How ISIS Broadcasts Its Message To The World: Satellite Dishes Bought In Turkey

Tyler Durden's picture

Over the last six or so months, it’s become abundantly clear that Turkey is home to several of the key transit and supply routes utilized by Islamic State. 

Ankara has long been suspected of turning a blind eye to the legions of foreign fighters that flow across the border into Syria and as Nafeez Ahmed noted last month, there’s voluminous evidence to support the contention that Turkey’s government is complicit in the terror group’s activities. This evidence was available long before the Russian MoD blew the whistle on Erdogan’s ties to the group’s illicit crude trade.

Here are some key excerpts from Nafeez’s piece "NATO is harbouring the Islamic State: Why France’s brave new war on ISIS is a sick joke," as originally published in Medium:

A senior Western official familiar with a large cache of intelligence obtained this summer from a major raid on an ISIS safehouse told the Guardian that “direct dealings between Turkish officials and ranking ISIS members was now ‘undeniable.’”

 

The same official confirmed that Turkey, a longstanding member of NATO, is not just supporting ISIS, but also other jihadist groups, including Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria. “The distinctions they draw [with other opposition groups] are thin indeed,” said the official. “There is no doubt at all that they militarily cooperate with both.”

 

In a rare insight into this brazen state-sponsorship of ISIS, a year ago Newsweek reported the testimony of a former ISIS communications technician, who had travelled to Syria to fight the regime of Bashir al-Assad.

 

The former ISIS fighter told Newsweek that Turkey was allowing ISIS trucks from Raqqa to cross the “border, through Turkey and then back across the border to attack Syrian Kurds in the city of Serekaniye in northern Syria in February.” ISIS militants would freely travel “through Turkey in a convoy of trucks,” and stop “at safehouses along the way.”

 

The former ISIS communication technician also admitted that he would routinely “connect ISIS field captains and commanders from Syria with people in Turkey on innumerable occasions,” adding that “the people they talked to were Turkish officials… ISIS commanders told us to fear nothing at all because there was full cooperation with the Turks.”

Back in May, The New York Times reported that in addition to foreign fighters and weapons, ammonium nitrate also flows across the porous border between Syria and Turkey. "The open transport of ammonium nitrate into Islamic State territory points to lingering questions about Turkey’s commitment to isolating its jihadist neighbors," The Times wrote on the way to documenting how the fertilizer (which is also used to build bombs) makes its way from Akcakale, which is home to 90,000 Turks to the Syrian town of Tel Abyad. 

As if all of the above wasn't enough, testimony from an ISIS fighter captured by the Kurdish YPG points to Turkey as a training ground for new ISIS recruits. "The training took place in Turkey because the Daesh command thought that it was safer there than in Syria. It wasn't possible to carry out training in Syria because of airstrikes," the soldier said, adding that "the media wrote that we were training in an FSA military camp, but in fact, all 60 of us were members of Daesh."

And then there is of course the infamous illegal crude racket in which ISIS is suspected to work closely with the Turks in trafficking stolen oil from captured fields in Syria and Iraq to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. 

Now, thanks to an investigative report by Spiegel, we learn that Islamic State also procures satellite dishes in Turkey and before you write that off as immaterial, or inconsequential compared to everything else ISIS gets across the Syrian border, consider that without these dishes, the group could not disemminate its propaganda. "No terror organization uses the Internet as successfully when it comes to marketing itself and recruiting supporters as Islamic State (IS) does," Spiegel begins, before asking the following: "...how is it able to do so given that the group operates in a region where telecommunications infrastructure has been largely destroyed?"

Here's more: 

If you need to get online in Syria or Iraq, the technology needed to do so can be purchased in the Hatay province -- a corner of Turkey located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Syrian border. 

 

Thousands of dishes have been installed in the region allowing users to access the Internet by satellite. There has been a huge surge in recent years in the satellite Internet business.

 

In Antakya, the demand for satellite technology on the other side of the border has fueled a boom in business. Two of the numerous dealers based here say independently of each other that they each have about 2,500 users in Syria and that they have monthly revenues of around $100,000. When asked who, specifically, they are selling their equipment and services to, they cautiously answer that they provide them only to commercial partners. They say they don't know who the end customers are.

 

Syrian activists claim that satellite dishes are located all over the place -- on the rooftops of IS media centers and on top of the private homes of members of the terrorist militia. Without them, IS would be cut off from the outside world.

 

A number of distribution firms are involved in the sales chain of the technologies required to obtain satellite Internet access. At the beginning of this chain are the major European satellite operators, led by France's Eutelsat, Great Britain's Avanti Communications and Luxembourg's SES. 

 

Distribution firms then buy facilities and satellite capacity from the big companies and resell it to corporate or private customers. 

 

Sales in Turkey are fairly slow too, because satellite connections are more expensive than classic DSL access.

 

According to the most recent data available from Turkey’s telecommunications authority, there were 11,000 registered satellite Internet users in Turkey during the first quarter of 2015, only 500 more than the previous year.

 

But during 2013 and 2014, alone, Neustadt-based Sat Internet Services exported more than 6,000 dishes to Turkey, customs agency documents obtained by SPIEGEL ONLINE show. It is likely that most of those satellite dishes did not remain in Turkey, and there's a strong chance a good deal of them ended up in Syria. The Syrian market has a decisive advantage in that there is no alternative Internet access available, meaning prices can be set very high.

Spiegel then asks why, given how clear it seemingly is that Islamic State is operating dishes purchased in Turkey, the companies involved in providing the service can't simply cut the militants' access. After noting that both SES and Eutelsat denied having any knowledge or control of who their end customers ultimately are, Spiegel says that "satellite operators and their distribution partners generally can determine the location of the equipment they are supplying." Afterall, the German weekly continues, "when they install satellite dishes and configure Internet access, their customers are required to provide their GPS coordinates." The fact that many of the satellite dishes are located in Raqqa, al-Bab, Deir al-Zor and along the Euphrates River into Iraq and the IS-occupied city of Mosul leads to one rather obvious question: "Why don't the companies take action to stop it?" 

That is of course just a reformulation of the question that has been asked over and over again with regard to Islamic State's operations. For instance, the US knows where ISIS media centers are located but hasn't bombed them. Similarly, it took Russia exposing the Islamic State oil trade for the whole world to see before the US moved to target the group's oil convoys despite the fact that Washington was well aware of their locations prior to Moscow's intervention. The excuse was always fear of "collateral damage."

As it relates to the satellite dishes, Spiegel suggests the answer may lie in the profit motive. It's also suggested that perhaps the companies are passing the data along to authorities. We'll leave you with two final quotes and leave it to readers to decide for themselves.

Although most satellite operators do not publish their internal figures, industry analysts say it costs between €300 million and €400 million to build a satellite and to launch it into orbit. Does that explain why satellite operators might be willing to accept the fact that they provide the infrastructure needed by a terrorist group to communicate, disseminate their propaganda and possibly plan attacks? 

 

Or perhaps the companies have full knowledge of who is using their services and are sharing that information with intelligence services.  

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km4's picture

Recep Tayyip Erdo?an @RT_Erdogan is proud ;-)

beemasters's picture

"why are the satellite service providers not doing anything to stop the group from spreading its message?"

Because they also believe in the freedom of speech? See who's hating whose freedom now. /sarc

Wild E Coyote's picture

Free Speech? 

http://www.mojahedin.org/newsen/20866/IntelSat-cuts-off-Iranian-TV-broad...

European Satellite operators had no qualms cutting off Iranian and Syrian Channels. 

And this also explains why they continue supporting ISIS channels. 

BuddyEffed's picture

Anything transmitted to or from a Satellite should easily be identifiable to the satellite provider, and some governments version of NSA.

ISIS doesn't have their own satellite, do they?  If not, then they are using somebody's elses satellite and that should be a big red flag. 

One would think it would be easy to pinpoint the transmitting satellite both from the ground up, and from the satellite back down to the ground.

It should be easy to notch out any dish that has been used in ISIS comm and to never allow a transmission from it again.

And the satellite owner should be getting a visit from the men in black.

wesson's picture

Technically, internet satellite cover several countries, and the provided GPS is only informational, just to decide which transponder is the most suitable. So for each transponder, you have hundreth if not thousand of km of coverage. If the station itself is not equipped with a GPS locator to sniff the real location (afaik they aren't), it's not possible to obtain even a coarse location.

 

So to my knoweledge it is not really possible to locate internet sat. dishes precisely from where they operate. Should they use after a good VPN provided (I mean, one that is not sit in the USA as *everything* there is taped) and / or use the TOR network, it should be quite impossible to come back to the source.

 

Judging by the quality of the media provided by ISIS, they must have some network specialists that are capable to organize this.

lakecity55's picture

Larry The Cable Guy:

"I was forced to work for ISIS!"

On sale in next week's National Inquirer!

ombudsmanrules's picture

I'm placing my bets on Eutelsat with their Ka band transponders which reaches deep into Syria and probably extends further east at the nodes - at least further than their advertised footprint which gives differing receive levels for that part of the coverage area.    They deliver 20Mbps down and about 5Mbps up.   Whole bunch of resellers but effectively the same thing.  Fairly cheap too.

70cm offset dishes - should be obvious what's a VSAT terminal rather than a TVRO setup.  Quite easy to set up too as the latest Euelsat bird has lots of high power spot beams across almost all EU and into Middle East.  As most of them are very directional it wouldn't be too hard to work out who is sending to which spot beam.  If you think about it - they could just turn off the spot beams pointed into Turkey/Syria - more likely they're logging them 24/7.

It's also fairly trivial to see the incoming IP connections and map them through any known Tor relays.  It'd be fairly obvious which packet streams are Tor or a similar clone because they don't work overly well on long latency satellite IP links - especially duplex links where you have the signal doing a 100,000km average round trip.   

 

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

If they wany Turkish satellites, isn't it all about fair trade between entities? Whilst ignoring trade sanctions with Iran, didn't Halliburton indirectly try to wipe Israel off the map? Let's get that message out there ISIS, you're entitled too yanno!

ombudsmanrules's picture

The whole thing is a total mess.   Don't want to give them any ideas but if they were really smart they woudn't be using Sat internet at all.   Raqqah is so close to the Turkish border they could easily set up long range ultra-directional WiFi links into Turkey - using the latest 802.11ac point to point links like these https://www.ubnt.com/products/    then just connect into the network there.  That would be exceptionally hard to track down..

conscious being's picture

Believe me, the content can be recognized. In your work around example, you know the content, you know the provider who put it up from Turkey in your example. Tell them to stop doing it.

 

Tarshatha's picture

Israel - US - Turkey - ISIS  -Israel,

   Israel - US - Turkey - ISIS  -Israel,

      Israel - US - Turkey - ISIS  -Israel,

 

Helen Keller could follow this trail.

wesson's picture

Ok for TOR, it's impractical with SAT dishes because of the incompressible ping. However regular VPN are still OK, and why not they can also transmit in clear form so it's buried under massive amount of unrelated transmissions. Maybe it's more traceable, but not stoppable when they do it. 

 

On the spot discussion, yes Ka-Sat offer plenty of spots, however for the entire Turkey, it's only 4 spots.

 

With end-user stock hardware (70 cm dish with a very basic triax), they can establish Internet commection from all the northern Syria (1 spot) or northern Irak(1 spot). With a better dish I think they can operate from Southern Syria (such as Deir Ez-Zor).

 

however, tbqh I think their media center is not located in conflict area, but in some safe location such as Turkey or Saudi, and then use a dish from there so their IP can't be easily geolocated.

 

And knowing the directivity at their working frequencies (12 GHz band), I really wonder how they can be traced/ intercepted, especially for Sat communication.

conscious being's picture

First off, you are talking like you need to know the "geolocation", is that like location? You can recognize the content. The content has an IP address. The address came from an internet provider. Tell the provider to cease transmitting the content. It's a war.

conscious being's picture

Right and would you believe, to this day, no one knows who sold those UAL puts? You underestimate the NSA.

goldhedge's picture

You won't read this in the British mainstream media.

 

But you get...

 

"

Russian airstrikes kill over 2,300 in Syria, says human rights group"
highcapacity's picture

Now Vlad knows the next bomb target .... sat dishes. Nice exercise for the Pilots.

Tall Tom's picture

Spiegel then asks why, given how clear it seemingly is that Islamic State is operating dishes purchased in Turkey, the companies involved in providing the service can't simply cut the militants' access. After noting that both SES and Eutelsat denied having any knowledge or control of who their end customers ultimately are, Spiegel says that "satellite operators and their distribution partners generally can determine the location of the equipment they are supplying." Afterall, the German weekly continues, "when they install satellite dishes and configure Internet access, their customers are required to provide their GPS coordinates." The fact that many of the satellite dishes are located in Raqqa, al-Bab, Deir al-Zor and along the Euphrates River into Iraq and the IS-occupied city of Mosul leads to one rather obvious question: "Why don't the companies take action to stop it?" 

 

Just what financial incentive is there to cut off any service?

 

HERE IS A CLUE AS T THE REASON...SINCE its tis APPARENT that the EDITORS of SPEIGEL cannot figure it out.

 

THE SATELITTE SERVICES ARE IN BUSINESS TO MAKE A PROFIT.

 

The BOTTOM LINE of a Profit/Loss Statement is more important than anything in a business. Business owners are not in it to provide WELFARE, expecially to the Government.

 

Just how fucking stupid can theuy be to ask such a shallow question with an obvious answer.

 

Yeah Satellite Operators and Service Providers are in business to make a buck...er...Euro.

 

And doing just that must be wrong in Socialist Germany. How dare they want to make a profit???

conscious being's picture

TT. As some one rightly points out below, they're paying with a Tel Aviv credit card. Network "news" doesn't care about profits. Network "news" cares about getting the message out.

Happy New Year in Lakeview or Lakeside.

Benjamin123's picture

How do you know they are paying with a tel aviv card, whatever that means?

eurogold's picture

Turkey has and will always play both sides to it's advantage. The turks are the biggest pieces of shit on the planet.

This story is no surprise.

uhland62's picture

Indeed. And they still want into the EU, with their porous borders? Saddam and Assad were vilified for how they treated their own people, Turkey does the same with the Kurds and remains in NATO. 

Yen Cross's picture

 I'd say you pretty much summed up the Turks.

 About an decade ago a turkisk guy I knew married an American woman and open 3 Mexican restaurants.

 The guy failed because he treated his help like slaves. He must owe 100's of thousands of $'s in taxes, but ran back to Turkey, after his wife got fed up.

    Tax Payers-R- Us.

Tall Tom's picture

You may want to employ some critical thinking and not allow yourself to fall into a manipulative trap.

 

I know that you can do it. (Read below.)

Benjamin123's picture

Treats his workers as slaves and does not pay taxes? That hardly makes them the worst shit in the world.

I thought that was us israelis, then again, everything is going hyperbolic.

Obama is the worst president ever, killing is genocide, the climate has never been warmer and everyone is worse than nazis.

Tall Tom's picture

Turkey has and will always play both sides to it's advantage. The turks are the biggest pieces of shit on the planet.

This story is no surprise.

 

Oh my God...may the Good Lord have mercy.

 

The United States has and will always play both sides to it's advantage. The Yankee murderers are the biggest pieces of shit on the planet.

This story is no surprise.

 

Russia has and will always play both sides to it's advantage. The Commie Pinko Bastards are the biggest pieces of shit on the planet.

This story is no surprise.

 

Israel has and will always play both sides to it's advantage. The Jews are the biggest pieces of shit on the planet.

This story is no surprise.

 

France has and will always play both sides to it's advantage. The Frogs are the biggest pieces of shit on the planet.

This story is no surprise.

 

Germany has and will always play both sides to it's advantage. The Krauts are the biggest pieces of shit on the planet.

This story is no surprise.

 

China has and will always play both sides to it's advantage. The Chinks are the biggest pieces of shit on the planet.

This story is no surprise.

 

as EVERY SINGLE NATION ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET.

 

DO YOU SEE HOW EASY THAT YOU ARE SWAYED BY A VACCUOUS AND MEANINGLESS, UNSUBSTANTIATED, SENTENCE?

 

NINETEEN OF YOU FUCKING IDIOT SOCK PUPPETS REACT...WITHOUT A FUCKING THOUGHT IN YOUR EMPTY HEAD...AND VALIDATE THIS EMPTY UNTHOUGHTFUL STATEMENT.

 

I cannot believe how so many of you are PROGRAMMED to follow. It blows my mind.

 

TYLER...WE NEED TO REINSTATE THE CAPTCHA.

defender1be's picture

You are talking about gouverments, not the people in general. With the turks, it are the people in general that are slime of the lowest form. I live in Belgium and there are alot of turks here. Only thing the are good at is lying, cheating, manipulation. And a terrible retarded sens of national "pride". I think you are the one with the empty head if you don't understand the difference between gouverment and the population. Or you are a trol turk, defending his retarded brothers.

r3ct1f13r's picture

Now that's a customer service headache.

uhland62's picture

Weren't some hacker groups going to 'play' with some Turkish connections? What happened to that idea? 

_SILENCER's picture

Jim Willie was on record quite a long time ago stating that ISIS was run out of the US Embassy in Ankara, Turkey.

 

 

Freddie's picture

Bullshit.  ISIS videos are made on Paramount's backlot or east out in Palmdale or some other deserty shithole in Callie-Porn-ia.  DreamWorks helps Rita Katz and she finds these ISIS videos on the "interwebs" and tyurns them over to CNN.

The CGI is done by Industrial Light and Magic or the other dream makers at Langley.

 

Normalcy Bias's picture

Soooo ...are the goat and infidel rape channels in the premium package?

Just askin'...

Yen Cross's picture

 Who cares?

 Violent but silent/

 That cocksucking Autocratic/Dictatorial liar, Erdogan, is on his way out!

 I'd love to punch that scrawny son of his, in the face!

WTFUD's picture

Come tae grips! If Turkey and the EU networks didn't provide those communication services and hardware how would Supreme Commander McCain keep in touch with his subordinates at Nusrah Front H/Q.

McCain 'assalamualaiukum , is that you Mo? '
Mohammad ' allahu akbar Commander '
McCain ' Parcel drop tonight, 0200 hours '
Mohammad ' allahu akbar, allahu akbar Commander '
McCain ' allahu akbar Mo '

onmail1's picture

erDOGan famiy may be dragged on the streets & torn to pieces 

when the govt. changes

then only they will wake up 

& curse their master America & CabalA$$LickerLiarAddictObama

KuriousKat's picture

This is most peculiar as tweets from Raqqa claimed they were banned back in August.

Also..

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/08/21/report-isis-bans-t...

so what gives?

 

 

 

Yen Cross's picture

 NATO is an FARCE!

css1971's picture

No. It's functioning as expected.

Wild E Coyote's picture

Although most satellite operators do not publish their internal figures, industry analysts say it costs between €300 million and €400 million to build a satellite and to launch it into orbit. Does that explain why satellite operators might be willing to accept the fact that they provide the infrastructure needed by a terrorist group to communicate, disseminate their propaganda and possibly plan attacks? 

Well take a look at the following News:

http://www.mojahedin.org/newsen/20866/IntelSat-cuts-off-Iranian-TV-broad...

European Satellite operators had no qualms cutting off more than 40 Iranian and Syrian Channels. 

So, it cannot be true that Sattelite operators are supporting ISIS becuase of profit reasons.

GhostOfDiogenes's picture

"that Sattelite operators are supporting ISIS becuase of profit reasons."

Some profits are more prophetic than other prophets.

Plus, isis pays their satellite bills with israeli credit cards.

Muse minus Time's picture

What's interesting is these loud EA-18Growlers buzzing the NW residents are capable of jamming electronics....guess they are planning to use it on us...obviously not using it there

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSK-JcK1MTc   EA-18G

Salami's picture

It also goes to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube how come ISIS accounts are not been close?

Zinu's picture

ISIS is in Syria which is in border with Turkey. So where would one  buy if not in Turkey? In Japan? Shipped over oceans? When products are sold you don't ask is that for ISIS. Or is that happening somewhere?

Lame article. 

css1971's picture

EMP solves that problem.

lakecity55's picture

I thought Alciaduh provided their satellite service...

roadhazard's picture

Sand people got nothing.

conscious being's picture

What more is there to say? They are all so corrupt. Have we reached Peak corruption yet?

DontWorry's picture

Of course we're supplying their communications technology - makes it easier to monitor.  You always attempt to infiltrate your enemies supply and communication lines.

SmittyinLA's picture

Putin will fix the terrorists satellites when the west attacks Russia directly.

Ms No's picture

Unbelievable!  As of yet the coalition of arbitrary has been unable to counter the terriss cloaking devices and magic carpets. 

Technology is starting to become a real problem when explaining these impossibilities but they don't seem to even care.  Meanwhile we are lucky if our rulers allow us encryption on our email.

Once the coalition of arbitrary gets completely exposed funding ISIS they risk being held responsible for ALL of the actions of this organization.  Not only that but these games also risk exposing the funding of many other organizations and operations throughout history.  They don't seem too worried.  Which makes one wonder if this is just another way that the US is getting set up.     

fowlerja's picture

Where is the NSA when you need them? Maybe the US needs to hire Edward Snowden to help them track down ISIS capabilities.