Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Probing SITE Intelligence Group


Since mid-August 2014 major news organizations have conveyed videos allegedly found online by the SITE Intelligence Group. Unsurprisingly the same media have failed to closely interrogate what the private company actually is and whether the material it promotes should be accepted as genuine.

The Search for International Terrorist Entities Intelligence Group was co-founded by Rita Katz in 2001. Katz is an Iraqi-born Jew. Her father, an Israeli spy, was executed by Iraqis as a result of his intelligence activities.

In 2003 Katz authored a book,
Terrorist Hunter: The Extraordinary Story of a Woman Who Went Undercover to Infiltrate the Radical Islamic Groups Operating in America, which she published using the pseudonym, “Anonymous.”

In the book Katz explains how she took on the trappings of a Muslim woman to infiltrate the meetings of radical Muslim terrorists. The plot is unlikely, especially when one considers that such secret fundamentalist gatherings are almost always segregated along gender lines and no woman, however elaborate her costume, would be granted entry without her identity being firmly established.

SITE Intelligence Group consists of Katz and two “senior advisers,” one of whom is Bruce Hoffman, the Corporate Chair in Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency at the RAND Corporation and former director of the RAND’s Washington DC office.
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In 2003 and 2004, though claiming to be a 501c3 non-profit, SITE received more than $500,000 from the US government. Also in the early 2000s Katz received $150,000 from the FBI for consulting services.[2] A Guidestar search for nonprofits yields no recent records for SITE, suggesting how it has abandoned its non-profit status and now relies on corporate and individual subscriptions for revenue. In 2005 the private mercenary contractor Blackwater hailed SITE as “an invaluable resource.”[3]

The majority of “jihadist groups” operate one or more media outlets that produce and publish “the group’s multimedia, and in some cases, communiqu├ęs and magazines,” SITE explains on its website. “These media units involve production teams and correspondents who report directly from the battlefield, and craft propaganda to indoctrinate and recruit new fighters into the group’s ranks.” SITE provides no direct links to the jihadist groups’ websites or multimedia productions from its own platform.[4]

http://www.activistpost.com/2014/09/probing-site-intelligence-group.html

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, September 17th, 2014.]

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