In late 2013, following on from the general panic surrounding the reliability of previously trusted technologies – as a direct result of the revelations made by Snowden and Greenwald – ISIS “declared” that they had launched a new encryption service called Asrar Al Ghurabaa’.
It was described as being the first website for secure communications. A forum used by jihadists called Shabakat Al Iraq Wal Sham announced the launch. The announcement declared that the new resource for jihadis would be a rival to Asrar AlMujahideen (Mujahedeen Secrets which was launched circa 2007).
The new service was an NSA front and was to be found at asrar006.com. It allowed the input of text which was then encrypted or decrypted, as required. Simply put, rather like the google translate service it applied the required encryption keys to inputted text strings resulting in a “translation”.
It did not allow for message transmission but was more “accurate, secure, and user friendly than Asrar AlMujahideen” according to the statement. The service required no software downloads or installations and therefore removed several points of potential risk associated with the Asrar AlMujahideen alternative. No code could be injected, files infected and so on.
Within a couple of days the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF) denounced the new encryption platform in a statement “Warning About the Use of the Program ‘Asrār al-Ghurabā” stating:
“We warn all the brothers using the new encryption program called “Asrar al-Ghurabaa” – the program is suspicious and its source is not trusted. Likewise, we confirm that there wasn’t any relationship between the program “Asrar al-Ghurabaa” and the Front’s encryption program “Asrar al-Mujahdeen”, and therefore, we advise and warn the brothers not to use the program “Asrar al-Ghurabaa” entirely!
We also warn of using any encryption program which hasn’t been published through the Global Islamic Media Front or Al-Fajr Center for Media. And lastly, we remind that the sole source to download all of the technical programs for the Media Front: Mobile Encryption Program Asrar al-Dardashah Plugin Asrar al-Mujahideen Program”