DhakaTribune
Tuesday November 21, 2017 03:50 PM

Ciphering: New way of militant communication

Ciphering: New way of militant communication
Representation of some of the terms militants use in their communications with each other

According to counter terrorism officials, Arabic words are quite common in the code language used by terrorists

Militants have started using encrypted language to communicate among themselves, making it harder for law enforcement agencies to track their activities. Terrorism experts say extremist groups are sending coded messages, which appear gibberish to the untrained eye, through telephone or messaging apps.

According to law enforcement sources, some of these messages have been decoded after interrogating captured militants.

Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit’s (CTTC) Deputy Police Commissioner Abdul Mannan said: “Terrorists have begun using encryption to foil efforts by law enforcement to understand their plans. They regularly change the coding language that they use. They use them to encrypt messages sent across messaging apps. We have been able to decipher some of their messages after interrogating captured terrorists.”

According to counter terrorism officials, Arabic words are quite common in the code language used by terrorists. Weapons are sometimes called ‘saman’, meaning materials. Other code words for weapons include pens, three-piece, groceries or even clothes.

Cipher Codes-used-by-Militants

According to a counter terrorism official, militants are constantly changing their code language. They are also slowly changing their communication methods as well. Although initially they met face to face, they moved on to communicating over cellphones, and currently they are using messaging apps, which are more difficult to monitor for law enforcement officials. However, counter terrorism officials are hopeful that with advanced technology at their disposal, they will be able to gather more information from messaging app services.

The story was first published in Bangla Tribune

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