeek station, reports KTL on Wednesday. In the attacks, a total of 34 people were murdered and around 200 were wounded.
The UK issued a statement Wednesday indicating Dixon without mentioning his name, in which it said, “we are concerned about one missing British national and we are in close contact with the Belgian authorities. We are aware of four British nationals who were injured in the attacks – three are being treated in hospital, one has already been discharged.”
Dixon, a 51-year-old IT technician and former British Airways employee, was unaware of the attacks on the airport until his aunt Ann Dixon texted him from her home in Hartlepool to check in with him.
He told her he was fine, but just an hour later her relief was replaced by distress.
Subsequently the headline was again updated to “Brussels attacks: At least 31 dead at Zaventem and Maelbeek” and the word ‘terrorist’ was removed from the opening paragraph.
“At least 31 people have been killed and many seriously injured in attacks at Brussels international airport and a city metro station.”
None of the five subsequent versions of the article used the word terror in either the headline or the opening paragraph.
So as we see, despite having at some point been accurately able to identify and name the horrific events in Brussels as terror attacks, BBC editors later went out of their way to expunge that description from the website’s main report. As we shall see in part two of this post, that article was not the only one affected by that editorial policy.
The Muslim comedian suggest googling “jihad” to find out its “true” meaning. He then explained that “all that it really means” is “to struggle.” Another said “jihad” is “a process where an individual takes on themselves” in order to deal “with their own internal vices.”
“The fight against the human tendency for selfishness,” a female Muslim added. While others said, “Jihad, mostly, was a spiritual thing,” and, “The struggle to be a better person, to be a better Muslim.”
To further “clarify” what it really means, one of the Muslim comedians quipped:
“Yo, it was a total jihad to get that girl’s phone number!”
HuffPo hopes this video will “help end the misconception.” Tell that to the victims of Islamic terrorism who find out in many horrible ways how ISIS and other Muslim terror groups define “jihad” — which generally means causing as much bloodshed as possible and celebrating the deaths of the infidels afterwards.
Lee became noticeably frustrated, asking, “I really don’t understand why you cannot give a number that you know for sure and say, then, that, look—”
“Because we don’t have a number we know right now for sure, Matt,” Kirby interjected. “When we have better information … we will gladly and happily provide it to you.”
The two went back and forth in this manner until Lee dropped the question and instead asked, “Can you say that you know of the three Mormon missionaries that the Church has talked of?”
“I can’t confirm specific individuals,” Kirby said.
Lee muttered something inaudible and grabbed an item from the chair next to him before walking out of the briefing out of frustration.
Reporter Angrily Walks Out When State Dept. Won’t Answer His Question
Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump called on President Obama to use torture against the terrorists who attacked an airport and subway in Brussels Tuesday, saying the use of torture against terror suspects dead or alive was the only way to prevent future attacks.
“These jihadis would never blow themselves up in the first place if they knew they’d be tortured afterwards, believe me!” Trump told The Mideast Beast. “And when I’m president, I’ll tell you this, I will be the best in the world at doing the torturing. I’ll torture these terrorists so good, it’ll make your head spin.”
When asked how it is possible to torture someone who has been not only killed but pulverized, Trump quickly changed the subject and demanded a wall be built to keep the terrorists out.
“When I am president, we will build a big, beautiful wall,” Trump exclaimed. “And whatever country Brussels is in, we’ll make them pay for it.”
Ankara is willing to work together with Jerusalem in fighting international terrorism, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his Israeli counterpart Reuven Rivlin Wednesday, in a rare phone call between the two leaders.
Erdogan expressed his condolences to the Israeli people after a terror attack Saturday in Istanbul killed three Israelis and an Iranian, condemned all sorts of terrorism as “evil,” and expressed the will to cooperate on the global effort to fight the phenomenon.
“I believe that against this terrorism we have to stand together with the international community and take a very, very firm stance, and increase our cooperation against all terrorist acts,” Erdogan told Rivlin, who initiated the call.
“In this regard we are ready to cooperate with Israel against terrorism.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Promotes Murder
Israel’s military says troops have raided a Palestinian university in the West Bank and seized militant propaganda linked to Hamas and other groups.
The military says the raid on Tuesday “confiscated inciting propaganda” as part of a crackdown to curb a wave of Palestinian terrorism that Israel says is fueled by incitement.
Fathi Omour, a spokesman for the Arab American University in Jenin, says the Israeli troops took a computer, papers and flags.
Palestinian Incitement Exposed
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has decided to “punish” Israel by halting imports to the PA from five major Israeli food production companies, the Ma’an news agency reported Tuesday.
In a statement released after the weekly cabinet meeting, the PA government said the decision was in response to an Israeli ban on products from five Palestinian companies earlier this month.
According to the statement, the Israeli companies whose products will be banned from PA-controlled areas are Tnuva, Strauss, Tara, Soglowek and Tapuzina.
The statement added that the relevant authorities have been instructed “to put the decision into effect after giving Palestinian merchants enough time to sell the products stocked in their stores”, according to Ma’an.
The move to boycott Israeli companies comes after on Sunday, PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah slammed the recent Israeli decision to ban Palestinian food products from entering Jerusalem as “racist” and claimed it is one of many “attempts to isolate Jerusalem from its surroundings and erase its identity.”
Islamic Jihad master hacker Maagad Ben Juwad Oydeh was indicted in the Beersheba District Court on Wednesday for hacking the IDF’s drones hovering over Gaza, enabling Hamas commanders to view the drone videofeed.
An indictment filed by the Southern District Attorney’s Office also charged Oydeh with hacking into the IDF, the police and the transportation authority’s videocameras, enabling the terror group to study the location of civilians and IDF personnel in real-time as it was firing rockets during conflicts.
According to the indictment, Oydeh’s hacking also allowed Islamic Jihad to keep track of the movement of airplanes at Ben Gurion Airport, to view the passenger list on incoming and outgoing flights, the type of airplane and its weight and landing and departure times.
Known as a computer and electronics engineer and master hacker, he joined the terror group in 2011 and first successfully hacked into the IDF’s drones as early as 2012. Oydeh’s first contact with Islamic Jihad came in his father’s electronics store where he met Ismail Dahduah, known as Abu Jihad in his capacity as an agent of the terror group.
United Nations peacekeepers are reportedly set to return to the Israel-Syria border in the Golan Heights.
According to Yedioth Ahronoth, in recent weeks, officers and soldiers from the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) have made several visits to facilities and points that they previously manned in the region.
In early February, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon named Major General Jai Shanker Menon of the Indian Army as the head of UNDOF. Last week, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin told Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting in Moscow that Israel is interested in the return of UN forces to the Golan Heights. Israel is concerned with Iranian and Hezbollah forces in the region, as well as threats from Sunni Muslim terror groups like the Nusra Front and Islamic State.
A group of foreign diplomats was due to visit on Tuesday an Israeli-Palestinian business center that has been shuttered since the recent wave of terrorist attacks began in October 2015, because the Palestinian Authority has forbidden PA residents from going there.
The Traklin Business Center, located at the Ephraim Gate Crossing next to Tulkarem, serves as a neutral center and a safe place for Israeli and Palestinian businesspeople to meet and continue bilateral business and trade relations.
The center is a flagship project of the Regional Cooperation Ministry under Deputy Minister Ayoob Kara, and can be used at no cost. When it was active, Palestinians entering Israel to visit the center were not required to obtain an entry permit.
Shortly after the ouster of an Egyptian MP from parliament for meeting with Israel’s ambassador, another Egytian lawmaker may find himself in similar trouble for promoting normalization with Israel.
Sayyid Faraj, an Egyptian member of parliament, has suggested that a formal delegation of the Egyptian parliament visit Israel’s Knesset
In a conversation with the Egyptian news agency ONA on Tuesday, Faraj proposed his initiative of dispatching a delegation of 10 lawmakers to visit the Knesset to discuss “Israeli-Egyptian relations, learn from Israel’s economic development and in general learn from Israel’s experience.”
Faraj emphasized that the delegation’s sole purpose is to harness Israeli knowledge in different fields for the benefit of Egypt’s development.
“I do not oppose normalization of relations with Israel, and we must communicate with Israelis,” Faraj stated.
Egyptian Minister of Youth and Sport Khaled Abdel Aziz has rejected calls to ban the participation of Israel in the World Basketball Championship for youth, scheduled to take place in Cairo in 2017.
Speaking at a press conference at Cairo’s Olympic Center on Tuesday, Abdel Aziz stated that since the event takes place in Egypt, the country is committed to host all national teams that qualify, including Israel.
Abdel Aziz’s remarks contravene the popular calls to block Israel’s participation in the competition for youth under the age of 19. Those opposed, view Israel’s taking part as a normalization of Egypt’s relations with the Jewish State.
“Egypt has been chosen to host the world championship after it faced difficult competition from Italy and Israel. If Israel would have been chosen to host the event and the Egyptian national basketball team would have qualified then we would have never participated. But we cannot prevent any state from participating, Abdel Aziz explained.
The Justice Department announced criminal conspiracy charges against three current or former members of the Iran-backed hacking group Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), the Associated Press reported on Tuesday.
Two of the suspects– Ahmad Umar Agha, 22, and Firas Dardar, 27– are believed to be in Syria. They were charged with “spear-phishing,” or using official-looking e-mails to scam recipients into revealing their login details, which allowed them to compromise American and foreign computer systems from 2011 to 2014.
A third man, 36-year-old Pierre Romar of Germany, was charged with helping Dardar with extortion attempts. Using spear-phishing, they demanded a total of $500,000 from targets in the United States and abroad, though often accepted smaller payments. Romar helped move the money to Syria, a process complicated by American sanctions against the direct transfer of funds to the country. In one case, an unidentified California-based web-hosting company paid $1,500 after the group threatened to sell the firm’s user database to other hackers.