United States Seizes Domain Names Used by Foreign Terrorist Organization

The United States has seized “Aletejahtv.com” and “Aletejahtv.org,” two websites, which were unlawfully utilized by Kata’ib Hizballah, a Specially Designated National and a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

The United States has seized “Aletejahtv.com” and “Aletejahtv.org,” two websites, which were unlawfully utilized by Kata’ib Hizballah, a Specially Designated National and a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

“Once again we see designated foreign terrorist organizations turning to the internet to push their message and recruit followers for their violent causes,” said John Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security.  “We will continue to fight terror recruitment and propaganda efforts in the digital world, as we do elsewhere.” 

“Our system of commerce and our infrastructure, whether physical or electronic, is to be used by lawfully,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak for the Northern District of Georgia.  “We will not allow groups that have been rightfully prohibited from obtaining goods and services in the United States to use our internet services – especially to further their terrorist agenda.  This seizure underscores national collaboration and a commitment to protecting our commerce and infrastructure.”

“The District of Arizona is home to many successful technology companies whose goods and services are capable of being used by individuals across the world,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Bailey for the District of Arizona.  “We will not allow members of terrorist organizations to illegally use those goods and services to further their propaganda and agenda.”

“The National Security of the United States is, and will always be, the top priority for the Bureau of Industry and Security’s Office of Export Enforcement.  Attempts to surreptitiously utilize U.S. based online networks and services to promote Iran backed terrorist propaganda will immediately be disrupted, disabled, and seized,” said P. Lee Smith, Performing the Non-exclusive Functions and Duties of the Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement at the Department of Commerce.  “The Bureau of Industry and Security is committed to ensuring the stability of the Iraqi government and protecting our troops and Allied Forces against terrorist acts of violence”

On July 2, 2009, the U.S. Secretary of Treasury designated Kata’ib Hizballah, an Iran-backed terrorist group active in Iraq, as a Specially Designated National for committing, directing, supporting, and posing a significant risk of committing acts of violence against Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces.  On the same day, the U.S. Department of State designated Kata’ib Hizballah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization for committing or posing a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism.

“Aletejahtv.com” and “Aletejahtv.org,” acted as Kata’ib Hizballah’s media arm and published internet communications such as videos, articles, and photographs.  These communications included numerous articles designed to further Kata’ib Hizballah’s agenda, particularly destabilizing Iraq and recruiting others to join their cause.  They also functioned as a live online television broadcast channel, “Al-etejah TV.”  Portions of the communications expressly noted that they were published by Kata’ib Hizballah.

Federal law prohibits designated entities like Kata’ib Hizballah from obtaining or utilizing goods or services, including website and domain services, in the United States without a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control.  “Aletejahtv.com” and “Aletejahtv.org” are domain names that are owned and operated by a United States company based in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Kata’ib Hizballah did not obtain a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control prior to utilizing the domain names.

On August 31, 2020, pursuant to a seizure warrant, the United States seized “Aletejahtv.com” and “Aletejahtv.org.” 

Visitors to the site received the following message:

This seizure was investigated by the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the Northern District of Georgia, Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the District of Arizona, and trial lawyers from the Department of Justice National Security Division prosecuted the seizure.

Blogs to Follow:

Justice.gov (September 2020) United States Seizes Domain Names Used by Foreign Terrorist Organization

COVID-19 Changes Daily Life of Marines

The work, social and home lives of Marines living in the barracks deviates from life before the pandemic. Marines assigned to the distribution management office, DMO, on Camp Foster, Okinawa, have a unique and difficult task to perform during this time.

DMO Marines are tasked with booking flights for temporary assignments and permanent-change-of-station orders, as well as moving all of a Marine’s personal property to the new location. With the Defense Department’s travel ban, DMO Marines are teleworking to help successfully move Marines and sailors to and from the island.

Communication is the most challenging aspect of teleworking during the outbreak, said Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Amanda Martinez, a personal property clerk at Marine Corps Base Camp Butler on Okinawa.

“We are used to face-to-face interactions, but we are having to call and email members, and they’re teleworking as well,” Martinez said. “It has been taking a little bit longer as far as documents being signed and information being sent back and forth.”

The daily lives of U.S. Marines have drastically changed since the outbreak of COVID-19. Marines stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Okinawa, Japan, have implemented teleworking as a way to practice social distancing and combat the spread of the virus.

While teleworking is an effective way to combat the spread of the virus, it hinders the DMO to operate at its full potential.

“Half of our staff is in office, and half of the staff is teleworking at the barracks. So, we’re trying out a bunch of things to figure out the best way to communicate with our members and our team to make mission,” said Marine Corps Cpl. Ricardo Casarez, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the passenger travel office at Camp Butler. “Regardless, we continue to work as a team in order to adapt and overcome COVID-19.”

Not only have their jobs been affected, but so have their daily duties as Marines and the uniforms they wear.

“We are now required to wear masks. It’s become a part of our everyday carries for us, and we are required to maintain social distancing, which are both not part of our daily routines, but it has become a norm for Marines,” Casarez said.

Even the Marines’ physical training schedule has been altered, but it does not stop them from working out however they can.

“We used to PT every day, now it’s all on yourself to maintain your physical fitness,” Martinez said. “It is kind of hard because of the gyms being closed, but a lot of us are just running every day, and do what we can with what we have. We are just adapting and overcoming to still be ready to fight if we have a calling.”

The 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force announced Health Protection Condition Charlie Plus, which prohibits off-base liberty. However, the Marines still see a bright side during these difficult times.

“Due to COVID-19, Marines [are not] able to execute liberty off-base and enjoy the island,” Casarez said. “I think it’s brought camaraderie within units. It has definitely brought that feeling of being close for us. I believe it has made us more united than we have ever been.”

(Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Brennan Beauton is assigned to Marine Corps Installations Pacific.)

Defense.gov (April 2020) COVID-19 Changes Daily Life of Marines

Iranian Commander Threatens Israel and the US

On Thursday, the leader of Iran’s Terrorist Revolutionary Guard stated that Iran is ready to strike the United States and Israel if either nation gives them any reason to do so.

On Thursday, the leader of Iran’s Terrorist Revolutionary Guard stated that Iran is ready to strike the United States and Israel if either nation gives them any reason to do so.

According to Reuters, Major General Hossein Salami said in a speech at a ceremony marking the 40th day since the death of top commander Qassem Soleimani said, “If you make the slightest error, we will hit both of you.”

Soleimani, who was head of the Quds Force, a branch of the Guards responsible for operations outside Iran, was killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad on January 3 along with Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Earlier on Thursday, a spokesman for the Revolutionary Guards said the killing of Soleimani will lead to the liberation of Jerusalem.

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“The cowardly and craven assassination of commander Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis by the Americans will lead to the liberation of Jerusalem, by the grace of God,” the spokesman, Ramezan Sharif, said, according to Reuters.

Iranian officials have upped their rhetoric against both the US and Israel in recent days.

On Wednesday, Israel National News reported that a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry warned that Iran “will give a crushing response that will cause regret to any kind of aggression or stupid action from this regime against our country’s interests in Syria and the region.”

Previously, the former Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard warned in a TV interview that Iran will “raze Tel Aviv to the ground” if it is attacked by the US.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei regularly threatens Israel and has several times in the past threatened to “annihilate” the cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa.

In November, he stressed, however, that his country is not against the Jews, only against the “Israeli regime” and the State of Israel, which he described as an “imposed state”.

Reuters.com; Israelnationalnews.com (February, 2020) Iran says it will strike U.S. and Israel if they make the ‘slightest error’; Iranian commander: We’re ready to strike the US and Israel