ISIS warns supporters against downloading fake Islamic State magazines

(Reuters/Khalil Ashawi)A view shows an office that was used by Islamic State militants in Turkman Bareh village, after rebel fighters advanced in the area, in northern Aleppo Governorate, Syria, October 7, 2016.

The Islamic State has issued a warning to its supporters that fake versions of its publication are being circulated online.

ISIS announced that someone has published a fake 6th edition of Rumiyah online magazine and told its supporters to be careful where they download their copies, according to Heavy. The terror group described the perpetrators of the fake publication as "the kuffar," a broad, pejorative Islamic term meaning "disbeliever."

The latest edition of the magazine was issue #5, which was released in early January. The issue discussed the terroristic possibilities of arson and it specifically named First Baptist Dallas church in Texas as a target. In the November 2016 edition, ISIS described Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade as "an excellent target" for a lone wolf attack.

While it is not known who is responsible for the fake publication, chatter on ISIS channels indicates suspicion towards intelligence agencies such as the CIA or the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB).

This was not the first time ISIS warned its followers against fake publications. Last June, the terror group announced that there were fake versions of its official magazine, Dabiq, as well as the app for one its news agencies, Amaq.

"Brothers and sisters, We noticed that dubious attempts were made to spread a fake Dabiq magazine issue (claimed to be 'Issue 15', with two varying covers)," ISIS announced at the time.

"We would like to clarify that Al-Hayat Media Center has not yet released any new Dabiq issues. We advise you not to download this fake magazine for your own safety," it continued.

ISIS also warned its supporters against downloading the group's news app, Amaq Agency on Android, from unofficial channels, saying there is a fake version that is aimed at breaching security and spying.

Analysts have speculated that the fake versions were circulated by either government agencies or vigilante hackers as part of an effort to lure and track ISIS supporters online.

Amarnath Amarasingam, a fellow at the George Washington University Program on Extremism, noted that fake press releases and issues of Dabiq have been published in the past.

"Some people think it's a honeypot strategy by governments, maybe to learn about who clicks, who shares, who authenticates it as fake or real," Amarasingam said.

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