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 / VP Operations
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 client engagement and development team, which includes customer success, 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 Sales and Solution Architecture
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
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.
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The Rise of an ISIS Affiliated Media Unit: A’maq

May 25, 2016

The highly publicized battle for Kobani, Syria, beginning in September 2014, was significant due to its longevity, location on the Turkish-Syrian border, and participation by a range of anti-ISIS forces, including the U.S., the Free Syrian Army (FSA), and Kurdish forces. However, a lesser-acknowledged byproduct of the Kobani campaign was the rise of a key ISIS-affiliated media unit: A’maq.

Although it is difficult to ascertain the exact date on which A’maq was launched, Flashpoint analysts first started taking significant note of the organization during the battle for Kobani, when ISIS fighters in northern Aleppo regularly documented their activities in and around the embattled city as well as its rival’s efforts to push the group back, via grainy video and photo releases posted on social media.

(Screenshot from October 01, 2014 A’maq video release showing “the arrival of the Islamic State fighters on the outskirts of Ayn Al-Arab [a.k.a. Kobani]")
(Screenshot from October 01, 2014 A’maq video release showing “the arrival of the Islamic State fighters on the outskirts of Ayn Al-Arab [a.k.a. Kobani]”)

What was once a series of glorified home-movies from the battlefield, stamped with the now-iconic black and blue A’maq watermark, has now become a main player in the ISIS media cycle.

After months of capturing compelling footage from the ground with increasingly polished visuals at more prolific output rates, the media unit’s popularity and legitimacy boomed within the community, which is perhaps best exemplified by users’ mentions of A’maq on ISIS’s official and top-tier Deep Web forums. This implicit endorsement of A’maq among the “big fish” within the jihadi community who operate on these shadowy forums was a significant turning point in the media unit’s growth.

Furthermore, although no explicit statements have been made regarding the relationship between A’maq and the official ISIS media apparatus, the evidence of coordination between the two has become compellingly apparent. Despite ISIS’s undeniably authoritarian controls over the news coverage that flows from its operational territories, A’maq appears to have gotten the inside scoop, repeatedly reporting information that shortly precedes ISIS’s coverage of the same developments.

In late October 2015, for instance, following the joint U.S.-Peshmerga raid on an ISIS prison near Hawijah, Kirkuk Province, in which the U.S. reportedly freed 70 prisoners, A’maq released a statement claiming that ISIS beheaded four Kurdish hostages where the targeted prison once stood. The statement indicated, “the Islamic State’s fighters have executed four Peshmerga elements in slaughter, at the same site of the prison in which American Special Forces conducted a repelling operation a week ago in Hawijah, in coordination with the Kurdistan government, which aimed at freeing Kurdish Peshmerga elements who were held captive by The Islamic State.”

Just one day after the A’maq statement, ISIS’s official media unit released a video about “the truth” of the U.S.-Peshmerga raid, culminating in the featured execution of four Peshmerga fighters.

This trend has intensified, with A’maq routinely releasing short, one or two sentence statements that precede the more detailed account from official ISIS media. In addition to the sheer volume of frequency with which this now occurs, the time gap between the A’maq news flash and the subsequent ISIS statement has narrowed, sometimes occurring just minutes apart, further indicating close coordination.

Standard A’maq News Flash
(Standard A’maq News Flash)

The January 14 attack in Jakarta, Indonesia, for example, was first claimed by A’maq, which reported that “Islamic State fighters” launched the assault. Only a few hours later, ISIS released its official statement, claiming that its “soldiers” in Indonesia, “targeted a gathering of nationals of the Crusader alliance, which is fighting The Islamic State.”

This sequence of releases has become so repetitive, and the timing so rapid, that it is difficult to deny collaboration between the two outlets.

It is important to note, however, that A’maq still releases information never publicly verified by ISIS’s official channels. For instance, on March 15, A’maq released a statement claiming that one of its “sources” denied the U.S. Department of Defense’s announcement regarding the death of top ISIS commander, Omar Al Shishani. Official ISIS media, however, has yet to respond to such reports.

Today, A’maq has transformed into a central player in the ISIS media output, not only releasing its exclusive scoops, which serve as the quick news flash to ISIS’s lengthier claim of credit counterpart, but also operating at an efficient and sophisticated level, demonstrating a prowess nearly matching that of ISIS’s official media logistics. To this end, in addition to the official A’maq Telegram chat channels and websites, produced in both English and Arabic, the once amateur media unit now has its own Android app, for which it has released multiple versions, servicing jihadists on-the-go.

Poster for A’maq’s Android App in English
Poster for A’maq’s Android App in English
Invitation to A’maq’s official English-language Telegram channel
Invitation to A’maq’s official English-language Telegram channel

Although it is unclear why ISIS has not explicitly claimed A’maq as its own, despite the outlet’s growth and maturation, it is abundantly clear that ISIS’s media machine is strategic, deliberate, and effective, meaning it was likely a conscious decision, perhaps done as a means of allowing ISIS supportive news to flow without the controversial brand name of The Islamic State.

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