Close
Josh Lefkowitz
Chief Executive Officer
Josh Lefkowitz executes the company’s strategic vision to empower organizations with Business Risk Intelligence (BRI). He has worked extensively with authorities to track and analyze terrorist groups. Mr. Lefkowitz also served as a consultant to the FBI’s senior management team and worked for a top tier, global investment bank. Mr. Lefkowitz holds an MBA from Harvard University and a BA from Williams College.
Evan Kohlmann
Chief Innovation Officer
Evan Kohlmann focuses on product innovation at Flashpoint where he leverages fifteen years’ experience tracking Al-Qaida, ISIS, and other terrorist groups. He has consulted for the US Department of Defense, the US Department of Justice, the Australian Federal Police, and Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command, among others. Mr. Kohlmann holds a JD from the Univ. of Pennsylvania Law School and a BSFS in International Politics from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown Univ.
Josh Devon
Chief Operating Officer / VP Product
Josh Devon focuses on product vision and strategy at Flashpoint while ensuring the company’s departments function synergistically during its rapid growth. He also works to ensure that customers receive best in class products, services, and support. Previously, Mr. Devon co-founded the SITE Intelligence Group where he served as Assistant Director. He holds an MA from SAIS at Johns Hopkins Univ. At the Univ. of Pennsylvania, he received a BS in Economics from the Wharton School and a BA in English from the College of Arts and Sciences.
Jennifer Leggio
Chief Marketing Officer
Jennifer Leggio is responsible for Flashpoint’s marketing, customer acquisition, and operations. Ms. Leggio has more than 20 years of experience driving marketing, communications and go-to-market strategies in the cybersecurity industry. She’s previously held senior leadership roles at Digital Shadows, Cisco, Sourcefire, and Fortinet. She’s been a contributor to Forbes and ZDNet, and has spoken on the importance of coordinated disclosure at DEF CON and Hack in the Box, and on threat actor “publicity” trends at RSA Conference, Gartner Security Summit, and SXSW Interactive.
Chris Camacho
Chief Strategy Officer
Chris Camacho leads the company’s sales and client engagement & development teams, which also includes customer success, solution architecture, business development, strategic integrations, and the FPCollab sharing community. With over 15 years of cybersecurity leadership experience, he has spearheaded initiatives across Operational Strategy, Incident Response, Threat Management, and Security Operations to ensure cyber risk postures align with business goals. Most recently as a Senior Vice President of Information Security at Bank of America, Mr. Camacho was responsible for overseeing the Threat Management Program. An entrepreneur, Mr. Camacho also serves as CEO for NinjaJobs: a career-matching community for elite cybersecurity talent. He has a BS in Decision Sciences & Management of Information Systems from George Mason University.
Lisa Iadanza
Chief People Officer
Lisa M. Iadanza leads all functional areas of People Operations at Flashpoint, including human resources, talent acquisition & management, employee engagement, and developing high performance teams. In addition to collaborating with the executive team to drive strategic growth, she plays an integral role in fostering Flashpoint’s culture and mission. Driven by her passions for mentorship, employee advocacy, and talent development, Ms. Iadanza has more than twenty years of experience in building, scaling, and leading human resources functions. Prior to Flashpoint, she held leadership roles at Conde Nast, Terra Technology, and FreeWheel. She is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and holds a bachelor’s degree in management with concentrations in human resources and marketing from State University of New York at Binghamton.
Rob Reznick
VP of Finance and Corporate Development
Rob Reznick leads the finance, accounting, and corporate development teams at Flashpoint. Rob previously served as Director of Finance & Accounting for 1010data (acquired by Advance/Newhouse), and Director of Finance for Financial Guard (acquired by Legg Mason) after prior work in forensic accounting and dispute consulting. Mr. Reznick is a Certified Public Accountant and holds an MBA and MAcc from the Fisher College of Business at the Ohio State University, and a BBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.
Lance James
Chief Scientist / VP Engineering
Lance James is responsible for leading Flashpoint’s technology development. Prior to joining Flashpoint in 2015, he was the Head of Cyber Intelligence at Deloitte & Touche LLP. Mr. James has been an active member of the security community for over 20 years and enjoys working creatively together with technology teams to design and develop impactful solutions that disrupt online threats.
Brian Costello
SVP Global Partnerships and U.S. Public Sector
Brian Costello, a 20-year information technology and security solutions veteran, is responsible for leading the Global Sales, Solution Architecture, and Professional Services teams at Flashpoint. Throughout his career, Brian has successfully built security and cloud teams that have provided customers with innovative technology solutions, exceeded targets and consistently grown business year over year. Prior to Flashpoint, Brian led a global security and cloud vertical practice for Verizon. Brian also held senior leadership roles at Invincea, Risk Analytics and Cybertrust. Brian received his B.A. from George Mason University.
Tom Hofmann
VP Intelligence
Tom Hofmann leads the intelligence directorate that is responsible for the collection, analysis, production, and dissemination of Deep and Dark Web data. He works closely with clients to prioritize their intelligence requirements and ensures internal Flashpoint operations are aligned to those needs. Mr. Hofmann has been at the forefront of cyber intelligence operations in the commercial, government, and military sectors, and is renowned for his ability to drive effective intelligence operations to support offensive and defensive network operations.
Jake Wells
VP, Client Engagement & Development and Solution Architecture
Jake Wells leads strategic integrations and information sharing as part of the client engagement & development team, which serves as an internal advocate for our government and commercial clients to ensure Flashpoint’s intelligence solutions meet their evolving needs. He leverages a decade of experience running cyber and counterterrorism investigations, most recently with the NYPD Intelligence Bureau, to maximize the value customers generate from our products and services. Mr. Wells holds an MA from Columbia University and a BA from Emory University.
Brian Brown
VP Business Development
Brian Brown is responsible for the overall direction of strategic sales and development supporting Flashpoint’s largest clients. In his role, Mr. Brown focuses on designing and executing growth-oriented sales penetration strategies across multiple vertical markets, including both Government and Commercial, supporting Flashpoint’s Sales and Business Development Teams. An experienced entrepreneur, Mr. Brown also serves as CSO for NinjaJobs, a private community created to match elite cybersecurity talent with top tier global jobs and also advise growth-stage cybersecurity companies.
Justin Rogers
VP Revenue Operations
Justin Rogers leads the Revenue Operations team at Flashpoint, aligning marketing, sales, partnerships, and customer success across vision, planning, process, and goals. He leverages over 15 years of experience in security, strategy, product design, and implementation to drive growth, provide an end-to-end view of the customer journey, and a seamless customer experience. Recently, Justin led Marketing for Centripetal, bringing the first Threat Intelligence Gateway to market. Previously, he managed operations of a Counter IED lab electronics forensics division while forward deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Justin holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire.
Glenn Lemons
Executive Director of Customer Success
Glenn Lemons is a Executive Director of Customer Success at Flashpoint. He previously served as the acting Director of Citigroup's Cyber Intelligence Center where he was responsible for analyzing and reacting to intelligence from a variety of threats. These threats ranged from fraudulent activity and attempting to defraud Citi's clients to supporting security operations for the firm's worldwide network presence. He has extensive experience working with multiple clients across the financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, and public sectors. Glenn also has more than 26 years of intelligence experience within the operational and support communities in the U.S. military and federal civilian service; seven of which focused on both defensive and offensive cyber operations. While working for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, he testified numerous times before U.S. Congressional committees and member requested open and closed sessions.
Close
Steve Leightell
Steve started his career in Internet sales in the early 1990s and was always a top sales rep before transitioning to business development. By the early 2000s, he was the Director of Business Development at DWL, where he managed a team that built partnerships with Accenture, Oracle, Tata Consulting, Wipro, Cognizant and IBM. Steve designed the channel and strategy that ultimately culminated in the acquisition of DWL by IBM in 2005. He went on to lead a global team within IBM that was responsible for major system integrator partnerships. In 2008, he left IBM to found a niche consulting firm focused on business development for SaaS organizations. Steve holds a BA in anthropology and sociology from Carleton University in Ottawa.
Ellie Wheeler
Ellie Wheeler is a Partner at Greycroft and is based in the firm’s New York office. Prior to joining Greycroft, Ellie worked in a similar role evaluating investment opportunities at Lowercase Capital. Ellie also worked at Cisco in Corporate Development doing acquisitions, investments, and strategy within the unified communications, enterprise software, mobile, and video sectors. While at Cisco, she was involved in multiple acquisitions and investments, including PostPath, Jabber, Xobni, and Tandberg. She began her career in growth capital private equity at Summit Partners in Boston. Ellie graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University with a BA in Psychology and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Glenn McGonnigle
Glenn McGonnigle is a General Partner at TechOperators. Prior to launching TechOperators in 2008, Glenn was CEO of VistaScape Security Systems, a venture-backed provider of enterprise intelligent video surveillance software. He lead the company through its successful sale to Siemens Building Technologies. Previously, Glenn was a co-founder and senior executive of Atlanta-based Internet Security Systems (ISS) where he helped raise initial venture capital and launch the business. For 7 years, he led the business development team in developing sales channels and entering the managed security services market. During his tenure, the company grew from startup to revenues of over $225 million and was later acquired by IBM for $1.3 billion.
Peter George
Peter George has an established track record of building companies that deliver sustained growth and profits and in identifying critical worldwide partnership opportunities that strategically expand market share. Prior to becoming President and CEO of Fidelis Security Systems in 2008, Mr. George spent the last seven years as President and CEO of Crossbeam Systems, the market leader in the high-end segment of the Unified Threat Management market, where he took the company from being a pre-revenue start-up to over $50 million in revenue. Previously, he was President of Nortel Networks Enterprise Business in Europe, Middle-East, and Africa, responsible for managing more than 5,000 employees and $2 billion in revenue. Mr. George came to Nortel via their 1998 acquisition of Bay Networks where he was serving as vice president of European operations. During his tenure at Wellfleet and Bay, he played key sales executive roles in New England and in Europe. Prior to joining Wellfleet, Mr. George served as the Northeast regional manager and GM of Canada at 3Com Corporation, and also held senior management positions at Ungerman Bass. He received his BA from the College of the Holy Cross, and has done graduate studies at Harvard and Oxford University.
Brendan Hannigan
Brendan joined Polaris Partners in 2016 as an entrepreneur partner. In this role, he focuses on funding and founding companies in the technology sector with a concentration in cloud, analytics, and cybersecurity. Brendan is a co-founder of Sonrai Security and chairman of Twistlock, both Polaris investments. He also currently serves on the board of Bitsight Technologies and Flashpoint. A 25 year technology industry veteran, Brendan was most recently the general manager of IBM Security. Under Brendan’s leadership, IBM Security grew significantly faster than the overall security market to become the number one enterprise security provider in the world with almost $2B of annual revenue.
image/svg+xml image/svg+xml
The Flashpoint API enables users to enrich data and analytics through our integration partners - Learn More

The Rise of the Militant Internet and Jihadists’ Militant Manuals

BRI
October 26, 2016

The rise in ISIS-inspired “lone wolf” attacks over the past year has no doubt been influenced by the group’s exploitation of the ease of both mass and private communication provided by the Internet. For years, ISIS and its supporters have leveraged the Internet to disseminate propaganda rapidly to an ever-expanding global audience. This practice has helped ISIS to radicalize supporters, recruit foreign fighters, and incite terror attacks around the world. As jihadists’ robust online presence continues to exert a sinister influence, concerns have emerged regarding the Internet’s role in the unusually-advanced skill sets of certain radicalized individuals. Indeed, investigations into recent lone-wolf terror attacks — such as those in San Bernardino, Nice, and Orlando — have raised questions about the attackers’ advanced abilities to build explosives, purchase and use guns, and execute unconventional attack methods. While numerous factors can contribute to such skills, there is an undeniably strong correlation between certain attackers’ capabilities and the growing amount of terrorism-specific information available online.

In this post, we’ll examine how this recent abundance of jihadi instructional information available online — which we refer to collectively as “Militant Manuals” — is shifting both the cyber and physical landscapes of ISIS and its supporters.

The role of the Deep & Dark Web

Jihadists’ online presence operates within what could be considered the “Militant Internet.” Largely based within the shrouded confines of the Deep & Dark Web, the Militant Internet primarily comprises password-protected jihadi forums, invitation-online channels on chat programs like Telegram — an encrypted messaging application popular among jihadists — and difficult-to-access illicit websites that host resources for ISIS and its supporters. The Militant Internet plays an integral role in both the cyber and physical operations of jihadists because it enables communication, collaboration, and in most cases, anonymity.

Dispersed throughout much of the Militant Internet, Militant Manuals are more available now than ever before. The heightened security measures and relative lack of scrutiny afforded by the Deep & Dark Web have enabled jihadists to disseminate these manuals amongst their supporters securely and efficiently. The potent combination of the ever-expanding Militant Internet and vast online network of jihadists has rendered Militant Manuals — with instructional content suitable for war zones– increasingly accessible to self-radicalized individuals around the world.

Militant Manuals shed light on jihadi operations

At Flashpoint, we have uncovered countless Militant Manuals throughout the Militant Internet. In particular, one ISIS-affiliated Deep Web forum contains an entire section devoted solely to instructional information. This specific section is currently the forum’s most popular and includes hundreds of member discussions — many of which date back to 2007 or earlier.

Back in April 2016, we observed the emergence of three pro-ISIS Dark Web sites offering bomb-making instructions, combat training manuals, official ISIS propaganda, and a live stream of ISIS’s official al-Bayan radio. One particular site streamed an instructional video on the remote-detonation of explosives via mobile phones — a tactic ISIS fighters have used in previous attacks. Another site provided instructions for operating AK-47 automatic rifles, building explosives, and executing military maneuvers. This particular site has indicated that it will soon introduce an archive of all official ISIS propaganda, along with additional Militant Manuals.

These Militant Manuals continue to reflect ISIS’s keen adaptability, agility, and collective strategy during times of heightened conflict. In light of recent US-led airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, manuals explaining how to counter the bombardment and confront war jets surfaced in quick succession. The vast accessibility of these Militant Manuals has contributed to terror attacks on numerous occasions; in 2013, the Tsarnaev brothers launched the Boston Marathon terror attack using deadly bombs they had built themselves, in part by following instructions featured in Inspire, al-Qaida’s English-language magazine.

Interactive instructional content on the rise

While Militant Manuals typically exist as PDF documents, instructional videos, or web articles, recent trends suggest an increase in interactive content, such as jihadi peer support mechanics and live Q&A style sessions run by “militant” moderators. Occurring primarily on jihadi Telegram channels and Dark Web forums, these discussions regularly run the gamut on everything from weapons, chemical explosives, and poisonous elements to the evasion of authority. Such interactive content tends to facilitate collective brainstorming among jihadists. Flashpoint has even observed discussions in which forum members suggest testing out unconventional weapons and attack methods, such as building gadgets for concentrating electromagnetic waves or using trainable birds to disrupt plane engines. Others have even suggested the use of helium balloons carrying small explosives toward jets. While many of these suggested tactics are far-fetched and hardly viable, they do showcase jihadists’ substantial abilities to exhibit creativity and ingenuity during times of conflict.

Telegram remains key despite recent scrutiny

For many jihadists, it’s no secret that the Militant Internet is their lifeblood. Specifically, Telegram is one critical platform on which many jihadists rely for the dissemination of Militant Manuals. However, frequent surveillance of jihadi Telegram channels often results in the removal of certain channels. Once suspended, however, many channels typically resurface under a new name within days — a common practice that exemplifies jihadists’ adaptability and persistence in the face of scrutiny. One private, invitation-only channel called “Inspire the Believers” has been suspended multiple times, but its jihadi operators have proactively coordinated with their supporters to syndicate the release of their Militant Manuals across other similar Telegram channels. Not only does multi-channel syndication ensure consistent access to such content in the event of a channel suspension, it helps jihadists uphold the robust presence and global reach of the Militant Internet.

Shortly after one recent suspension, the “Inspire the Believers” Telegram channel resurfaced under the name “Training Technicians” and continues to release Militant Manuals to a support base of over 430 members. Historically, this channel has covered a wide range of jihadi instructional topics, many of which of are catalogued below:

  • Vandalism — How to vandalize residential and urban areas
  • Explosive Chargers and Fuses — Homemade detonation mechanism
  • Circuit Explosives — Boobytrapping explosives with circuits
  • Demolition Operational Tactics — Building explosives for demolition purposes
  • Metal Pipes Explosives — How to build IEDs from metal pipes
  • Various Explosive Fillings — Instructions on building various explosives
  • Explosive Formulas — Chemical formulas to build unconventional explosives
  • Tactical Mine Planting — Planting mines in tactical operation
  • Bombs and Grenades — How to use bombs and hand grenades
  • Deceptive Bombs — How to craft an ambush with explosives
  • Timers for Explosives — How to use digital timers in detonation
  • Remote Detonation (mobile phones) — How to use mobile phones in detonation
  • Using IEDs — Instructions on building conventional IEDs
  • Explosive Workshops and Manufacturing — Large-scale explosive building
  • Easy Explosives — How to build bombs from easily purchasable material
  • Advanced Explosive Courses — Instruction for experienced explosive makers

As is typical for jihadi Telegram channels, these instructional topics aim to encourage weapon-making, violence, and large-scale terror attacks.

Final Notes

The growing accessibility and popularity of jihadi Militant Manuals is a legitimate cause for concern. Geared toward inciting radicalization and acts of terror, the widespread availability of such information is likely contributing to ISIS-inspired terror attacks throughout the West. With the ever-expanding jihadi Militant Internet, jihadists worldwide have access to vast amounts of radical propaganda, attack-specific instructional information, and even live jihadi Q&A sessions to aid in planning and launching attacks in their respective countries.

For jihadists either willing to travel or located in the vicinity of ISIS territory, attending ISIS training camps provides valuable hands-on experience. However, for self-radicalized jihadists located throughout the rest of the world, self-training is possible and practical due to the widespread availability of these Militant Manuals. The propagation of this online material will likely continue to accelerate. Unfortunately, there are very few viable options for successfully mitigating the risks posed by jihadists’ online influence, including self-radicalization and “lone wolf” or ISIS-inspired attacks. In order to reduce the likelihood that Militant Manuals and related jihadi propaganda end up in the wrong hands, its dissemination must be stymied. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.

Flashpoint Intelligence Brief

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date on our latest research, news, and events