She, like Simon Wiesenthal, chasing ruthless killers. But unlike the ‘hunter’ of the Nazis, in the crosshairs of Rita Katz there are Islamic fundamentalists. And his hunting ground is the Web.
From an office in Bethesda, in the suburbs of Washington, with a small team of computer experts researcher scours the Net 24 24 hours looking for the post, pictures and documents of the jihadists. Rousing, often gruesome video like that, the last in order of time, which testifies to the beheading of dozens of Egyptian Copts on a beach by Libyan militiamen Isis.
The group intelligence Katz, founded in 2002 with colleague Josh Devon, is called Search for International Terrorist Entities (‘Site’) and is fast becoming a real point of reference for anyone involved in Islamic extremism. Especially now, with the emergence of the Caliphate.
Katz is a lady who has just passed fifty. E ‘was born in 1963 in Basra (second city’ of Iraq) to a Jewish family. In 1968 his father was arrested by the regime of Saddam Hussein on charges of spying for Israel and a year later he was hanged in the public square. Katz’s mother – as he told the New Yorker in a long article devoted to its history – managed to escape with three small children, first in Iran and then in Israel. He studied history and political science at the University of Tel Aviv. Then, married, follows her husband (endocrinologist) in Washington.
In the capital of the United States is able to enter the Institute of Research on the Middle East and after a few years he decided to start his own business and founded ‘Site’. His analyzes and his research are so accurate as to be also used by the US government. In some cases, as he told the Washington Post, is working with the same authority (FBI head) in sensitive investigations against terrorism on American soil.
” Our ability ‘to find so’ quickly materials jihadists – Katz said in an interview last year at the site of the newspaper Yedioth Ahronot, ‘Ynet’ – does not come by luck. Track them and ‘science’ ‘. From the monitoring of the sites where service is file sharing, forums Islamists and other areas ” obscure and password protected ” of Internet, Site claims to have rebuilt an accurate picture of how Isis and similar groups operate online. While the militants have long used video and web to share their messages or their threats – explained the Katz Ynet – Isis has focused on social media like no other jihadist group had ever done so far: has many supporters who post messages and content on Twitter, Google, Youtube and elsewhere ”
And ‘the monitoring of these messages that are drawn – according to experts – valid information on structures
organizational. Site for the material more ‘is used on the sites’ ‘more’ hidden ” jihadists. Ed and ‘on which these groups as the Isis posting original videos and communicated to circulate on social media. “There ‘a close and clear process through which these groups spread their propaganda. A process that – is the conclusion of Katz – makes it easy for followers differentiation spreads between official and unofficial’ ‘.
Site activity is not without its critics. Although it is often cited as authoritative newspapers like the New York Times or the Washington Post, some accuse the website of Katz to act as media hype to the Islamists. The founder of the site, also, was brought to court by some Islamic Association which they accused of defaming their work. On many websites, finally, the analyst is accused of being a spy for the Mossad, the Israeli secret service, but without there being any evidence about.