ISIS has an Android app for encrypted chat

MANILA, Philippines – After getting pushed out of various messaging services, such as Whatsapp and Telegram, the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group appears to be communicating over its own secure chat app.

According to a January 12 report on the DefenseOne website, counter-terrorism network Ghost Security Group reported that ISIS had developed its own Android app – called AlRawi – for exchanging secure communications.

The AlRawi app is in addition to an another app called Amaq Agency, which serves as a propaganda distribution app for ISIS.

Ghost Secrutiy Group discovered the AlRawi app and found that it had "encrypted communications features although rudimentary to Telegram or other more-company created ones."

TechCrunch added the AlRawi app can't be downloaded via Google Play. Instead, the AlRawi Android application package, or .apk, has to be actively searched for on the darker corners of the Internet to acquire and must be installed into an Android device manually.

Rappler earlier reported that "in nearly every language and with startling sophistication, ISIS is reaching out to young kids around the world and enticing them to see the world in new ways." (READ: How to fight ISIS on social media)

In September, US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg urged countries, including the Philippines, to watch social media and use it to fight the ISIS.

“What we need to redouble our efforts to work together in law enforcement and intelligence, and watch the social media to see what’s happening out there. Try to counter the message but also be very vigilant,” Goldberg said on Rappler Talk.

“I think what we need to think about in a global sense is how social media presence generates lone wolves and attacks that have really no organic relationships, but instead have a relationship that is one of trying to inspire people to act on their own.”

Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.